2010-11 Winter Preview: Royals wrestlers looking to make strides with young teamThey aren’t setting hard-line goals just yet, but head coach Justin Smith believes the Royals wrestling team is prepared to make some big strides this season.
By: Hank Long, Woodbury Bulletin
They aren’t setting hard-line goals just yet, but Justin Smith believes the Royals wrestling team is prepared to make some big strides this season.
A roster with nearly 30 wrestlers has only two returning seniors, but is filled with leaders and up-and-comers looking to make an impact, said Smith who is entering his third year as head coach for Woodbury. Returning state competitors are Brandon Borchardt and Justin Herold-Plunket.
“It’s a pretty young team, but we have some good wrestlers at a lot of different weights,” Smith said. “And we have some natural leaders.”
One of those is sophomore Connor Herrald, who will likely wrestle between 140-152. He finished fifth in the section meet last year as a freshman, but showed his potential by coming on strong down the stretch, Smith said.
“Connor really started coming on toward the end of the year last year, that was great,” Smith said.
The Royals have another young leader in sophomore heavyweight Quinn Schmalz, who finished sixth in the section meet as a freshman, and made it to the ninth grade state tourney in his first year competing in wrestling.
“Quinn is still a young wrestler, but he knows what it takes to compete,” Smith said. “It’s good to have one of your big guys have that natural leadership ability.”
Smith said the wrestlers will get their first, solid taste of where they are at as a team this Thursday when the Royals host a triangular meet with District 833 rivals Park and East Ridge.
“It’s hard not to be excited for that one,” Smith admitted.