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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Monett wrestlers ready to hit the mat

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Times Photo by Jared Lankford The 2012 Monett Cubs wrestling seniors are pictured above. From left, are: Austin Ross, David Garcia, Devon Overall, Corry Skipper and Brice Watson.
The Monett wrestling Cubs, under the direction of coach Daryl Bradley, look to improve one of the state's best wrestling programs this season.

"We have a good mix of experience and youth," said Bradley, who is in this 13th coaching season. "We should be able to compete with anyone on our schedule and place high in some tournaments."

Bradley's Cubs finished 12-6 last season. Injuries hit the purple and gold during the year but that didn't detour Monett from qualifying five wrestlers to the state tournament.

Bradley stated that he felt Monett could have contended for a state trophy if seniors Carter Huffmaster, James Ross and Matt Schiffner were healthy the entire season.

Monett also graduated seniors Cristobal Renteria, a four-time state qualifier, state champion (2011) and state runner up (2012) and Levi Neely who was 28-11 in matches last season.

"I miss them all," said Bradley. "My seniors did a great job."

Despite the loss of great talent, the Cubs are far from being fodder for their opponents.

"I expect us to be physical and fierce competitors on the mat," said Bradley. "I feel that if this group of kids can follow our three keys to success we will have a good season."

Bradley's keys are simple.

* Work hard

* Do your best

* Have fun

"I also feel that our district is wide open with the loss of Seneca and Odessa," said Bradley. "If some of the younger kids continue to work hard and develop their skills we can win a district title."

Returning for the Cubs this season are: sophomores Wesley Abramovitz, Jaron Beason, Kedric Brink, Jacob Negre, Keanu Reed and Dominick Witherow; juniors Chase Brennan and Matthew Wentz; and seniors Devon Overall, Cory Skipper and Brice Watson.

Brennan, Brink, Overall and Wentz all qualified for the state tournament last season, and the entire group of returning wrestlers were 283-137 in individual matches.

"We will be a tough hardnosed grinder team that is not afraid to face anyone," said Bradley. "We will be a decent duel team and an above average tournament team. We hope that leads to success at the state tournament."

The Cubs will add several newcomers to the mix. New wrestlers are: seniors David Garcia; juniors Kylar Eden and Shawn Beeson, sophomores Dalton Dunn and Ben Morris; and freshmen Sean Jastal, Bryce Logan, Ricky Grimaldo, Jorden Henson and Garret Bradley.

Ben Hohensee and Dakota Greenhaw are two new faces that will be assisting Bradley this season.

Hohnesee was on the coaching staff last year at University of Nebraska Kearney that won the NCAAA Division II national championship.

Greenhaw was a three-year starter at University of Northern Illinois.

"If the kids listen and follow the coaches lead," said Bradley. "They will get better and they will succeed."

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