Brian Becher, Archbold head wrestling coach, welcomes back 14 letterwinners for the 2017-18 wrestling season.
The Streaks lost four lettermen from last season, including state runner-up Noah Mattin.
Back to lead AHS is senior Gavin Grime (145 pounds), who placed eighth last year in his second trip to state.
Returning district qualifiers are seniors Trevor Short (220 lbs.) and Anthony Gonzalez (285 lbs.), junior Gibson Burkholder (182 lbs.), and sophomores Dawson Liechty (113 lbs.) and Shane Eicher (120 lbs.).
Colton Soles (160 lbs.) is the other senior returning wrestler, followed by juniors Zach Rocha (132 lbs.), Austin Baker (145 lbs.) and Kasyn Schaffner (170 lbs.), and sophomores Juan Garcia (126 lbs.), Gavin Seiler (132 lbs.) and Brennan Short (138 lbs.).
“We should be able to put a guy at each weight that can be competitive,” said Becher. “We have a better distribution of our weights than we have had the last couple of years.”
Becher sees Wauseon as the prohibitive Northwest Ohio Athletic League favorite, with Swanton second and the Streaks third.
“We have only one wrestler with state tournament experience,” said Becher.
“We expect to have a majority of our lineup represented at the district tournament in Defiance, and a few guys wrestling on Saturday (March 10, 2018) in Columbus.
“The NWOAL once again has some outstanding teams and individuals. Wauseon returns a number of quality wrestlers from a team that finished as dual meet state runners-up.
“With St. Paris Graham Local electing to move up to Division I for the state duals, Wauseon would be considered the favorite to win a dual meet state championship.
“Swanton returns almost their whole lineup from their team that qualified last year for the state duals.
“Delta lost one of the best wrestlers the NWOAL has ever had in Drew Mattin, but returns two of the best kids in our league, and has the best incoming freshman (Zack Mattin).
“Liberty Center has made great strides in the last two years. Liberty Center’s kids impress me in that they all wrestle hard no matter what the score is.
“The depth of our league may not be what it once was, but the top guys at each weight class will most likely be wrestling on Saturday (March 10) in Columbus.
Assisting Becher are Cody Ruffer, Grant Burkholder, Aaron Babcock, Larry Soles and David Dominique.