Marshfield wrestling is looking to continue its ascension under coach Matt Holt. Last year the Blue Jays sent four wrestlers to the state tournament, which was just the second time in program history that multiple Marshfield wrestlers made state.
Three of those qualifiers return led by state placers Clay Wilson and Travin Plemmons. Wilson, who was an overtime loss in the semifinals away from wrestling for a championship, finished sixth at 182 pounds. Plemmons was sixth at 220 pounds.
Both wrestlers have had big summers in preparation for their senior seasons.
“They absolutely got after it this summer. It was great for the young guys to see. We would do some drills where you are in for two minutes and out for one. When they were supposed to be out they were wrestling for that minute that they were supposed to be off,” Holt said. “Him (Wilson) and Traven absolutely cranked it up in the wrestling room this summer. Their intensity has gone up. They find the best people in the room and get after it.”
Jordon Irwin qualified for state at 170 pounds, but he sustained a concussion at the district tournament and was unable to wrestle in Columbia. He is back healthy and ready for a run at a state medal.
“He is a whole different person right now. He has gotten into the weight room and his numbers are just going up, but he has actually dropped a weight class,” Holt said.
He is expected to wrestle at 170 pounds this year.
The 195-pound weight class vacated by graduated fourth-place finisher Deryl Vannostrand will be taken by sophomore Daylon Kanengieter.
“Daylen is a second year wrestler. Last year was his first year and he is explosive. He is a freak athlete,” Holt said. “He lost three matches on JV last year and after Christmas he didn’t lose a match.”
He has also been greatly helped by training with Wilson and Plemmons each day.
“He is right there in the middle of those guys between Clay and Traven. Those are his workout partners, so he has really had no choice but get better. He had a phenomenal summer,” Holt said.
Ruger Leppert, Will Snider and Isaiah Ragsdale are a trio of juniors that all came up one match short of state last year and return this season.
Marshfield has a record 55 wrestlers out this season, which includes 10 girls in the first year of girls wrestling as a MSHSAA sponsored sport. Roselyn Richardson has some experience from last season at Marshfield. Shylo Bogue and Alle Ragsdale are two more girls to watch for the Blue Jays.
The Blue Jays join a tough Big 8 conference this year, which is a welcome change for Holt.
“It is awesome (joining the Big 8),” Holt said. “It is going to be a tough tournament going down there and seeing those power houses. It is just going to help us that much more getting ready for districts.”
The goals are big for Marshfield this year with three placers and three more wrestlers who were in the district bubble match returning.
“I would like to see us take that next step. I want to take more kids to state. We were able to take four kids to state last year. It was our first year with multiple state qualifiers and second time in school history,” Holt said. “Our expectations are to again take multiple people and put multiple people on the medal stand. We did everything we could to toughen up our schedule. We may have a few more losses than we have had in the past at the end of the year, but hopefully our kids are ready (for districts).”