Swede wrestlers ready to rebuild
Last year’s senior class of Swede wrestlers took more than 400 wins from the program when they graduated.
Some might look at that as a huge hole.
Gothenburg coach Tom Scott sees it as opportunities.
“These kids are really excited and really hungry,” said the second-year coach. “They’ve been working very hard and I’m proud of them for that.”
Techniques may not be as precise or experience levels as high as previous years but Scott said that doesn’t take anything away from this year’s group of 20 wrestlers.
“The desire is there,” he said. “In the end, we want opponents to walk off the mat hoping they never have to wrestle our guys again.”
There will be several meets, especially early in the year, where the Swedes will give up team points because of open weight classes.
Eventually, Scott said, Gothenburg should be able to fill 12 to 13 weights.
“I believe the young kids need quality matches before we throw them to the wolves,” the coach said. “Just because they might be the only one in a weight class doesn’t mean they’ll wrestle on varsity right off the bat. I want them to develop a little confidence first.”
Swede wrestlers will see a couple of changes in schedule this winter.
A two-day High Plains Invite has been replaced with the Ogallala Invite in early January and the Swedes will travel to Mitchell the end of January rather than wrestling in Hastings.
“We will go up against a couple of district opponents at Mitchell that we otherwise wouldn’t get to see,” Scott said.
That’s because the district is so spread out, from Alliance and Chadron in the northwest corner of the state all the way to Holdrege in south central Nebraska.
“My goal has been to see all of our district opponents before that meet,” Scott said. “The change in schedule allows that.”
Gothenburg opens the season Friday hosting Sidney in dual action beginning at 6 p.m.
Then the Swedes wrestle at the Cozad Invite on Saturday.
Valentine and Cozad should challenge for the Southwest Conference team title, Scott predicts, as the teams have battled back and forth for years.
Valentine is the returning Class C state champion team.
As for the B-4 district, this year in Sidney, Scott expects Cozad and Alliance to fight for top honors.
“I’m looking forward to watching how these boys will develop over the course of the season,” the coach said. “We are always going to be looking to accomplish more, not just being satisfied with improving.”
Members of the 2012-13 Swede wrestling team are (*denotes letter winner):
SENIORS—Preston Franzen, Dalton Goodwin*, Dillon Larson*.
JUNIORS—Talbot Buchholz, Skyler Kottwitz*, Tyson Miller*.
SOPHOMORES—Tyler Alvarez, Keyan Anderson, Dirk Earll*, Seth Eggleston, Dalton Sylvan, Zach Wolf.
FRESHMEN—Dade Brock, Hayden Hubbard, Jayden Miller, Tyler Miller, Seth Portiner, Chad Schmiett, Tyson Schwanz, Brandon Stevens.