Bearcats look to grow with team of young wrestlers

Published 4:59 pm Tuesday, November 29, 2016

The 2016-17 season will be a rebuilding team for the Bainbridge High School wrestling team.

“Got a lot of young guys,” head coach Chad Smith said. “Have seven freshmen that moved up. We’re only dealing with two seniors that are returners. Have four seniors total, but two of them are new.”

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The freshmen have experience wrestling at the middle school level, but will have to adapt to wrestling older kids with more strength and experience.

“The young guys are guys that were successful in middle school, but as we all know the transition from middle school to high school is tough on a ninth grader wrestling up against junior and seniors,” Smith said.

The team will be lead by junior Tre’ Story and senior Ryan Adams, both of whom qualified for state last year.  Story went 0-2 in the state tournament last season while dealing with a knee injury, but Smith said he expects big things from the junior this season.

“Looking for Tre’ to place this year,” Smith said. “He should be in the same weight class, 195. He’s a little over weight right now so he’ll be wrestling 220 for the first couple of weeks until he can get his weight down. Tre’ should be a good state contender if not state placer.”

Adams is battling back from a knee injury that he suffered during football season, but the hope is that he can return by mid-January.

“Ryan is the key to this team,” Smith said. “He’s the leader. He’s the guy that’s been here for eight years now. He’s the moral guy. He’s the spirit guy. He’s our best wrestler. Without him the team definitely struggles a little bit. We hope to have him back by Jan. 15, which is before region.”

Adams finished ninth in sectionals last season in the 220-poiund division, but was a late addition to the state tournament as an alternate. He capitalized on the opportunity to finish seventh in the state, one place out of the medals.

Smith is also looking for underclassmen to step up after the departure of multiple wrestlers from last season due to graduation or their family moving away.

“Kendall Glover is a young guy that had a lot of success last year,” Smith said. “He’s probably one of the hardest workers on the team this year.”

The plan is for Glover to cut down to the 138-pound weight class.

Junior Tanner Brown is also expected to have a good year in the 145-pound weight class.

The Bearcats got a late start this season due to the football team advancing to the second round of the state playoffs and the Thanksgiving holiday and will open their season on Friday with only five days of practice.

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