The Blue Streaks won a sectional championship a season ago but failed to find much success as a whole after that, a fact coach Ryan Wirtzberger is looking to rectify. Nine starters return from that team of a year ago, including seniors Nick Montgomery (138), Aaron Sweeney (160), and Tim Streisel (170), juniors Nick Farnsworth (126), Bo Ransom (145), and Drew Schiemann (182) and sophomores Corbin Post (113), Ryan Montgomery (120) and Jarrod Lasko (132).
Sophomores Matt Atha (170) and Ben Golden (160) as well as freshmen Tyler McGroder (106), Alex Kensinger (152), Sam Dull (220) and Blake Jerome (285) will have to mature quickly.
“We’ll have a lot of experienced wrestlers in the middle weights. They’ll be the heart and leaders of the team,” Wirtzberger said. “Some of the holes in the lineup are going to be filled with young, inexperienced wrestlers that’ll have to improve quickly.”
The Pirates caught more than a few people by surprise last season by going 9-1 in dual meets and winning four tournaments, including the sectional and Chagrin Valley Conference.
This time around they will be catching no one unaware and must improve in order to achieve that same level of success.
“Our Monday through Thursday focus will determine how much success we will have this season,” Rowan said. “Last year, we surprised some people because we had been rebuilding for a few years. That won’t happen this year. A key for our success is going to be how hard we train.”
Depth and experience will not be a problem at Perry.
“We have nine of our starters returning and we will rely on these experienced wrestlers to provide the motivation at practice that it takes to be successful this year,” Rowan said.
“We need to have our sights set on something we have never had at Perry — a state champion.”
Back in the fold are seniors Neil Brown (138), Drew Jones (152), Ryan Sill (170) and Evan Nichols (220), juniors Collin Dees (113), Aaran Gessic (126), Alec Schenk (160), and Billy Miller (285) and sophomores Kyle Kremiller (182) and Josh Romano (132).
Providing depth and filling in the holes will be seniors Kirk Kallenborn (126), Cory Gramberg (132), Canean Perry (145) and Kyle
Homerick (152), juniors David Mrosko (152), Cameron Winters (152) and Kyle Beyer (182), sophomores Nick Sbrocco (138), M.J. Reed (145), Brock Hurd (145), Seth
Cales (152), Jake Vicini (195) and Brandon Truhn (285) and freshmen Brady Toth (106), John Miller (113), Andy Hinton (113), Geoffrey Gedeon (120), Ricky Seghetti (120), Ethan Bixel (138), Nick Lauria (170), Nick Sarkauskas (170) and Connor VanDeweel (182).
Experience and depth will help the Pirates in
their quest to repeat as CVC champions. That said, the task will not be an easy
one with good teams all through the league.
“Our experience will help us make another run at a conference title,” Rowan said. “We will have to outlast the usual suspects: Aurora, Kenston and Beachwood, who were all young last year and will be returning many of their starters. But even some of the smaller schools — Berkshire, Cardinal and Kirtland — have some solid wrestlers that will challenge for league titles. In order for us to do well at the end of the season, which is when our conference tournament is held, we will have to depend on our returning starters and hope that our younger wrestlers can chip in by that time.
“In order to win the conference tournament, it will have to be a total team effort.”