“Win or lose, our opponents are going to know they
just went through a dog fight.”
-Lions head coach Chris Schell
By Ben Otte
If there is one thing Chris Schell would want others to know about his wrestling team, it would be the challenge it is accepting.
The 2013-14 Lions varsity wrestling program returns to the mats after a disappointing 5-15 season last year -- a record which ranked them as one of the worst teams in the YAIAA last season.
The challenge starts with a squad of only three seniors. An aggressive Austin Holloway (152 lb. weight class) and quick Ryan Sprenkle (132 lb. weight class) return with loads of experience they have acquired through the ranks of the program. Senior Michael Vanover (195 lb. weight class) also recently joined the team after talking to Schell a week after practices officially began.
“I talked with Mike (Vanover) and asked if he’d be interested to participate. I’ve seen him wrestle and he’s talented. I’m not sure why he even left the sport,” said Schell. “Him along with the other seniors will definitely be the big leaders on the team.”
Juniors Cody Stern and Anthony Moser, as well as sophomore Stone Hill, return as well with high expectations to pitch in key points for the Lions. Freshman Dylan Gurerri was also a notable player Schell listed after contributing positively to the junior high program.
“We’re getting better as a program. We’re young but there’s a bright future ahead. The kids are starting to say that this team is becoming more and more like a family.”
When asked about teams to look out for from a coach’s perspective, all Schell could do was chuckle. “It’s funny because I asked the whole team the other day which team our biggest rivals are going to be. Austin [Holloway] looked at me and said ‘all of them’.” Schell explained. “And he’s right. If our goals are where they are, no doubt every team is going to be on that rival list.”
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