With his nascent program now entering its third season, Mid-Carolina wrestling coach Kyle Cannon knows its time to step up the intensity. The days of taking baby steps are over.
“We had a lot of guys, around 50, who came out and are interested in the sport that is still fairly new to Mid-Carolina, but only time will tell who will remain at the end of the season,” said Cannon.
“We’ve done some good things but we have a lot of work to do on the mat and I look forward to seeing just how hard these guys are willing to work. I am definitely going to push them to the limits this year.”
The Rebels finished 11-11 last season, but the Region 3-2A challenge will be much greater this season with the addition of established 2A powers Broome and Woodruff, along with Emerald.
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“Hopefully we can be very competitive with all the teams in our region and send a couple individuals to the state tournament,” said Cannon.
The returning standout is senior B.J. Gibbs, who sports a 72-7 career record and made headlines by winning a state championship at 215 pounds in his and the team’s rookie season in 2009. He was the runner-up at heavyweight a year ago.
Senior Martez Wadsworth, senior Drew Ricard, junior Hunter Thompson, junior Dakota Murphy, junior Will Cook, junior Markevius Gary and sophomore Zane Spigner are the other returning starters.
Sophomore Zach Branch and freshmen Kaderius Gray, Kevin Choi and Travis Amick are promising ndewcomers who will challenge for varsity times.
“We are in a situation where were are returning almost everyone from last year, however some of them look like they may end up in the same weight class or close to each other, meaning some of my younger less experienced guys may have to step into the line-up early in the season,” said Cannon.