Wildcats Wrestling Team Will Be Eight-Wrestlers Strong
The Wildcat wrestling program is under the helm of third year head coach Mike Owens, a former River Local, Ohio athlete. Owens will be assisted by Mike Shreves, a Wildcat assistant football coach. With 8- wrestlers on the roster with 7-weight classes being covered for Paden City.
Leading the way will be 4-year starter Doneven Clarke (160,) 3-year starter James Beaver (182) and (285) first year Reece Blatt to lead the way for the Wildcats.
Sophomore returnee Jasup Spragg has become a pretty good wrestler last season will fill the 120 pound weight class, as well as fellow classmate Thomas Sprull in the 195 pound class will give the Wildcats some added muscle in their teams third season of wrestling in school history under their belt.
The Paden City Wildcats are hoping this season will be their next step toward respectability among Class A schools will also have (285) junior strongman Logan Fluharty as well as (132) Tobin McEldowney and (113) Colby Campbell to fill out their roster.
Coach Owens and Shreves is pushing hard to get the program moving in the right direction. “I feel the program is already heading in the right direction. Last season we had a few tough kids but no real experience. We lacked depth and were unable to be competitive, because we couldn’t fill the weight classes,” Coach Owens said.
“We lost a good wrestler in Michael Shreves to graduation and we’re going to miss him,” Owens added.
Owens likes the outlook for the 2019-20 season and is optimistic the team will reach the goals it sets.
“It’s still early, but I like what I see in this group. They are hard workers and are willing to learn. “We have 3-seniors, 1- junior, 3-sophomores and 1-freshmen on the squad. I expect the seniors to be leaders and help the younger kids learn the ropes and guide them along,” said Owens.
Back from last season is a very tough kid in Clarke who is the is the only-4-year wrestler, while Beaver and Spragg had some success last season. All three have good technique and has developed some good moves. With their strong upper body and a great attitude, all three should be very competitive and a hard draw for every opponent they will face.
These three guys along with the rest of the team has set some personal goals and will be working hard to stay on the winning side.
Last season Clarke won a couple matches and was close in nearly every match. He had the experience of competing in the giant OVAC meet and the state regional’s. Clarke and Beaver are capable of coming out on top in almost every meet. Their speed, strength, agility and willingness to win also give them an edge before the season even gets underway.
“Every one of these 7-athletes are important to this team. We need them all and look forward to helping them improve and becoming better wrestlers with each meet. Some of these younger kids are really surprising us with their work ethic and the way they are picking up on the moves. We watch them close to make sure they stay injury free while also encouraging them to give extra effort to become winners,” Coach Owens said.
The Wildcats open the season with all their matches on the road again this season starting with Union Local in the Rick Link Invitational Dec. 7 starting at