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Small wrestling squad has big aspirations
Written by Staci Gasser   
Thursday, 06 December 2012 00:00

Mingus Union has a small wrestling group this year, but it still has that potential to bring home victories all season long.

Mingus Union High School sophomore Allen Vinson and seniors Chase Reams and Norbert Mesa, from left, work out Tuesday,  Dec. 4, with other members of the school’s wrestling team in Cottonwood. Wrestlers with the team prepared in the offseason by conditioning, lifting weights, having open gym sessions and going to Camp Verde High School every Wednesday for exhibition matches.The team is missing wrestlers in five to eight weight classes, but according to new head coach Ryan Montgomery, in classes where Mingus does have wrestlers, they are strong.

“We have two returning state placers from last year and could have five or more this year,” Montgomery said.

MUHS has been known to have one of the premier wrestling programs in the state and came home last season as the Division III state runner-up. They were also the runner-up team the season before and have won five state championships in the last ten years.

“They are young this year; but expect big things,” said Mark Owens, MUHS athletic director. “They have been working real hard in the offseason, and Ryan brings fresh ideas and high-level techniques.”

Montgomery came to Cottonwood from Southern California where he coached high school wrestling in a large school system for five years. He also was a Division I college wrestler at Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Mo.

“Coach Montgomery is a great coach,” said senior Chase Reams, a Marauders wrestler who hasn’t lost a match yet this season. “He has already taught me a lot.” Montgomery said not being able to get enough students to come out for wrestling has been the biggest challenge he has faced so far as the new coach.

“There were past wrestlers who didn’t come out this year,” Montgomery said. “We should have 14 varsity wrestlers and a full junior varsity team, but we don’t.”

Seniors Hank Goettl, Dylan Wilber and Reams will be the wrestlers to watch in the 145-, 152- and 160-pound weight classes respectively, as well as new Marauders’ girl wrestler, Reni Gallan, a transfer student from Parker High School who is nationally-ranked in the 106-pound weight class.

The wrestlers have been preparing in the offseason by conditioning, lifting weights,

For the full story, please see the Wednesday, Dec. 5, issue of the Cottonwood Journal Extra.


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