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Young wrestlers stepping up, performing for Green

1/17/2013 - South Side Leader
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By Sean Patrick

GREEN — Green High School wrestling head coach Nate Eicher said he likes what he’s seen from his team this season — particularly from the younger wrestlers who have stepped up when called upon.

Through Jan. 13, the team was out to a 13-5 start in dual meets.

“Overall, in terms of a dual meet record, I think we’re doing what was expected of us,” he said. “I think overall as a team, we’re looking really strong. The only thing is that we’ve had some injuries and some sickness and things like that, so I’ve had to change my lineup, but I’ve had my young guys step in and actually wrestling to the next level. I’m really happy about that.”

One of the younger wrestlers who has stepped up so far, Eicher said, has been sophomore Kyle Higley.

“He got a pin for us [Jan. 10] against a really tough Nordonia kid,” the coach said. “He’s showing he’s ready to be at the next level. He’s wrestled hard in practice and he’s doing the right things.”

In addition, Eicher said, juniors Chris Doyle and Jacob Gladwell are having strong seasons.

“Chris is really stepping up and having a strong season,” the coach said. “Jacob’s out with an injury right now, but he’s been doing really well. He’s been a killer for us all year, getting pins left and right.”

According to Eicher, the team’s seniors, Gabe Mahaney and Mark Dahlman, are wrestling well and providing team leadership.

“They’re both actually doing pretty well for us. Gabe was actually one of the ones who has been sick for the last week and a half, but they’re both wrestling really strong,” he said. “We’re going to the Bill Dies Tournament next weekend and I’m expecting them to place high if they wrestle to their ability. They’re definitely being team leaders and doing what’s expected of them as seniors.”

Eicher said there’s about a month and a half left in the regular season, and in that time he hopes to see his wrestlers work on turning up their intensity.

“Our cardio and everything is great, and I think we’re just trying to peak right now in terms of intensity to where we can get five, six guys to the district tournament,” he stated. “I really want a strong performance in sectionals, and I’d like next week for us to get five or six guys to place next week at the Bill Dies Tournament, which is a pretty tough tournament.”

Eicher said Green also will be looking for a good showing at the league tournament Feb. 2.

“[Coming into the season], I saw us sitting at the top two, but it’s going to be really tough to do that,” he said. “We’re going to have to put together a good league tournament since we lost duals to Wadsworth and Nordonia. I don’t expect any less than third place.”

One advantage for his team, Eicher said, is that Green will host the league tournament this year.

“We’ll have a bigger fan base there, since it is our home gym, and I think we perform well at home,” he said. “So, I think that’s going to help us out a little bit, just being on our home turf.”

The key to a successful postseason run, Eicher said, will be the further development of the team’s younger wrestlers.

“They’re young, but I think they’re wrestling to the next level,” he stated. “They’re growing each week and getting stronger each week. They deserve a lot of credit for how far they’ve come, and I expect them to have a strong postseason.”

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