By Travis Smola
Bulldog wrestling has had a rough few seasons recently, but things are really looking up for next year after the boys wrapped up their 2017 campaign.
Head Coach Ed Knapp’s primary goal was to get the wrestling program back on track. It definitely seems to be heading that way. “I think we’re off to a good start,” Knapp said.
While total records for the year weren’t anything outstanding, three boys placed at conference, including some first-year wrestlers. Junior DJ Bullock placed third in conference in the 171-pound class. Junior Joshua Holmes placed fourth as a 145-pounder. And senior Jeremy Henderson placed third at 130 pounds.
One Bulldog made it through to Regionals. Senior Luke Finney won one and lost two at the regional round.
Knapp believes the team should have defeated opponents like Plainwell, Three Rivers and Otsego down the stretch. But he also said the experience is extremely important in learning the technical aspects of blocks and counters so vital to wrestling success.
He also gave a lot of credit to his coaching staff for working hard with the boys and making them believe in what they were doing.
This year the team also finally had the depth to compete in more weight classes. It should be more of the same for the near future, especially with newer talents incoming from the JV team. “We’ll have 13 or 14 of those kids back next year,” Knapp said.