HURRICANE Don’t call it a rebuilding season.
With fresh faces competing for Hurricane’s wrestling team, it’s a year of personal growth and working hard to qualify for state.
“This is my first year without a superstar,” Hurricane coach Mike Randall said. “I have returning state qualifier, so it’s about how well we develop what we have and find out how well we can coach.”
The returning state qualifier is Ryan Slater, a senior wrestling in the 113-pound weight class.
Randall said it’s rare to have a senior wrestle in a low weight class, so he considers Slater to be a blessing to the program.
Slater said he’d like to place at state this year rather than simply qualify.
“I at least want to place at state this year,” he said, “and I really want to bring the team together and work hard.”
The freshman and sophomore wrestlers have the chance to face off against Slater every day with him wrestling at a low weight.
“It helps new kids build up what they learned,” Slater said. “I got a lot better as a freshman by wrestling kids that beat up on me. The way I see it, you can’t lose in wrestling. You can only learn.”
Along with Slater, Randall said he’ll look to Kolby Mills at 145 and Jaden Griffen at 126 to be wrestlers that everyone should keep an eye on as the season progresses.
Randall said he won’t track progress based on wins and losses in team duels, but rather in individual matches. He said he simply wants to get as many Tigers to qualify for the state tournament as possible.
“I’ll measure progress on finding little success in the match,” Randall said. “How close did we get to achieving our goals?”
Randall said he looks at duel meets and weekend tournaments as practice until the region championship tournament.