After a successful 2011- 12 campaign, the Archbold wrestling team, under Brian Becher, head coach, looks to 16 returnees for leadership.
The Streaks finished with a 36-8 record last year, claimed sectional and district titles, and were dual meet state runners-up.
Individually, the Streaks had 12 district qualifiers, four state qualifiers and three state placers.
In 10 seasons at Archbold, Becher has compiled a record of 333-81-1.
Returning letterwinners include seniors Justin Arce, 106 pounds; Brendan Manz, 132 lbs.; Ben Eggers, 138 lbs., state qualifer; Justice Zimmerman, 145 lbs.
Junior letterwinners are Kenny Price, 138 lbs., state qualifier; Cory Rocha, 145 lbs.; Koltin Zimmerman, 152 lbs.; Eli Hammersmith, 195 lbs., district qualifier; Travis Jaramillo, 220 lbs., state qualifier; Preston Klopfenstein, 220 lbs.
Sophomore letterwinners include Damian Short, 113 lbs., district qualifier; Zach Meyer, 113 lbs.; Matt Petersen, 126 lbs.; Jesse Rocha, 132 lbs.; Blake Baden, 145 lbs.; and Logan Day, 152 lbs., district qualifier.
The Streaks lost a talented group of seniors to graduation: Jordan Cowell, a state champion; Austin Ripke, a state placer; Kellen Seaman, Oliver Stuckey, and Tyler Rufenacht, district placers; and Jose Hernandez, a district qualifier.
“We lost a fantastic senior class,” said Becher. “We have very few upper weight wrestlers.
“There are some boys at Archbold not playing basketball that could help our team, but have chosen to not wrestle.
“Some are under the false impression that with a lack of experience that they cannot be successful; some have a false impression that simply lifting weights will make them a better football player; and some simply are not willing to make all the necessary sacrifices of such a demanding sport.
“We have three returning state qualifiers and three other guys that have wrestled at the district tournament. We expect them to provide great leadership and the other guys to follow.
“We have a great freshman class.
“We have guys on our team that expect to win because of the amount of work they have put in since the end of last season, and with that attitude they will be winning matches in Columbus.”
As far as the Northwest Ohio Athletic League looks, Becher said that Wauseon returns a great team for dual meets. Delta also looks to play a mix into the league race.
“Delta has three returning state qualifiers and one of the best freshmen in Ohio,” he said.
“I expect Delta to finish in the top three at the state meet.
“Bryan has a returning state placer, and I expect that they will ride their football success into the wrestling season.”
Archbold opens the season by hosting the Blue Streak Duals at Defiance College, Friday and Saturday, Dec. 7-8.