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The John Hardin Bulldogs want to raise expectations in Mike Mitchell’s second year in charge of the program. And with higher goals in mind, the Bulldogs are more confident.
Returning nearly every wrestler from last season will do that for a team.
In all, John Hardin has 17 wrestlers back – including 12 varsity starters.
“I expect continued growth as we experienced success last year,” Mitchell said. “We have a lot of experience coming back this year and I want to grow on that experience.”
The most experienced returnee is senior Wade Holtsclaw, who went 5-3 and finished sixth at State at 160 pounds last year. Holtsclaw will bump up to 195 this season.
Other returning varsity starters are seniors Destin Polk-Powell, Marquis Fleet, Noah Buchert and Patrick McDonald, juniors Andre Farris, Cameron Mattingly, DaQuan Deville, Eric Tollefson and Henry Crowdus, and sophomores Dakota Prichard and Derek Armer.
Other returnees include seniors Domonick Brown, Kalen Dickerson, William Parker, Keefry Humphrey and Vincent Motley, junior Bryan Evans, sophomore Yousef Atiyani and freshman Warren Tucker.
“There is nothing different from last year,” Mitchell said. “I want the wrestlers to continue to learn about the sport and continue to have fun. I think all our guys could do well at State, and I believe the season will unfold as I plan. I am looking forward to the season.”
The Bulldogs’ starting lineup isn’t completely set yet, but Mitchell said it could feature Atiyani at 106; Crowdus at 113; Armer at 126; Tucker or Evans at 138; Fleet at 145; Parker at 152; McDonald at 160; Buchert or Dickerson at 170; Deville, Farris or Tollefson at 182; Mattingly, Motley or Prichard at 220; and Brown or Humphrey at heavyweight. Polk-Powell could also see time at 195.
John Hardin, which has 30 wrestlers in all, enters the season ranked 25th in the state by kentuckywrestling.com. Holtsclaw is ranked fifth at 182, while Fleet is currently ranked seventh at 138 and Mattingly 16th at 220.
Josh Claywell can be reached at (270) 505-1752 or firstname.lastname@example.org.