EDGERTON — Edgerton’s wrestling team lost a two-time Division III district qualifier to graduation in Jordan Warner, but still has a three-time qualifier coming back.
Senior Hayden Herman (120 pounds last season) made a trip to districts every year in his career so far, finished sixth in his weight class last season, won the Green Meadows Conference title and was second in sectionals while winning his 100th career match.
“Hayden has actually taken it upon himself this offseason. Ever since his freshman year, I’ve told him he needs to improve on his upper-body strength,” fourth-year Edgerton coach Tom Nye said. “... He was concentrating on trying to make 113 his sophomore year, so I think he was worried about putting on mass. And then I basically told him his sophomore year he was spending too much time cutting weight instead of getting better.
“I told him he was not going 113 no matter what his junior year, and he just had a better mindset. I think he enjoyed it a lot more, not concentrating on his weight so much and literally came within a couple points of making it to state... I think it’s really flipped for him this offseason. He’s been going to every open mat, going everywhere he can to get on the mat to be ready to go this year.”
Herman fronts an experienced team. Junior letterwinners Blake Flower (second at 182 pounds at GMC, fifth at sectionals), Justin Huffman, Jordon Hohler and senior transfer Anakin Scott bring experience and aim to “be the strength and experience of the team,” Nye said.
Nye said junior Raymond Barlow and sophomores Shaun Murphy and Elijah Martin will “need to build on their experience and confidence.” Seniors Cole Tackett and Drew Osmun, junior Jeromy Gonzales and freshman Ava Herman round out the rest of the Bulldogs’ roster.
“They’re all really good in the practice room, and I think that has been passed down through the last few years of them seeing how these guys practice day-in and day-out,” Nye said. “I push them as hard as I think I need to push them, but they also take it upon themselves... They’re willing to be pushed and want to get better.
“And we still have fun, and that’s always been my biggest thing. If they’re not enjoying it, they’re not going to want to get better. I think they’ve just learned from each of the upperclassmen each year that we can go in and put in our time and we can get better and we can have fun doing it and see the results on the mat.”