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With half of this year's Dutch wrestling squad made up of freshmen and sophomores, second-year head coach Dominic Surra expressed the hope that the team's hardworking nature will allow them to remain competitive.
"We also will have a couple of wrestlers in the lineup who have not wrestled for a number of years in the starting lineup," Surra said. "We are working very hard to help those kids catch up."
"Our team is very young, but we have a hardworking group of kids. We have good senior leadership and many underclassmen leading by example. We have nine returning letter winners back from last year, and that varsity mat time should prove valuable as our season goes on," Surra added.
Returning letter winners are seniors Ben Cheatle, Sam Miller and Evan Smith; juniors Alex Coudriet and Joe McLaughlin; and sophomores Josh Cameroni, Alex Feldbauer, Bill Gabor, and Tyler Yetzer.
Other members of the 2011 team are senior Ken Stage; juniors Dan Snelick, Gary Fledderman, Ryan Dippold, and Brian Carnahan; sophomore Brandon Mackie; and freshmen Raymond Dent, Willie McGonnell, Dylan Smith, Derek Taylor, Mike Wolfel, and Josh Zelinski.
Surra noted that the team's main goal is make it to the District 9 Team Finals and win.
"That is our goal every season," Surra said.
To achieve that goal, Surra explained that the squad will have to put in good efforts against traditionally tough rivals DuBois and Clearfield.
"DuBois and Clearfield will be the head of the class in D9 AAA," Surra said. "Both are traditionally tough matches year in and year out. DuBois returns almost their entire lineup from last year and should prove to be a formidable opponent."
Surra's coaching staff this season is comprised of Josh Meyer, first assistant, and Bill Meyer, second assistant. Tim Wurm is the head junior high coach, and he is assisted by Doug Taylor and Adam Resch.
Ultimately, Surra hopes the team is at least able to improve on their 8-9 performance last season.
"We have some lofty goals and our kids are working real hard and making big improvements in an attempt to achieve them. We are looking forward for the 2011-2012 season," Surra said.