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Prep Wrestling: Langley, Bulldogs return solid nucleus

Posted on 12/6/2016, 9:02 AM

As a wrestling coach, when you have 14 different weight classes, you try to fill them all.

That"s tough, but that"s Greg Langley"s job this year.

With the graduation of just two seniors in last year"s lineup, Lucian Hicks and Cody Rightnowar, Langley job was made a little easier with five wrestlers from a year ago.

Chase McDaniel and Kyle Cavender advanced to last year"s IHSA State Tournament and the Bulldogs return sectional qualifiers in Kody Cavender, Landon Hicks and Chandler Bowling, to go along with, McDaniel and Kyle Cavender.

The return of those guys helps make Langley"s job a lot easier, especially when it comes to practice time.

"When you have guys like that, who have that experience, it"s always easier as a head coach. Plus, it helps in practice when they are going up against other guys. Iron sharpens iron and it makes everyone else better."

Harrisburg started out the season with a split in its matches against Murphysboro and Herrin and finished third overall in the Lawrence County Invitational this past weekend.

It sets up what could be a dominant year for Harrisburg, who returns a solid nucleus from last season.

"Of course kids get a little bigger from year-to-year," Langley said, "The majority of guys we have back are good ones. We still have some seniors in the startling lineup and just a sprinkling of some juniors, but then all the rest are sophomores."

Derek Rivers, Ryan Ragsdale and McDaniel all are seniors, while Hunter Jackson, Alex Johnson, Michael Jaster, Cade Joiner, Seth Martineau, Chase Pritchett, Jared Schmook and Bowling are all juniors.

The sophomore class is made up of Kody and Kyle Cavender, along with, Emanuel Edwards, Skye Henson, Jimmy Hicks, Landon Hicks, Cameron Ingles, Abraham McClellan and Autumn Millis, while the freshmen are Terry Bethel, Riley Harper, Ethan Hunt, Lance Maynor, Garrett Turcott and Rheis Wasson.

Langley has high expectations, but still tries to keep goals attainable and achievable. That won"t change this season.

"We always strive to do our best in the dual matches and last year we finished 15-5. We want to win three quarters of our dual matches and last year we finished in the top four of all of our tournaments. If we can do that and win a regional championship, I think that would be a successful season."

Michael Dann covers prep and college sports for the Harrisburg Daily Register and Eldorado Daily Journal. Follow him on Twitter: @spydieshooter