The Holt wrestling team has challenged itself with some of the best competition in the state and around the Midwest so far this season, and coach Rocky Shaft is hoping it pays off for his team in state tournament competition.
The Rams have an 8-5 record, but they started 7-1. They took part in a tournament in Franklin, Ind. this weekend and have traveled to North Canton, Ohio for a large meet.
“They do get experience with the way I have our schedule set up,” Shaft said.
“We try to find the toughest competition we can. We do pretty good with it and if those kids happen to be in the lineup they know they have to step up. It’s good for me. … We can work with a kid then we see them moving and see them react to a situation.”
The Rams took eighth in the North Canton tournament out of 32 teams as well as third at a team dual meet tournament in Rochester. They’ve also had solid individual performances.
Sophomore Benny Gomez, who wrestles between 103 and 112 pounds, is 18-0 after finishing fourth in the state last year.
Senior Shayne Wireman is also 18-0 and was state champion as a sophomore and third last season. Both were victorious in their respective weight divisions at the tournament in North Canton.
“That was the first time we’ve had two kids win in one tournament in four or five years,” Shaft said.
Dominic Trevino (14-3), Dwayne Hoard (12-2), Kyle Granger (11-6), Marco Reyes (12-3), Mike Shaw (9-3) and Zane Perez (7-1) are also off to solid starts for the Rams.
“Those kids are kind of the foundation of the group this year, but I’m looking for the younger ones to step in and make that foundation even wider and a little more solid,” Shaft said.
The season winds down quickly after this weekend’s trip to Indiana.
The Rams host their tournament on Jan. 19, which features some of the top teams in the state and some teams from outside the state, then won’t have a meet until the CAAC Blue meet in early February.
“That’s when all the fireworks start with league meet and districts and so forth. They’ve got to get with the program and hopefully they will,” Shaft said.
“We could be a handful to deal with, not just in our league, but even as we move into the state meet and such.”