Columbia’s fledgling wrestling team is looking to make progress this season. The Capitals did not win a match a year ago, which wasn’t surprising considering coach Joe Lovier only had six wrestlers at his disposal.
But with the prospect of a fuller line and a year of experience, Lovier is guardedly optimistic about pulling out at least couple of wins this winter.
“We are looking forward to a great year,” said the Columbia coach. “We seem to have a full team this year and I have five returning starters who should do well in region competition this year.”
At the top of the list is junior Trey Leonard (161-170), who went 26-8 last season and was the first region champion in program’s brief history. He came up one win short of qualifying for the state tournament.
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“Trey has the potential to go to the state tournament this year and make people notice him,” said Lovier.
The rest of the returning vets include junior Christian Reed (125), sophomore Da’Vonne Montgomery (130) and junior Jerry Johnson (189). All three finished second at the Region 4-2A championship meet.
“Christian has the potential to have a break out year. He has worked hard in the weight room this summer and is trying to fine tune his technique. He could be dangerous,” said Lovier. “Da'Vonne is a team captain of the team and looks to take home his first region title this year. Jerry has all the technique needed to be very successful this year. He worked hard in the weight room and could be a big factor in this years team.”
Junior Joseph Johnson returns to the lineup after sitting out last year. Lovier said Johnson is “a strong young man with a lot of potential.”
Here are the coach’s comments on the new members of the team:
“Freshman Trey Harper (135) came up from the middle school team. Trey will compete in his first varsity season and could do well this year. No one works harder or is more dedicated then him.
“Two newcomers to watch out for are sophmore Dee Brown at 103 and freshman Randy Medina at 112. They are working extremely hard and have the potential to win a few matches this year. “Jamie Miller is a freshman competing at 119 and is the younger brother James Miller. “Ronald Bridgette is a sophmore in his first year wrestling and he will compete in the 135/ 140 weight class.
“Antonio Gieger is a senior wrestling at 145 lbs. He is a strong athletic young man who is constantly working hard everyday in practice. He could be a sleeper for our team come January and February. “William Childs is a freshman competing at 152 lbs. This is William’s first year wrestling and is learning everyday.
“Jordan Jacobs is a junior and will compete in the 171 weight. He is a first year wrestling with good talent “Tyreese Coaxum is also a junior in his first year and will compete at 189. Tyreese is a strong wrestler and can fill some gaps for us. “Malcolm Brown is a senior in his first year wrestling and will compete at the 215 weight class. He is the older brother of Dee Brown. Malcolm is working hard everyday and can win some matches this year. “Demytrio Willis is our heavyweight. He is a junior and coming off an all-region football seasonr. He has the potential to win a lot of matches this year and really help Columbia High become successful. “If we can keep the lineup we have, we should be a competitive team. We will take our lumps and bruises but we're building and we won't be forfeiting 9 weights this year. This is a good group of guys we have on our team and we look forward to having a successful year."