PREVIEW: Returning state qualifiers to lead Wildcats

The Maquoketa Valley wrestling team, first row from left: Parker Sternhagen, Canyon Richardson, Mitch Smith, Aden Atwell, Tim Harmon and Dylan Lane. Second row: Deecel Staner, Tanner Parmely, Robert Hildebrand, Carter Kruse, Carter Stahlberg and Zach Digman. Third row: head coach Tim Andrews, Dylan Happel, Norman Wilson, Chance Downs, Evan Elgin, Carson Wright, Chance Kemp, Mason Kruse and assistant coach Brian Wegmann. Not pictured are Michael Feldmann, Cole Kruse and Isaac Kramer. (Photo by Pete Temple)

     Two of Maquoketa Valley’s four individual state qualifiers lead the Wildcat wrestling team as it heads into the 2017-18 season.

     Ninth-year head coach Tim Andrews said that will be one of the team’s strengths this season, as it works to try to replicate last year’s 30-4 campaign.

     “We should have some depth in the lineup, as well as five seniors to lead the way,” Andrews said. “Returning a couple of state qualifiers will also help in terms of showing the younger guys that this is where we want to be.”

     Sophomore Chance Downs, who will likely wrestle at 145 pounds this season made the state tournament awards podium last season with a seventh-place finish, and was 36-15 overall.

     Norman Wilson, a junior, went 25-9 and won a match at State. He is slated for the 170-pound class.

     The Wildcats return three other letter-winners: seniors Cole Kruse (30-10 last year), Mitch Smith (29-14) and Robert Hildebrand (19-20).

     Five freshmen could make an immediate impact: Zach Digman, Evan Elgin, Tim Harmon, Carter Kruse and Parker Sternhagen.

     Lisbon, Andrews said, is the heavy favorite in this year’s Tri-Rivers Conference. The Lions return all of their point-scorers from last year’s state championship team.

     MV’s assistant coach is Brian Wegmann.


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