MONTPELIER — Montpelier’s wrestling team has a solid combination of returning letterwinners and newcomers for the 2021-22 season.
Fronting the returners are seniors Monte Treesh, who went 19-12 last year, and Landon Brigle (17-19). Both made it to the Division III district tournament at Rossford High School and led the 7-13 (2-3 Northwest Ohio Athletic League) Locomotives.
It was also the pair’s first trip to districts.
“(Treesh) decided at the end of the year he was finally going to start working hard,” said Montpelier coach Troy Roth, who is entering his 21st year at the helm. “So that’s up to him if he’s going to put the effort into working and to continue to make himself better.
“... So he’s going to have to find it within himself that if he wants to be wrestling down in Columbus, then he’s got to work hard in the room. That’s got to be all up on him.
“Landon Brigle would be another returning district qualifier (and) if he wants to be able to do the same thing, then he’s got to be able to put the effort in — and he knows it. These guys are seniors. They know it’s their last go-around, so they’re either going to put the effort in or they’re not.”
Joining Treesh and Brigle as returning letterwinners are senior Andre Aguirre, juniors Ashtyn Mason and Makaya Crisenbery and sophomore Jacee Altaffer.
“We had a conversation with everybody in the room that if they truly want to get better, they’re going to work hard,” Roth said. “... Some of the other seniors that we have are still trying to learn the sport... I think they just want to be better at what they’re doing.”
Crisenbery and Altaffer, in their first year of wrestling, qualified for the Ohio High School Wrestling Coaches Association girls state tournament as well after posting top-four district finishes in their respective weight classes. Crisenbery posted a 1-2 at 121 pounds at state, while Altaffer went 0-2 at 111 pounds.
Roth said sophomore Devon Richmire and Jayden Cretors have also looked promising early on in the preseason.
“We have many newcomers to the program, so inexperience will also be a factor,” Roth said. “The kids are practicing very hard and we will keep getting better as the year goes on towards the end.”
Roth also added this year’s group is motivated to win, learn and grow, which makes them a coachable group.
“(It’s a) very enjoyable group to coach... We will cover most of the weight classes this year which will help in dual matches, but again, we will be very inexperienced as a whole,” Roth said. “... This year will be exciting for us as we have many athletes who want to be good at this sport, so getting them to work hard will be an easy thing to accomplish.”