Brandon Williams had a strong junior season for Central. He qualified for the state tournament at 120 pounds. He lost his first two matches, but would still finish with 31 wins on the season.
He is ready to learn from his experience at state and make it further this year.
“I want to wrestle 120 this year and I expect to make it to state and place,” Williams said. “I learned last year that state is really tough and I was not fully prepared for it. I learned from my losses and have been working hard in the off-season. At the summer FCA Camp with Isaiah Martinez I learned a lot about what it takes to be a good wrestler.”
Freshman Max Skolnich could make an immediate impact after a strong summer where he won a couple of Greco tournaments.
Senior Alex Huston (220 pounds) along with juniors Gabe Fletchall (195 pounds) and Jerry Gaylor (126 pounds) and sophomore Chance Maples (160 pounds) all return after wrestling varsity last year.
Fletchall has big goals for himself and his team.
“This year my main goal is to qualify for state. Once I get there, I hope to win some matches. I know I will have several tough opponents and personal roadblocks to overcome, but this preseason has put a little fire in my heart. I feel like the work I have put in in the preseason with our coaches has assisted me a great deal. I believe it has also helped the team,” Fletchall said.
One new wrestler to watch is Mykola Kyiv Liubimov. The junior has experience overseas at the Ukrainian National Tournament.
Central will face a new challenge this year by joining the Ozark Conference after a long time as an independent.
“I am excited about joining the conference tournament because that will be another opportunity for my wrestlers and team to place at conference. We will also have a chance to face some district opponents,” Coach Brian Pyck said.