The Madison-Plains wrestling team is larger this season and that means a world of difference to first-year varsity coach Tyson Winters.
The Golden Eagles will be able to fill just about every weight class, which means the team will be on more of an even playing surface with the rest of the teams it will compete with in the new Mid-State League Ohio Division.
“There are a lot more kids out and that’s big,” Winters said. “We should be able to fill all but two weight classes which means we aren’t giving away a whole lot of points. If we’re giving away only 12 points we can make that up, it’s a lot easier than giving away 30-40 points.”
The best thing about the Golden Eagles wrestling revival is not only are there warm bodies in those spots, there are a number of talented wrestlers capable of making deep pushes into the postseason.
One of those wrestlers is 2013 state qualifier Tim Violet. The senior was 38-16 last year and won one match at the state meet at 132 pounds. His return to the lineup gives the rest of the Golden Eagles a leader to follow and a hard worker to pattern their effort after.
Also back are senior Jake Datz and junior Joe Datz, both were district qualifiers last year and the coach expects all three of his top guys to challenge for spots in the D-III state championship tournament.
“Our seniors and older guys have really been working with our younger guys to help them along,” Winters said. “Having guys who have had that kind of success brings a new intensity to the room.
“They understand what it takes to get where they want to go and know how hard they’re going to have to work. The younger guys see that and are working harder.”
The Golden Eagles lineup will feature Violet at 138, Joe Datz at 152 and Jake Datz at 160, while Bobby Miller will man the 182-pound spot.
The rest of the lineup will have Ryan Fulwider at 106, James Violet at 113, Jordan Stage at 132, A.J. Straight manning the 145 spot, with Andy Chadwick (170), Lee Griffin and Lane Tomer (195), Andrew Bevan (220) and Hunter Coil (285) also ready to go.
Plains will compete in the Mid-State League Ohio Division along with Madison County rivals London and West Jefferson, along with Central Ohio powerhouse Whitehall. Other teams include Bexley, Columbus Academy, Worthington Christian and Grandview.
“There’s no doubt about it our league is going to be tough,” Winters said. “But I feel we have enough guys to be able to be competitive.
“I want to see our guys come out help each other and compete. I’d like to see us win some duals, it’s been a while since we won a dual. This year we also get to compete in the state duals which will be a new experience.”