Seven starters return to the Monett Cubs wrestling squad from the Class 3A state runner-up team of last season.
"This year's team will try to reload from a very successful senior group that saw three members continue their wrestling careers at the next level," said Monett Coach Daryl Bradley.
"We are very young with just a little varsity wrestling experience," Bradley continued. "The coaching staff hopes that the kids we have will step up and continue to compete at a high level. Obviously our ultimate goal is to compete for a state title every year. We hope this year will lay the groundwork for a run at the title next year."
Returning starters include state champion junior Ethan Davis; sophomores Carter Huffmaster and Chris Renteria, both state qualifiers last year; juniors Juan Renteria and Clayton Patton, and sophomores Zack Irwin and Levi Neely.
Other returning lettermen are senior Tyler Going, sophomore Matt Schiffner and juniors Jacob Childress and Marcus Enloe.
Also on the team is senior Ty Irwin, who did not wrestle last year but was a starter as a freshman and a junior varsity wrestler as a sophomore.
Newcomers to the program include sophomores Bryan Beckwith and Cody Hartman, and freshmen Cade Liles, Kurran Blamey, Brice Watson, Nicholas Roberts, Corey Skipper, Devon Overall, Jacob Kennedy, Joey Albrecht and Christian Romero.
"Overall, we will have a strong line up in the middle weights but up top we just don't have the numbers in the upper weights to give our selves a chance to win a lot of duals," said Bradley. "It's hard going into a match having to give up 18 points and expect to win a dual. I think we can be a good tournament team.
"We will host districts this year for the sixth time in the 10 years that I have been a part of the program," Bradley continued. "I am really excited about that opportunity as it gives our kids a better shot at qualifying for the state tournament.
"I believe that our kids are working hard and will give their best night in and night out," Bradley said. "I'm excited about this team. I think that good things will continue to happen for the MHS wrestling program."
Monett will open the season Dec. 3 at Branson.
The remaining varsity schedule is as follows: Dec. 12, Carl Junction Tourament; Dec. 20-30, Springfield Holiday Tournament; Jan. 7, Republic here; Jan. 9, Monett Tournament; Jan. 14 at Carl Junction with Nixa; Jan. 16, Branson Tournament; Jan. 21, Seneca, here; Jan. 26 at Springfield Central with Ozark; Jan. 29-30, Seneca Tournament; Feb. 2 at Bolivar; Feb. 4, Joplin here; and Feb. 6, Diamond Tournament.