PATASKALA – Bo Ramsey does not expect two of his standout Licking Heights wrestlers to show any signs of fatigue after an extended football season.
In fact, juniors Joey Harrell and L.A. Kelly were ready to go just a couple of days after the football team’s loss in the second round of the playoffs. Ramsey had to force them to take a week off.
“They all took Monday off afterwards, and they all came Tuesday,” Ramsey said. “That’s just the type of kids they are.”
It has been full speed ahead since Harrell and Kelly plus classmate Dereck Wilson stepped into the high school practice room. Harrell and Kelly each qualified for the district meet as freshmen, while Wilson joined them there this past season.
Harrell advanced to his first state meet by winning the district title at 160 pounds. Harrell had 1-2 showing in the state tournament, but he finished fifth in one of the top tournaments in the Midwest during the offseason.
“He wrestled up all summer, too. At times, he (is) wrestling (195-pound class) weighing 183,” Ramsey said. “Joey just enjoyed the challenge. Getting fifth in the (Tournament of Champions) is a pretty good accomplishment.”
Kelly finished 1-2 at the district meet for the second consecutive season. He might not compete in a meet until January as he heals some bumps and bruises from football. He has grown considerably and will wrestle at 182.
“L.A. has gotten a lot bigger,” Ramsey said. “It’s not fat.”
Wilson should find himself in more comfortable surroundings this season. He was wrestling up in weight at 170 during the 2014-15 season, and he could be down at 160 this time as he will be looking for more postseason success in February.
“Those three will probably fit right into (160, 170 and 182),” Ramsey said.
The Hornets have a large number of wrestlers competing for spots in the 220-pound and heavyweight classes as they picked up a number of kids from football. Garrett Sommerkamp is the top returnee from a season ago in that group.
Two lightweights to watch are freshmen Mitchell Coultas and Andrew Lako. Both have been wrestling with Heights since kindergarten.
“(Lako) is probably the most physical kid on the team to be honest, and he weighs 97 pounds,” Ramsey said. “If he was bigger, he would be a force. He is still giving up 10 pounds right now.”
The Hornets are setting up their schedule a bit differently this season. Because of a large number of wrestlers new to the high school level, they will wrestle a full JV schedule, opting to just take the standouts to a handful of high-level varsity tournaments.
“We are letting these freshmen and newer kids get their feet wet in JV tournaments,” Ramsey said. “We might only be taking five or six kids to varsity tournaments all year.”
For a preview of the Watkins Memorial wrestling season, read next week’s Pataskala Standard.