2018-12-05 / Sports

Eighteen Letterwinners Back For AHS Wrestling


Letterwinners returning on the AHS wrestling team are, front row, from left: Zeke Miller, Juan Garcia, Logan Moore, Shane Eicher, Andrew Francis. Middle row: Zach Rocha, Mason Babcock, John Yoder, Brennan Short, Carson Meyer, Gibson Burkholder. Back row: Izzy Reyes, Josh Nofzinger, Brayden Hall, Kasyn Schaffner, Owen Roehrig, Dawson Liechty, Caleb Ranzau.– photo courtesy AHS Letterwinners returning on the AHS wrestling team are, front row, from left: Zeke Miller, Juan Garcia, Logan Moore, Shane Eicher, Andrew Francis. Middle row: Zach Rocha, Mason Babcock, John Yoder, Brennan Short, Carson Meyer, Gibson Burkholder. Back row: Izzy Reyes, Josh Nofzinger, Brayden Hall, Kasyn Schaffner, Owen Roehrig, Dawson Liechty, Caleb Ranzau.– photo courtesy AHS In his 17th season as Archbold head wrestling coach, Brian Becher welcomes back 18 letterwinners.

Last year’s squad compiled a 28-10 record, with a sectional championship.

Gone are five wrestlers, including state champion Gavin Grime and Colton Soles, who placed eighth at state.

Becher returns a wealth of experience with nine district qualifiers, including Mason Babcock, the only returning state qualifier (junior, 182 pounds) and state alternate Zach Rocha (senior, 138 lbs.).

“Having nine returning district qualifiers gives us a lot of post-season experience to build upon,” said Becher.

“We have great numbers, as we are starting the year off with 34 guys.

“We have only one wrestler with state tournament experience, and we don’t have many guys with experience at either end of the lineup.”

District qualifiers Kasyn Schaffner (160 lbs.) and Gibson Burkholder (195 lbs.) return for their final season, as well as fellow seniors Owen Roehrig (160 lbs.) and Izzy Reyes (220 lbs.).

Other returning letterwinners include juniors Shane Eicher (126 lbs.), Juan Garcia and Dawson Liechty (132 lbs.), Brennan Short (145 lbs.) and Brayden Hall (182 lbs.); sophomores Andrew Francis (120 lbs.), Zeke Miller and Logan Moore (138 lbs.), Josh Nofzinger (145 lbs.), Jonathan Yoder (152 lbs.), Carson Meyer and Caleb Ranzau (170 lbs.).

Becher sees his squad representing the Northwest Ohio Athletic League and the four county-area deep into the post-season.

“We expect to have a majority of our lineup represented at the district tournament, and a few guys wrestling on Saturday in Columbus” at the state tournament, he said.

Becher expects the NWOAL will be competitive, with Wauseon the favorite to repeat as league champion.

“The NWOAL once again has a few good dual meet teams and some really good individuals on most of the teams,” said Becher.

“Six of the nine teams (Archbold, Delta, Liberty Center, Patrick Henry, Swanton and Wauseon) had at least one state placer in 2018, and I expect that trend to continue this year.”

Wauseon is projected to win the NWOAL, followed by Delta, Archbold, Liberty Center, Patrick Henry, Swanton, Montpelier, Bryan and Evergreen.

Assisting Becher are Cody Ruffer, Grant Burkholder, Aaron Babcock, Larry Soles, Garrett Grime, David Dominique, Alex Lopez, Zach Meyer, Colton Soles, and Trevor Short.

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