El Dorado Springs wrestling qualified one wrestler for state last season in Keilan Jaques. He qualified at 195 pounds last year, and will be looking to make a deeper run in the state tournament as a senior.
“Keilan learned the importance of metal preparation and mental toughness when competing at that level. He has adjusted his training to emphasize these traits within his training this year,” El Dorado Springs coach Travis Payne said. “I expect Keilan to work to improve upon his record from last year and compete for a conference and district title. I also see Keilain as a team leader that will work to help all the members of the team to improve throughout the season.”
Jaques will remain at 195 pounds this season.
Cade Whitsell (senior – 132 pounds), Hunter Boyles (junior – 145 pounds), Blake Johnson (sophomore – 285 pounds), Kaden Julian (sophomore – 138 pounds), Roger Partridge (sophomore – 170 pounds) and Taylor Wingert (sophomore – 152 pounds) are all wrestlers that have stood out thanks to their offseason work and dedication according to Payne.
Payne has a strong group of seniors leading the way this year. In addition to Jaques and Whitsell, Dylan Gallette (220), Cameron Hargrove (160/170) Bryson Rader (170) and Kaleb Raff (160 pounds) will give the Bulldogs a strong senior class to lean on.
Garin McCullick, Skyler Mansell, Trey Graves, Destin Malek and Duane Perkins are also returning varsity wrestlers.
Senior Lance Smith, junior Jordan Gallette and freshmen Jace Shinn, Josh Haberle, JT Pope, Preston Smith, James King, Hayden Overton, Lance Smith and Brayden Moser will be some new wrestlers to watch.
El Dorado Springs will join the Ozark Mountain Conference this season after years as an independent.
“The new conference will create tough competition against some very successful wrestling programs,” Payne said. “Being a part of the conference provides us with the opportunity to compete for a conference title. It also provide the athletes with the opportunity to receive all conference recognition for their hard work and accomplishments.”
Payne expects a strong season with a deep roster and good leadership this season.
“I expected to build off of the success from last season,” Payne said. “We have a great group of seniors that have the ability to lead the team to this success on and off the mat.”