Trojan grapplers to field largest team in years
Trojan wrestling coach Scott O’Hare knows what it’s like to be shorthanded.
He had to make do with one of his smallest teams a year ago with the Trojans well short on filling all the weight classes.
The shortage made points hard to come by at Saturday tournaments, and Hillsboro was often competing with half of the 10 wrestlers out to make for quick duels.
O’Hare can breathe a sigh of relief.
For the first time in five seasons, he should be able to fill all the classes with 16 wrestlers on the roster.
“If we stay healthy and with a bit of shuffling, we will have the ability to fill all 14 weight classes,” O’Hare said. “We’re excited to get into the competitive part of the season to see where we stand and get a better feel for exactly what we need to work on as a group.
“Right now we’re just focusing on basics techniques and positioning concepts.”
With a good deal of experience back from a year ago, O’Hare’s got a more knowledgeable group than he has in the past.
But the senior trio of Kyle Horton, Lane Flaming, and Connor Morey took last year off after competing two years ago.
O’Hare looks for the trio to set a good example for the underclassmen and come in everyday ready to work.
Injuries kept junior Raymond Johnston from ever getting on the mat last year.
One match was all that separated the 120-pound Johnston from qualifying for state as a freshman, finishing 28-13.
If Johnston can return to his freshman form, he’s one who could challenge for a ticket to state.
Like Johnston, one of the Trojans’ two wrestlers from Canton-Galva, junior Andre Patton, just missed qualifying for state, going 22-19 on the year.
One of the grittier wrestlers O’Hare’s known for having, Patton gives the Trojans a scrappy wrestler for either the 152- or 160-pound class.
Wins were hard to come by for Canton-Galva junior Taryn Norstrom during the regular season.
However, she found success after the season was over competing in all-girl tournaments, including a third-place finish at the Kansas Girls’ State Championship meet.
“This is a very athletic group of juniors with a fair amount of mat time,” said O’Hare. “I expect good things from them this year.”
Sophomore Jordan Bachman was the Trojans’ lone state qualifier a year ago, competing at 126 pounds.
This year, Bachman figures to step up either at 132- or 138-pounds.
O’Hare’s has a plentiful sophomore class, but outside the 170-pound Austin Rempel, the trio of Paul Glanzer, Jared Janzen, and Zach Dittert are new to the sport.
“We are just looking for them to continue to improve daily and remain patient through the process,” O’Hare said of his first-year sophomores.
A quartet also fills out the freshmen class, but three-fourths have several years of experience from the Hillsboro wrestling program under their belts.
Fillow Cruz is the sole freshman new to the sport, likely filling in at 195 pounds.
The 126-pound Eli Dalke is scrappy and made giant strides every year he competed in kids’ club and middle school.
Garrett Helmer and Tristan Rathbone, too, are coming off successful middle school seasons, but how quickly they can adjust to the high school level of competition will be key.
“I’m excited to see how they progress with the higher level of intensity and with their increased maturity level,” O’Hare said.
“We believe this could become a very competitive group if they continue to improve and focus on the process rather than just the outcome.”
Last modified Nov. 28, 2018