Olympus wrestlers have high expectations for new season
Dec 10, 2019 12:55PM
● By Josh McFadden
The Olympus wrestling team has started preparations for the new season. The team placed seventh at the Class 5A meet a year ago. (Photo courtesy of Devin Ashcroft)
By Josh McFadden | [email protected]
Despite losing their best wrestler to graduation, the Olympus Titans might be even tougher this season than last.
The Titans placed seventh at the Class 5A state meet in February, highlighted by the individual title from Isaac Wilcox in the 160-pound class. Wilcox was one of the state’s most dominant wrestlers, but his departure hardly left the cupboard empty for Olympus.
Head coach Devin Ashcroft returns an experienced, eager group for the 2019–20 season. The Titans bring back nine returning state qualifiers, plus a few other talented competitors looking to make the strides. Ashcroft isn’t shying about laying out his objectives for the season.
“Our goals are to win the region championship, place in the top five teams at state, have two to three individual state champions and place five or more wrestlers at the state tournament,” he said.
He’s got plenty of proven athletes. Sophomores Noah Paxton, Isaac Wirthlin and Ashton Thorn excelled as ninth graders last season. Junior Stan Butera also placed at state as a sophomore, while seniors Cameron Wallace, Owen Hall, Tyson Dahle and Emerson Conlon are hungry to once again advance at the state meet.
Though he’s optimistic for a successful season, Ashcroft knows his wrestlers have plenty of improvements to make.
“We need to work hard, develop stronger technique and learn to work together as a team to help individuals succeed,” he said.
Though they didn’t place at state last season, team members Jacob Giauque and Dahle should bolster the Titans’ outlook. They bring added depth to the squad, something Ashcroft said is a defining strength of Olympus wrestling.
“We will be really deep in numbers and talent in our upper-weight classes,” he said. “We have lots of experience and solid leadership qualities. They help us to feel more like a team than we have in the past.”
Ashcroft opened practice for the Titans on Nov. 11 in preparation for the first meet, which was set for Nov. 27 at Granger. He’s excited to see how his wrestlers have developed since last February when the 2018–19 season ended.
One of the biggest challenges Ashcroft said his team faces is getting enough experience for his upper-weight wrestlers. By the time state arrives, he wants a team full of seasoned, battle-tested competitors.
“I’m looking forward to see how high of an achievement each wrestler can get,” he said.
Olympus’ first home meet will be Dec. 5 against East.