With the temperatures dropping outside, it’s warming up inside as wrestlers from across the county prepare to begin their seasons.
Coming off a 2012 season with county, conference, sectional and regional victories, it will be very difficult for Danville to repeat that type of performance in 2013. Along with that team success, Danville seniors Neal Molloy and Brayden Montgomery, along with freshman Brock Hudkins, all made it to the state finals. Molloy brought home his second state title while Montgomery placed sixth and Hudkins finished fifth. Molloy and Montgomery’s production will certainly be missed.
“Not quite sure how we will adjust,” Danville coach Steve Pugliese said. “It’s our job as a coaching staff to find guys to plug into the system. For our program to be successful, we have to be more than one guy or one class. We knew going in that we would only have that class for four years, so now it’s time for other guys to step up and take advantage of the opportunity to compete.”
Hudkins is a good place to start as his deep postseason run gives the Warriors something to build around.
Elliott Molloy lost in semi-state in the ticket-punch round and only lost two matches all season last year. Isaiah Scherrer returns as a semi-state qualifier and Autry Pickens comes back to bolster the lineup.
“These four have experience that should help them in the state tournament series,” Pugliese said.
Looking to take the next step for the Warriors this season are Kyle Smith, Kody Caudle, and Brock Martin.
Despite the loss of 12 seniors, Pugliese still expects his squad to make a run at some hardware this season.
“Our goals don’t change,” Pugliese said. “We lost eight starters, but that doesn’t mean we give up on the team aspect. We are still preparing to compete for the county, conference and sectional championships.