Marion wrestlers build new team with 3 state qualifiers

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Three state qualifiers headline a group of six seniors and letter-winners returning to Marion?s wrestling program this year. They are: back row (from left), Thomas McGee, Hank Collett, Chuck Holub; front row, Cody Wildin, Dillon Wildin and Pascal Otterbach.? Andrew Ottoson / Free Press

After a successful season in his eighth year, Marion High School wrestling coach Chad Adkins expects more of the same from his squad this year.

Despite having graduated seniors John Barr, who qualified for state at 152 pounds, and Ben Leppke, who wrestled at 160, the Warriors will have veteran depth through the midsection of their lineup.

Led by three returning state qualifiers, the Warriors have high hopes for building on the foundation for success they laid a year ago.

With Dillon and Cody Wildin taking to the mat as sophomores, and Charlie Holub primed for his senior season, the team has a solid core in place.

Derek Riggs missed qualifying for the state tournament by one match last year and will wrestle at 215 pounds in his senior season.

?He was injured in the first dual?he broke his hand and was out until after Christmas last year,? Adkins said. ?He only got about half a year in last year.?

The team will be open at heavyweight and at 189.

At 171, returning letter-winners Hector Cardenas and Mark Kukuk are contending with each other to hold onto the top spot.

?They?re both light, so they can both wrestle 160 as well,? Adkins said.

Trevor Foth, a freshman from Peabody, is also in the mix at 160.

Hank Collett and Tylor Neil are vying for the starting spot at 152 pounds. Both lettered last year.

?Hank?s a real strong kid, and Tylor is more lanky, using his arms and legs for leverage,? Adkins said.

?Hank is the hardest working kid I?ve ever coached,? Adkins noted. ?It?s no accident that he?s received nominations to attend West Point.?

Holub will wrestle at 145 pounds as a two-time state qualifier in his senior season.

?Charlie works a lot of upper-body stuff, throws and strong stuff like that,? Adkins said.

At 140, Peabody?s Thomas McGee will wrestle with the team, as will Marion?s Levi Anderson.

?McGee is a real strong kid,? Adkins said. ?He?s worked real hard?he didn?t know anything when he started, and he?s going to be pretty solid.?

Dillon Wildin will wrestle at 135 pounds this season.

?He?s been wrestling for a real long time?he?s definitely one of our best,? Adkins said.

Adam Regnier will wrestle at 130 pounds.

?He has really been a contributor for us,? Adkins said. ?I really expect him to step up this year and do some good things?he has been close to qualifying before, and I think we?ll get him there this year.?

At 125 is Cody Wildin, who qualified at 119 last year.

?Cody kind of sits back and waits where Dillon is more aggressive,? Adkins said. ?It works for him.?

At 119 is Andy Shipman, a freshman who has wrestled in the kids? program and in middle school.

?Andy is going to be a good addition for us,? Adkins said. ?He?s got a lot of experience, and he?s going to be a lot of fun to coach.?

Randy Regnier, brother of Adam, will wrestle at 112.

The Warriors will be open at 103 pounds.

?If we end up with three open weight classes, that?s a lot to give up in duals,? Adkins said. ?That?s 18 points?but we?ll be very tough through the middle, and we?ll have to win our matches on the mat.

?Some other schools will be open at 103 as well, so that one might not hurt us as much,? Adkins added.

Hoisington and Hillsboro will be tough competition. Those two, in addition to Marion and Smoky Valley, hold the top four spots in the Mid-Central Activities Association.

?We wrestle all three of those teams Thursday night at Smoky Valley?and that can be a tough way to start off the year,? Adkins said. ?You want to beat everyone you face, but you want to beat those teams a little bit more.?

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