Jackson hopes to reload after great season

Thursday, November 22, 2001

Jackson has fielded some impressive wrestling teams over the years but last season ranks as one of the program's best in quite some time.

The Indians, featuring eight state qualifiers -- including one champion -- posted a fourth-place finish in the Class 4A state meet, the squad's best-ever showing in the state's largest classification. And they had seven all-staters, the most since 1982.

"We really had a great season last year," said Jackson coach Steve Wachter, whose squad posted an 8-2 dual-match record, with the losses being to 3A state champion Farmington and 3A runner-up Ste. Genevieve. "We had some super kids and they all worked really hard."

But gone off that squad are several graduated standouts, including 215-pound, undefeated state champion Ray Goodson along with 130-pounder Brett Stroud and 171-pounder Mark Wade, who finished fourth and sixth in the state, respectively.

In addition, Michael Wright, who posted a second-place state showing at 119 pounds as a freshman, has moved to Ohio.

"We lost a lot of good kids from last year and Michael moving is a big loss," Wachter said. "I don't really know what to expect, but we have a lot of hard-working kids so I think we could be good again."

Despite losing the aforementioned standouts, the Indians do return quite a bit of talent from a year ago, including four state qualifiers.

Senior James Love, a two-time state participant, placed third at 152 last season as he posted a 34-10 record. Love will likely be at either 152 are 160 this year.

Senior Ricky Feiner, another two-time state qualifier, finished sixth at 135 a year ago as he went 35-8. Feiner will probably be at either 135 or 140 this year.

Also sixth last season was sophomore Brock Howard, who went an impressive 37-6 as a freshman 103-pounder. Howard will probably be at 112 this year.

Rounding out Jackson's returning state qualifiers is senior Luke Wade, who went 26-15 at heavyweight. Wade could be either at heavyweight or 215 this year.

Also returning for the Indians is senior Seth Harrell, who advanced to sectionals and went 24-16 at 189, where he will also be at this year.

Other returning varsity performers and the weights they are expected to compete at, along with varsity records from last year, are senior Justin Rice (145, 19-17), junior Matt Kahle (171, 9-6), sophomore Ben Walker (125 or 130, 11-4 before suffering a season-ending knee injury) and sophomore David Sweeney (125 or 130, 4-8). Kahle went 15-0 on the JV level.

Wrestlers up from last year's JV who figure to compete for regular positions, along with their JV records, are senior Gabe Koehler (171, 23-1), junior Colby Lohman (heavyweight, 25-1) and sophomore Lance Berry (160, 25-1). Senior Pete Ressler (heavyweight) missed all of last year with a shoulder injury but he went undefeated on JV as a sophomore.

Wachter is also high on freshman Paul Feiner (103) and Cody Rouse (135), who could make their way into the lineup.

Jackson opens the season Tuesday at home against New Madrid County Central.

Respond to this story

Posting a comment requires free registration: