By Brock Sisney (For OzarksSportsZone.com)
HOLLISTER — Hollister wrestling returns seven starters for the upcoming 2020-21 season, with five seniors forming the core of the team.
The five seniors are Derek Dutton, Lucas Bare, Rylan Newell, Christian Mayfield, and Danny Gimlen and junior Layton Newell and sophomore Grant Jones round out the returners.
Hollister head coach Jeff Engel said that freshman Gage Moore should crack the starting lineup and that the freshman Moore and the senior Dutton have especially stepped up in leadership roles for the Tigers heading into the season.
Hollister’s lone state qualifier from last season, 126-pound Damien Pera, graduated. Pera finished third in the Big 8 and districts, and wrestled to a 38-11 overall record.
Mayfield recorded a 5-4 mark last season wrestling at 160 and Bare went 9-30 at 138, Rylan Newell 12-13 at 145, Gimlen 4-6 at 285, Layton Newell 11-18 at 132, Dutton 6-31 at 113, and Jones 15-25 at 106.
Moore won a Big 8 title in eighth grade.
Fourth-year head coach Engel succinctly said that he would like his hard-working Hollister squad to be a competitive dual team and they need to be coachable to be successful this season, and that the COVID-19 virus has caused the wrestling program to be flexible and adaptive.
Hollister competes in the 14-school Big 8 and the conference landscape features the two-time defending Class 2 state champions Monett and the two-time defending Big 8 champions and perennial state title contender Seneca.