"(Fellow coaches) Charles Michael and Kit Eifert have done a great job so far this season with instilling the mental toughness that it takes to be good in this sport," head coach Seth Harrell said. "We have some guys that have a lot of experience and that are looking to build off of successful seasons last year."
Though the Bulldogs lost Josh Carlyle to graduation this past spring, they will return fellow all-stater Blake Angle who will enter his junior year seeking his third-straight trip to state.
After finishing with a 40-11 record and sixth in state his freshman year, Angle once again qualified for state in his sophomore campaign while going 37-11 overall.
With reaching the state tournament being the main goal of each wrestler, Harrell sees having someone who has been through it as a big advantage.
"Having Blake in the room helps a ton because he has been there before and he understands the hard work and competitive fire that it takes to get there and do well," he said.
Though the top finisher last year, Angle won't be the only top talent returning from last year's squad.
Cody Middleton, Jacob Stinnett, Greg Smith and Dustin Ruby all were just a win away from going to the state tournament and all come back this season looking to take the next step, except for Ruby whose season was cut short due to injury.
They will be joined by newcomers Dustin Wells and Faylon Marshall, both seniors, who Harrell thinks have enough experience and talent to have a good season.
While Harrell thinks his team has the talent and leadership to go far, he knows success this year comes starts with the basics.
"We want to win matches in the third and the ones that can do that have to have good technique and great endurance," he said. "Technique and conditioning is our main focus."
|D.2||at Dexter, 6 p.m.|
|D.4||at Principia Tourney, TBA|
|D.8||at Cape Central, 6 p.m.|
|D.11||Sikeston JV Tourney, TBA|
|D.15||NMCC, 6 p.m.|
|D.17-18||Tiger Classic, 5 p.m.|
|D.27||at Cape JV Tourney, TBA|
|J.4||Poplar Bluff, 6 p.m.|
|J.6||at Anna Jonesboro, 6:30 p.m.|
|J.8||at Vianney, TBA|
|J.8||at Jackson JV Tourney,10 a.m.|
|J.12||Ste. Gen/Windsor, 5 p.m.|
|J.20||Jackson, 6 p.m.|
|J.21-22||at SEMO Tourney (Cape),|
|J.27||at Jackson, 4 p.m.|
|J.28-29||at DeSoto Tourney, 6 p.m.|
|J.29||SEMO JV Tourney (Jackson)|
|F.1||at NMCC, TBA|
|F.4||Park Hills/Herky, 5 p.m.|
|F.11||at Districts, TBA|