2016-17 wrestling preview: Marshfield


By Kary Booher

As wrestling has gained a foothold in the Ozarks, one program to keep tabs on is one out in Webster County. That’s where coach Matt Holt and the Marshfield Blue Jays are trying to build a winner.

In fact, Holt’s heart is so much into it that he and his wife, Amy, bought a house in town.

“The job just kind of fell into my lap (two years ago), and it has been the biggest blessing. I wasn’t expecting that when I took the job,” said Holt, who wrestled at Nevada High School in the late 1990s and early 2000s. “My goal 10 years ago was to be a head football coach. Now I have no desire to do that.”

Marshfield and Holt have reason to be optimistic as the curtain rises on a new wrestling season. For one, the Blue Jays enjoyed success last year in finishing second in the Central Ozark Conference-Small behind Buffalo and winning 15 of 22 duals, an uptick percentage-wise from an 18-11 dual record the prior year.

Plus, Holt anticipates 35 wrestlers on the roster to open practices. That is a major increase from nine the year before his arrival.


Even better, he is not a one-man army. Holt also is flanked by assistants Adam Wright, who wrestled at Ozark High School, and former Lebanon wrestler Chris Britt, the brother of Lebanon football-wrestling standout Justin Britt, now with the Seattle Seahawks. Holt himself spent several years as an assistant at Class 2 power Monett, mentoring under coach Daryl Bradley.

“We’ve kind of built a family atmosphere,” Holt said. “We had a get-together for the kids and we all but one of the 35 come to the house, and the one who didn’t make it had to work.”

Marshfield’s projected lineup features: freshman Raymond Moore at 106, Bryan Yarbrough at 113, sophomores Nick Hill and Nick at 120, junior Patrick Wilson at 126, sophomore Jacob Kolb at 132, senior Zach Fritz at either 138 or 145, sophomore Zach Kurre at 138, sophomore Klayton Brooks at 145, freshman Clay Wilson at 152, senior M.J. Jenkins and freshman Jordon Irwin at 170, sophomore Deryl VanNostrand at 182, freshman Travin Plemmons and sophomore Tristen Burton at 195, junior Chance Totten at 220 and senior Devin Myers at 285.

Patrick Wilson needs about 20 wins to reach his 100th career victory. Kolb is a three-year starter. VanNostrand won 40 matches a year ago. Another name is Chris Crotinger, who missed last season because of a knee injury but was 29-18 as a sophomore.

“We had a lot of kids show up this offseason,” Holt said. “We had six or seven every night in the spring. In the summer with open mats, we had 25 three days a week. They’ve definitely put the work in. Hopefully we continue to see that success.”

Holt is eager to see how it all translates in the room early in the season. Part of his optimism stems from the end of last season, when several wrestlers were on the brink of advancing to the state tournament.

“We had a lot on the bubble match (at districts) last year,” Holt said. “We hope we can take a few this year.”

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