DL Wrestling Preview - Lakers hope for balanced lineup
Balance will be a key for the Detroit Lakes wrestling team, as the upper weights gained good experience last year.
The Lakers were strong starting meets with their lower weights being a dominant force, while the heavier weights came in as an inexperienced and young group.
But with that seasoning last year, the Lakers should see more balance through the lineup, while being very strong in the middle.
"We will be counting on our guys in the middle, because we have a tremendous amount of potential there," said DL head coach Rob Ullyott. "We do have the same four wrestlers coming back in our heavier weights. Last year's experience was very helpful and all four put in some tough years."
Seniors Jason Griego (182-195) and Cameron Fritz (195-220), junior Kirby Siewert (220) and freshman heavyweight James Huwe all saw plenty of mat time last year, which should carry over to more potential success this season.
Down low, where the Lakers were very strong last season, has thinned out a little with the graduation of Gabe Foltz -- who is now wrestling at Concordia College -- and Bronson Spies, whose family moved to Colorado.
But the Lakers still will be formidable, with sophomore Tyler Bellefeuille starting at 106 pounds, along with state qualifier, sophomore Luke Payne at 120-126 and sophomore Nate Francis at 132.
Those experienced wrestlers will be a nice transition into the middle weights, where senior state qualifier Zach Baker (138), junior Luke Eggebraaten (145), sophomore and past state entrant Parker Jackson (145), juniors Brandon Dahring (152-160) and Jarret Nosal (152-160) will make DL strong.
"Our strength last year was in our lower weights, but the key will be balancing that out now with our higher weights," Ullyott said.
The Lakers will have some younger depth coming up through the ranks, with junior Jeff Gailfus expected to contribute at 160-170 and sophomore Logan Twigg at 132.
"Jeff was a fill-in last year, but he picked up good, valuable experience," Ullyott said.
The Lakers do have 40-45 wrestlers in the practice room daily, so the depth will be there to develop for the DL coaching staff.
The Lakers open the season Thursday against United Clay Becker in Lake Park, starting at 7:30 p.m.
Detroit Lakes wrestling 2012-13 schedule:
29 at United Becker Clay (Lake Park)
6 at Mahnomen
7 at Grand Forks
11 Crosby-Ironton and Staples-Motley (triangular)
14-15 at Cass Lake-Bena
5 at Perham Invite
8 Park Rapids
10 at Moorhead triangular
15 at East Grand Forks quad
19 at Thief River Falls
22 at Fergus Falls
25 DL Invite
31 Fosston and TRF triangular
5 at Wadena-Deer Creek triangular
16 Section team tourney at Thief River Falls
22-23 Section individuals at Fergus Falls.