Highland trots out first wrestling team
August 27, 2008 · Updated 6:36 PM
Its been a year of changes at Highland Christian Prep, new school name, new football team, now a new wrestling team. After the success of the fall football season theres no reason not to expect similar results from the wrestling team.
Despite the fact that many athletes will be wrestling for the first time, much will be expected of them from Coach Mark Brown.
With the majority of our guys being new to the sport I expect the kids to go through a learning year, said Brown. There will be some growing pains this season. The kids here learn fast and are very coachable which will help us as a team.
The two wrestlers that come in with experience are Kody Mattson and Stormee Brown.
I expect Kody to compete for a league championship, said Coach Brown, and to put himself in good position for regionals this year.
Stormee Brown placed fourth last year at State and will be counted on to lead the team as well.
If Stormee works hard, said Brown, he should be looking at competing for a State championship.
Wrestling is, at base, a numbers game. Highland will need to continue to build its turnout for the team to have future success. The more competition wrestlers receive in practice, the better prepared they are for matches. Highland will be counting on big contributions from first year wrestlers Scott Gay, Josh Mani, Chase Fuller, Zack McNutt, Ryan Pruitt, Joe Barber, and Brian Breekveldt. All are sophomores and with the exception of Pruitt have not wrestled before. However, judging from the football season, all are good athletes and should adapt quickly to their environment.
Highland will be tested early and often, particularly in their difficult league.
Were stuck in the toughest district for 1B/2B wrestling in the state, said Coach Brown. Both Darrington and Concrete will be ranked in the top eight teams in the state. For our team I would be very happy with a top three placing at the district tournament.
Brown foresees both Darrington and Concrete placing in the top four at state this year.
One thing is certain, just as in football, the Highland program is on the rise. With plenty of underclassmen filling out the roster there is a big growth potential for the wrestling program. Coach Mark Brown and assistant Joey Brown both have years of experience coaching at a high level in wrestling and will look to build one day at a time.