Good mix of youth, experience on the mats for West Holmes

By KEVIN LYNCH Staff Writer Published:

Coming off an exciting season that saw several of the top wrestlers graduate would leave most coaches contemplating a career change.

West Holmes had three state placers last year and finished 14th overall as a team. For veteran West Holmes coach Jeff Woods, he sees the influx of good, young wrestlers coming into the program as reason to look forward.

Plus, having one of those state placers to build around is always a good place to start.

Senior Max Rohskopf is coming off a third-place finish last year at 138 pounds. He will be heading to North Carolina State on a wrestling scholarship next year.

"Max is set to have a good season," Woods said.

Heavyweight Tyler Singleton has enjoyed an outstanding season on the football field, and the coach hopes that carries over on the mat.

The Knights are pretty solid through all weight classes with a mixture of youth and experience.

"We've got some guys in the wings who have been in and out of the varsity lineup, like Lane Darr, Grayson Miller, Zeb Fry and Jack Shearer," Woods said. "We've got some guys there with experience, so the cupboard's not completely empty.

"Then we've got another group of sophomores that are very inexperienced but are decent athletes. Then we've got our freshman class coming in that had an awesome eighth-grade year, winning the state duals. We will probably see four, five freshmen in the lineup this year."

Some of the freshmen expected to break into the lineup include Woods' son Cole.

"I tend to be over-critical of my son," Woods said. "I hope he enjoys his experience."

Other newcomers include Josiah Allison, Damon Harris, Jed Hendershott, Michael Kahuba and Mitch Tyson.

Weight certification has the Knights' coach concerned.

"Usually you have a week or two for weight certification so you can get guys down to weight," Woods said. "This year, we're going to be walking guys out of football practice to get their weight. We'll be stuck with whatever the kids weigh, that's what they're going to be wrestling."

The veteran coach is going to have to be patient as the seasons overlap.

"This is going to be one of those years where we get better every week," Woods said. "I'm hoping football goes all the way to the state finals. To me, all that matters is sectionals, district state anyhow. I couldn't tell you what my record is. After 23 years, I forget things. It's all about state placers and state qualifiers, anyhow. It's going to set us back, but it's not going to kill us.

"Hopefully, we can start peaking at the right time," Woods added. "These guys aren't going to get much of a break going from one sport to another. I might have to take that into consideration on some of the practices."

Want to leave your comments?

Sign in or Register to comment.