Stillwater Wrestling Preview: Pioneers young but talented
Originally Posted on the Stillwater NewsPress Website
Graduating four-time state champion Chris Perry would be hard on any program, but Stillwater High is looking to adjust quickly.
Despite losing Perry and other top wrestling seniors last year, the Pioneers want to start strong, but they'll have to wait for their first real test.
SHS begins the 2009-10 season at 7 p.m. tonight at Bartlesville, which only has about a half dozen weight classes filled. SHS coach Doug Chesbro said the Bruins have a couple of good wrestlers, but that won't make up for the other eight weights they'll likely forfeit.
Regardless of whom they're facing, Chesbro and the Pioneers are eager to see how well they adjust without the seniors they lost.
"In the course of time, you're going to have kids move on," Chesbro said. "We've been fortunate this year to have a family move in with a couple of good wrestlers."
That family is the Beans. Luke and Blake Bean are fresh into Stillwater this year and fresh off football season last month. The linebackers are fitting into the Pioneer mix at 189 and 215 pounds, respectively.
"Add them to already state runner-up heavyweight Travis Morgan and that's three tough kids in the upper weights," Chesbro said.
Along with Morgan, Chesbro pegged Blake Bean and 119-pounder Jared Elmore as guys to watch this season – at least without seeing his roster in action much yet.
Elmore finished third at last season's state tournament. He's bumped up a weight from 112, and looks to be picking up where he left off in last year's success.
"They (Morgan and Elmore) don't look to have dropped off any," Chesbro said. "If they can start off where they were last year, they'll be in pretty good shape. I'll be looking to rely on them, even though they're both underclassmen."
In fact, most of the SHS roster this year will be sophomores. However, there's a smattering of upperclassmen in the mix. Senior Reed Clanahan jumped up two weights to 171 this year. Chesbro said it will be interesting to see how he reacts to being twice removed from his previous class.
"He's a heck of a lot stronger," Chesbro said. "He's a bigger, more physical kid now."
Also bringing the leadership only seniors can, Brandon Morrison and Jessie Rains "have bided their time and waited and waited," Chesbro said, and now it's their year at 140 and 145 pounds, respectively.
Another familiar name, Jase Depperschmidt has bumped up to 125 pounds from 119, where Elmore now resides. Those two shifts bring in newcomer Kyle Rogers, fresh from the junior high.
Also stepping up to varsity level are junior Derek Burris at 160 pounds, sophomore Daniel Marshall at 130 and sophomore Angus MacIntyre at 135. This will be MacIntyre's second year to wrestle — ever.
"I love to watch him (MacIntyre) wrestle," Chesbro said. "I'm looking forward to seeing him compete at the high school level."
Chesbro added he hasn't been able to fill the 103 slot, but is hopeful that some junior varsity standouts from last year will be able to take on the role. Right now, the Pioneers also have a void at 152 pounds.