Detroit Lakes wrestling boasts balanced lineup
There is a good mix of veteran leadership and youth on the Detroit Lakes wrestling team for the 2009-10 season.
There will be some high ceilings for the lighter weight portion of the lineup, with several seventh and eighth graders seeing their first varsity action, while DL will be seasoned in the latter part of their matches.
"We have a good opportunity this season, but we do need our experienced wrestlers lead the team along," said DL head coach Rob Ullyott. "We could have some very good balance this year."
With a season-opening victory over section favorite Perham already underneath their belts, the Lakers are moving right along already.
Senior Alex Feldt returns to anchor down the middle to heavier weights at 171 pounds, after a trip to the Class 2A state meet last year.
"Al will be our big leader on and off the mat and that's an important part of our team success," Ullyott said.
The Lakers are deep starting up top at 103.
Up to eight different wrestlers can fill the slot, but it will be sophomore Gabe Foltz' to lose, though.
"Gabe was our starter last year, but this is the most depth we've had at 103 in a long time," Ullyott said.
Those who will potentially see time includes freshman Zach Baker and a host of seventh graders.
Seventh-grader Nate Francis will have his opportunity at 112, along with freshman Austin Soyring and sophomore transfer Scot Ullyott.
The 119 spot will be filled by veteran junior Mike Bellefeuille, after he started at 112 last season.
Seventh-grader Parker Jackson will make his varsity debut at 125, while junior Matt Morris will also be a contributor.
"We do have some young guys starting up top for us, but that will be exciting to see that youth," the DL coach added.
Last year's starter sophomore Tony Sims is back at 130 and will be backed up by Brandon Daring.
Another green and youthful wrestler will see action at 135 in eighth grader Jarett Nosel, with freshmen Casey Holt and Justin Reineccius seeing time on the mat, as well.
Experience will not be lacking at 140 with junior Justin Tweeton returning, which starts a strong part of DL's lineup.
At 145 and 152, seniors Garrett Foltz, Travis Sims and sophomore Travis Kienitz will give solid depth.
Senior Nate Duchene will start the season on the sidelines with an injury, as junior Jordan Jones will start out at 160.
Feldt will be DL's anchor at 171, with senior John Palubicki seeing time, while sophomore Ben Gailfus will be the team's 189 pounder after improving last season.
The 189-215 weights will also see junior Brice Dutton contribute.
The experienced and solid heavyweight Justin Holm returns, along with sophomore Cole Pudwill.
There also will be a bevy of other wrestlers vying for mat time throughout the season, providing the Lakers with valuable depth during a long winter season.
"Hopefully our balance will be our strength," Ullyott said.
The Lakers will have an advantage practicing in their new facility on the east side of DLHS.
"From a pure practice standpoint, it will be phenomenal for us," Ullyott added.
Fergus Falls and Perham are the preseason frontrunners in the section, while other contenders will be DL, Staples-Motley (last year's runner-up to Perham) and Thief River Falls.
The Lakers (1-0) continue their schedule at Mid-State Conference and section foe Staples-Motley, as well as Crosby-Ironton, Tuesday for a 5 p.m. start.
The 2009-10 Detroit Lakes wrestling schedule:
8 at Crosby-Ironton
15 at Morris
18-19 at Cass Lake-Bena Tourney
22 at Crookston
9 at Perham
12 at Park Rapids
14 Moorhead at D-G-F
19 at East Grand Forks
23 at Thief River Falls
30 DL Invite Tournament
4 Fosston and Thief River Falls
9 at Pine River
11 at Frazee
20 Section at Thief River Falls
26-27 Section Individuals at Cass Lake-Bena
3-6 State meet at Xcel Energy Center.