Wrestling Cavaliers seek improvement as season progresses

Wrestling Cavaliers seek improvement as season progresses

By Eric Becker

CARLINVILLE (Dec. 7, 2017) – Carlinville’s wrestling team has a few new faces this season.

Losses to graduation and others not deciding to wrestle this year have not deterred the numbers, as 20 have come out to wrestle.

That includes two seniors – Rylan Frankford and Daniel Card – who will not wrestle this year due to injury but will help coach the underclassmen this season.

“We’ve still got guys still coming back from injury,” said head coach Tim Johnson. “Our forecast is that we have rarely filled all 14 weights. In about three weeks, we will be doing that, which will make us more competitive.”

Carlinville lost Jacob Dixon and Tyler Martin due to graduation, and several others decided not to come out this year. Despite this, the numbers are up from a year ago.

“We have a big class of juniors who are going to step up and lead us this year,” Johnson said. “But to lose eight to nine guys for whatever reasons and still have 20 this year is a huge asset as a program to have that stability. Not that long ago we were fighting to get double digits (total wrestlers out).”

Nate Burns returns around the 132-pound weight class. He’s a junior who nearly made it to state last year, losing in the final round of sectionals.

Tristen Burns at 170 pounds is another 30-win returner for the Cavies. Tucker Hughes, in the middle weight classes, returns after taking last wrestling season off. He suffered a concussion at the end of the football season but has been cleared to resume activities on the mat.

Incoming freshmen include Chase Michealis and Dustin Roberts, who have had successful youth wrestling careers to this point.

Keagan Broaddus, Brandon Miller, Levi Perkins, Tucker Green, Carl Bellm, Max Wilson, Colin Leonard, Evan Bethard, Cyler McClain, Demitry Lewis, Carter Mabus and Stephen Otten round out the roster of wrestlers for 2017-18.

McClain is coming off shoulder surgery and hopes are to have him back within the next few weeks.

“We’re hoping to get a good finish  of the season with him,” Johnson said. “We have all these guys who have been around it who are ready to take their game to the next level.  “It’s exciting.”

The state rankings has Carlinville on the honorable mention list heading into the season. Card was projected as ninth in the state heading into the season.

Carlinville faced off with a pair of foes Thursday at home in the season opener (see related story) and then faced five opponents at the Litchfield Super Duals last Saturday. The team beat Pinckneyville and lost the other duals – one by one point – in seven matches thus far.

“That will be a big day for them – we’re going to show up and wrestle some tough, top-20 ranked teams and we’re going to wrestle five duals in one day. It’s a trial by fire type of thing the first week of competition,” Johnson said of the Litchfield duals.

Realistically, the team is looking for each individual getting better as the season progresses, Johnson said.

“Hence our team is going to get better, and we’re excited,” Johnson said.

Members of the 2017-18 Carlinville wrestling team, front row, from left, are: Demitry Lewis (126); Evan Bethard (160); Chase Lawless (285); Chase Michaelis (145); Levi Perkins (160); Tucker Green (120); Collin Leonard (113) and Carter Mabus (106). Back row: Rylan Frankford, Tristen Burns (170); Carl Bellm (160); Brandon Miller (195); Max Wilson (132); Nate Burns (132); Keagan Broaddus (138); Dustin Roberts (138); Tucker Hughes (145) and Cyler McClain 220. Not pictured: Daniel Card, Stephen Otten.