Head coach Randy Roark said the varsity line-up was completed on Tuesday, Nov. 20, but expects several wrestlers could win challenge matches throughout the season in the middle weight classes, making for a competitive season in practice.
Lebanon returns two state qualifiers in sophomore Dylan Burns (113) and junior Nick Brown (170). Burns was a win away from earning a medal at the Missouri Class 3 state championships at 106 pounds last year, but moves up to 113 this season.
"We are solid, we have a lot of extra guys," Roark said. "It's not just varsity and JV, and some of the weights we are three and four deep. I'm not sure who is going to varsity after each wrestle-off. We've got good depth in our middle weights.
"If they slack, who knows who is going to be varsity?"
Roark said wrestler retain their position if they win a dual or tournament, but can otherwise be challenged at the following practice.
"That first wrestle-off (preseason) is real important," Roark said. "At those middle weights, those matches are real important because there are a lot of guys that are about the same caliber. If you are slacking off at practice and the other guys are working hard, they are going to catch you quick."
Other seniors who return are Austin Lundgren (120), Lane Wilson (182) and Shawn Dalangin (220). Rich returns for his senior season after moving away to Florida following his sophomore year at LHS, and Dalangin returns after suffering a season-ending knee injury during the Ozark Conference tournament last year.
Junior John Rogers returns after wrestling at 120 last season. Rogers is a two-year starter who moves up to 132 pounds this season.
Rogers is one of five juniors who will open the season in the varsity line-up for LHS this season. He joins Brown Tyler Bates (138), Brandon Smith (160) and Tyler Schmitt (195).
The 'Jackets will open the season with three freshmen in the starting line-up, Logan Beushausen (106), Chris Young (126) and Adrian Palmer (152).
Roark said a potential weakness for the 'Jackets is a lack of depth in both the lower and higher weight classes. LHS has four wrestlers in the 106, 113 and 120 weight classes and six total in the 195, 220 and 285.
"We are short on little guys and big guys and have lots in between," Roark said. "Usually we are loaded (in the higher weight classes)."
The 'Jackets will be looking to sophomore Dusty Lucas to compete at heavy weight. A light heavy weight, Lucas weighs 230 and wrestled at both the 195 and 220 weight classes last season.
"He will have to use his speed at heavy weight," Roark. said. "But he should have a good season, he's tough."
Roark said senior Austin Beushausen, a varsity starter last season, suffered a recent injury, but will compete for a varsity spot once he returns. Other seniors are Matt Lazo (145) and Dennis Yettaw (195).
Lebanon will open at home on Nov. 27 against Jefferson City, then compete in the Neosho Tournament on Dec. 1. The 'Jackets will compete in the Missouri Duals, Wildcat Duals at Springdale (Ark.) Har-Ber, the Kansas Duals in Parsons (Kan.) and the Capital City Invitational in Jefferson City.