Bulldog wrestlers aim to ‘find a way to win’ this season

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Members of the MFL MarMac boys wrestling team include (front, left to right) cheerleader Amara Buchheit, manager Morgan Radloff, wrestlers Rylee Kugel, Wyatt Mohs, Bryce Radloff, Keith Anderson, Jarett Hanson and Clayton Freese, manager Hailey Bouzek and cheerleader Addison Buchheit; (middle) cheerleader Mel Crook, manager Savannah Schaller, wrestlers Quinn McGeough, Holden Mathis, Dayne Kohrs, Dracen Howe, Caleb Zuercher, Will Howes and Mason Overton, manager Devon Meyer and cheerleader Katiya Danilin; (back) cheerleader Alexis Ross, coaches Chet Bachman and Chip McGeough, wrestlers Austin Schaller, Nolan Lerch, Taylor Herzmann, Karter Decker, Ryan Beisner and Averey Thornton and coaches Mike Meyer, Collin Stubbs and Tracy Decker. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, Times-Register


The MFL MarMac wrestling team features a mix of experience and youth this season, according to head coach Chet Bachman.


While the team will miss state qualifier Tristen Koehn due to a knee injury, two other qualifiers—senior Karter Decker and junior Bryce Radloff—return.


Decker is looking for his fourth trip to state, and Bachman is optimistic considering Decker had his best opening week of practice since his freshman season. Health is a key factor.


“I’ve never been able to sit down and work on technique with him, and we’ve already started going there. He hasn’t been able to sprint in the room in two years, and he’s sprinting. That’s a really good sign. He’s really got some potential,” Bachman said. 


Decker wrestled at 160 pounds a season ago, up a slot because state runner-up Gabe McGeough was at 152. Bachman expects Decker to be at 152, or even less, this time. That, paired with his height, will make the senior a tough opponent.


“If you have length and you’re wrestling kids who are shorter than you, you’ve already created an element that is difficult before you even begin,” the coach stated.


Bachman also sees good things for Radloff, who will likely wrestle at 138 again.


“He has firmed up good,” Bachman noted.


Other Bulldog returners include district qualifiers Holden Mathis and Keith Anderson. Mathis, a junior whom Bachman described as “hungry,” will fill the 132 weight. Sophomore Anderson, “a tough, hard-nosed worker,” will be at 113.


Senior Taylor Herzmann, who Bachman has watched continue to progress since joining the team as a sophomore, will wrestle at 220 pounds, while sophomore Quinn McGeough will be at 160.


McGeough “is very seasoned,” said Bachman. “He’s a good athlete, hard worker and listener. Great attitude. Doesn’t say much, just works.”


Mostly younger wrestlers will fill in the remaining spots. That includes the 106-pound and heavyweight “bookends” of Wyatt Mohs and Will Howes. Both have AAU experience, but now it’s time to translate that to the high school level—what Bachman described as the “ups and downs, the grinds, the Saturdays.”


“You have to manage that,” he added. “The 106 pounder knows what he’s doing. The heavyweight knows what he’s doing. They’re just young.”


Freshmen Clayton Freese and Jarett Hanson will cover the 120- and 126-pound range, and sophomore Rylee Kugel could fit at 138 or 145. Freshman Dayne Kohrs will likely be at 170, sophomore Austin Schaller at 182 and junior Nolan Lerch at 195.


The postseason format will look different this season, with the elimination of sectionals. Athletes will wrestle only at districts to qualify for state. One of those districts will be at MFL MarMac.


“That will be the craziest day, maybe, that this gym has ever seen in wrestling,” Bachman said.


The state tournament itself will also be different, with an expanded field to 24 wrestlers in each weight class. While some feel this waters down the event, Bachman isn’t worried.


“If there’s a kid who gets in who you would’ve thought never could get in, to me that’s more joy and more confidence in that kid’s life. That’s what we need in today’s world,” he stated. “If you’re good and you have a good attitude and work hard, you have a chance now. It doesn’t change anything for me.”


For Bachman, the goals are to be both mentally and physically prepared by the end of the season.


“We have to be here every day, putting in the work. Find a way to get it done,” he said. “‘Find a way’ is our motto this year. Find a way to win.”

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