Wrestlers return 2 state qualifiers

These seniors and returning state qualifiers will anchor the Marion wrestling team this season:?front row (from left), Josh Britton, Adam Janzen, Beretta Janzen, Kyle Palic; back row, Zac Lew?man, Dylan Cochran, John Nordquist, Luke Steele.The Marion wrestling team will bring both seasoned state qualifiers and a large group of newcomers to the mat this season as coach Chad Adkins begins his 15th year.

With seven freshmen entering the program, this will be a year of transition for Marion. But the War?riors also boast a core of five key returners that will anchor the team this season.

Key returners

Marion lost five seniors to graduation last year, including state qualifiers Brody Carroll, Evan Slater and Eric Regnier.

But Marion also returns two state qualifiers?juniors Beretta Janzen and Adam Janzen?who will be two of the Warriors? key contributors this season.

Adkins said Beretta Janzen likely will wrestle in the 126-pound weight class, while Adam Janzen is expected to compete at 170.

?Adam is having a heck of a year,? Adkins said. ?Obvi?ously, he had a really good football season. He?s just a heck of an athlete.?

Adam joined the wrest?ling team after Christmas last year, and wrestled in the 182-pound weight class despite weighing 168.

?He came out late, so he didn?t get to wrestle where he would have,? Adkins said. ?I didn?t let him challenge anybody to take their spot because he wasn?t out when he needed to be.?

This year, Adam will wrestle in his correct class, which Adkins said ?is going to be huge.?

Joining the returning state qualifiers are two seniors whom Adkins expects to have a successful season. Zac Lewman will likely wrestle at 182 pounds, while John Nordquist is expected to compete at 195.

Junior Kyle Palic returns to the team after a one-year hiatus. A state qualifier his freshman year, Palic likely will wrestle at 220 pounds.

?Kyle?s good,? Adkins said. ?He?s been wrestling for a long time, and he?ll be really athletic at 220.?

Adkins has high expectations for this core group.

?All of them I would expect to be (state) qualifiers, for sure,? he said. ?All five could place. Adam and Beretta and Kyle could potentially all place pretty high if they do the things they need to do.?

Newcomers

The Warriors have seven incoming freshmen.

?They could be pretty decent,? Adkins said. ?We have some of them that have done really, really well, (and have) been wrestling for a long time.?

Several freshmen will be called upon to fill varsity weight classes this year.

?That?s good and bad,? Adkins said. ?They?re going to have to handle losing. But as long as we can focus on the fact that, hey, we?re learning, we?re trying to get better and those kind of things, we?ll be all right.?

Marion should be ?close? to filling all 14 weight classes this season, Adkins said. The heavyweight spot is still up in the air.

?We?ve got a couple kids that are right up there at that 210, 215, and that?s too small to be a heavyweight, but one of them probably will wrestle heavyweight to have a spot,? he said.

?The other ones, I don?t see any reason why we won?t (fill the classes). We should be full.?

Outlook

Depth could be an issue for the Warriors this season.

?We won?t be very deep in certain spots,? Adkins said. ?There will be some where we will just have the one (wrestler), and if something happens we might not be able to do a lot of shuffling. We?ll be deep (in the lightest weight classes) because these freshmen, they?re mostly all little guys.?

Conditioning will be a strength of the Warriors this season, as well as having solid wrestlers in the upper weight classes, Adkins said.

A challenge for the team will be establishing a leader.

?We don?t have an outspoken leader, and we?re going to need a lot of leadership with seven freshmen,? Adkins said.

He is excited to have such a large incoming class of freshmen.

?They?re all solid, going to be there for four years,? he said. ?You get to that year, and you have those seven seniors. That?s going to be top-notch.?

For now, it will be important to get the freshmen acclimated and give them experience to build on.

?We?ve got to get them in and get them doing the things they need to be doing,? Adkins said.

As for league competition, Marion and Remington are the only Heart of America schools with a wrestling program. As a result, Marion travels to schools in various parts of the state to compete, including northeast and southeast Kansas.

?We travel far, but we do that because for us, it?s kind of different than everything else,? Adkins said. ?We need to see people from all over the state. If we don?t, we?re not going to be ready when it comes time for the state tournament.?

Marion will open its season Saturday at Mission Valley.

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