With a deep and experienced group of wrestlers ready to compete, coach Chad Adkins is directing his Marion High School team to take aim at an undefeated season.
The Warriors will be led by four seniors, a group that includes Cody Wildin, who came within a point of state gold at 130 pounds and finished with a 32-4 season record last year. He is ranked second at 135 pounds in the Kansas Wrestling Coaches Association preseason poll, but Adkins said he will wrestle at 140 this year.
?He?s aggressive and strong and has great technique,? Adkins said.
Dillon Wildin (20-2) enters the season ranked second at 145 pounds by the KWCA.
?He?s dedicated, and has a great opportunity to be a state champion,? Adkins said.
Tylor Neil (37-10 last year) is ?a great leader?a true senior captain,? Adkins said. Neil is ?long and lanky? at 152, and ?has a chance to place high at state.?
Nick Klenda will wrestle at 215 after two seasons away from the program.
?He wrestled in middle school,? Adkins said. ?He will win a lot of matches for us this year.?
Tentatively, the rest of the Marion lineup will be as follows: Braden Putter (103), Eric Reg?nier (112), Randy Regnier (119), Cole Lewman (125), Brady Carroll (130), Andy Shipman (135), Colten Johnson (160), Andrew Kjellin (171), Evan Slater (189) and Joe Richmond (285).
Shipman (26-14), Lewman (19-21), Randy Regnier (18-16), Johnson (11-22) and Kjellin (2-13) were varsity wrestlers last year.
The KWCA has ranked MHS third behind Norton and Smith Center in preseason rankings, with Ellis, Caney Valley, Garden Plain, Osborne, Plainville, Phillipsburg and Goodland rounding out the top 10.
Of the teams on the regular season schedule, Adkins said ?I can?t say we?ll go undefeated, but I don?t see a team that we can?t beat.?
Marion?s season opener is a double dual Dec. 3 at Lyons.