Three state qualifiers back for Marion

Three state qualifiers return to anchor the Marion wrestling team this season: (from left) Bryce Shults, Remington Putter, Jarrett Johnson.
Three state qualifiers return to anchor the Marion wrestling team this season: (from left) Bryce Shults, Remington Putter, Jarrett Johnson.

The 2015-16 Marion wrestling team may be small in number but not in talent, according to 16th-year head coach Chad Adkins.

?We?re just about one deep in the weight classes, which is OK as long as we?re healthy and eligible,? Adkins said. ?We have tons of talent, though, which is good.?

Last year, Marion took seven wrestlers to the Class 3-2-1A state tournament. The Warriors returned with one state champion, a fourth-place finisher and a sixth-place team finish. Six Warriors won at least one match.

This year, the Warriors will wrestle without four of their state qualifiers from a year ago, including Marion?s first state champion in school history, Kyle Palic, who went 4-0 at 220 pounds to bring home the gold medal.

Marion also will wrestle without Adam Janzen, who went 4-2 at 182 pounds to finish fourth at state.

Two additional state qualifiers from last year have moved on: foreign exchange student Max Gerlach and Cody Shipman, who has moved.

Three state qualifiers return for the Warriors this season.

Junior Jarrett Johnson went 2-2 in the 113-pound weight class as a sophomore last year. This year, he is expected to compete at 126 pounds.

Senior Remington Putter went 2-2 at 160 pounds at state. He will remain at 160 this season.

Junior Bryce Shults went 1-2 at 132 pounds at state. He is expected to wrestle at 138 pounds this season.

Two additional wrestlers return with state experience: juniors Noah Albin and Ezra Darnall qualified as freshmen. Albin will compete at 145 this season, while Dar?nall will wrestle at 132.

Sophomore Tyler Palic returns at 195 pounds, having competed in that weight class last year weighing 181 pounds. Adkins said Palic will be closer to 195 this season.

?He couldn?t beat Adam (Janzen) last year, so it was either lose (weight) and go down to 170, which he wasn?t interested in, or go up, and he went up and wrestled really well,? Adkins said. ?He should?ve been a qualifier. We just didn?t have a very good regional tournament. He?s capable.?

Junior AJ Cogdill returns at 120 pounds, while junior Ryan Cochran returns at 220.

Sophomore Jarrett McLinden is back at 285. Senior Adam Kjellin returns to the team after a hiatus and will provide competition at 285.

?(Adam) was out as a freshman and wrestled varsity,? Adkins said. ?I don?t know where he and McLin?den will land, as far as who beats whom, but either way it?s going to be good that he?s out for McLinden to have somebody else to wrestle.?

Junior Brock Mitchell returns at 138. Sophomore Kolton Brewer also returns, but where he will wrestle is still being determined, Adkins said.

Newcomers include freshmen Charlie Nordquist (182), Ethan Darnall (120), Jared Rahe (152) and Braydin Sippel (132).

Marion will be open at 106 and 113 this season, and Adkins said he is still looking to solidify the 152- and 170-pound weight classes.

?We?re looking for a 152-pounder,? he said. ?We?ve got to have a 152-pounder. We can?t be open in the middle like that.?

Outlook

Although the Warriors will not fill every weight class this season, Adkins said his athletes bring experience and potential.

?We?ve got plenty of potential,? he said. ?The core is juniors. Obviously, you always want to be full, but it doesn?t always work out that way. It?s exciting talent-wise. We?ve got a lot of kids who can score a lot of points.?

Adkins spoke of the strength of the junior class.

?They?ve all been wrestling varsity since they were freshmen,? he said. ?A lot of them are two-time qualifiers to this point in time and won several matches last year at the state tournament. (They) are poised to take the place of these guys we lost, so that?s exciting.?

The Warriors? success this season will depend on a couple of factors.

?We?ve got to stay healthy, we?ve got to work hard,? Adkins said. ?They?re going to work hard. It?s awesome to be a coach here because I don?t have to worry about that, and in a lot of places, they do.?

Adkins looks for positive things this year.

?We?re capable of doing everything we did last year,? he said. ?A state champion might be pushing it a little bit, but I think we have kids capable of that. It all depends on where other kids fall.

?I really think with that group of juniors, there?s no reason why we shouldn?t go out and have four or five placers at the state tournament. That?s just where they?re at in their progress.?