By Josh Bronson
Pilot staff writer
With six wrestlers returning from last year's state wrestling tournament, the Brookings-Harbor High School wrestling team is an experienced squad who is looking to send even more grapplers to state this year.
andquot;We'll be very competitive this year,andquot; Coach Dave Freeman said. andquot;I expect good things from this team as long as they keep working.andquot;
The Bruins have a number of experienced wrestlers back this year who will be accompanied by a good incoming freshman class.
andquot;We're real close to having two people in each weight class,andquot; Freeman said. andquot;It'll be nice; we just have to wait for everyone to fall into place.andquot;
With more than one person in a weight class, wrestlers will have to compete with each other to earn a varsity spot each week.
When the competition is elevated in practice among teammates, it will generally improve their performance when in comes to dual meets and tournaments.
Junior Ray Mazyck will be one of the veteran wrestlers leading the way for the Bruins this year.
Mazyck is the highest finishing returner from last year's state tournament as he took seventh place in the 103-pound weight class.
Seniors Willie Bennett and Cody Miller, both who have qualified for state in each of their first three years, will be aiming to place at this year's state tournament.
Bennett took second at the Far West League district meet in the 135-pound weight class while Miller took third in the 145-pound class.
Other wrestlers who qualified for state last year include Mike Schabeck (125), Joel Mitts (189) and Tyler Drafahl (152).
The Bruins also had several wrestlers who just missed qualifying for state last year and will be seeking a top-three finish at the district meet to advance to state this year.
Ron Hunt, Denny Davis, Mike Althof, Evan Peterson and Cody Brooks will all be vying for a spot in this year's state tourney.
The first dual meet of the season for the Bruins is at 6 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 29 at home against Illinois Valley.
This will be the first of only two home meets the Bruins will have all year.