BY ED WRIGHT
Dec.. 1, 2009, 6:15 p.m.
Wouldn't you know it? Just as the Plymouth wrestling team was getting health and starting to find its groove, last season ended.
If the Wildcats can figure out how to funnel last season's momentum into the start of this year, promising things will be on the horizon for Coach Quinn Guernsey's team.
"Last year, we had injuries and a lot of other stuff that happened at bad times and it cost us some dual meets," Guernsey elaborated. "It cost us things like where we placed in the conference standings, things like that.
"We actually started to turn it around with the Observerland tournney, where we wrestled up to our ability. We finished higher in Observerland than teams that had beat us earlier. Hopefully, we can start this year right where we left off last year. That's our goal.
There's a lot to like about this year's team, Guernsey said.
"This year's team has a lot of intensity," he said. "These kids are real dedicate. A number of the returners from last year have really bought into the 'How do I get better' mentality. They've been doing whatever we've asked of them."
The Wildcats' catalysts will be senior captains Brandon Crowther (152 pounds), Robbie Barackman (160) and Ryan Schultz (145).
"Brandon, who is a four-year letterman, is one of those kids who is a do-as-do leader. He's not super loud, and he doesn't get in people's face. He just sets an example -- a high example for kids to follow and emulate.
"Robby is a good captain, a good leader. He's more of a quiet guy. He'll go up to a guy and say, 'Hey, lets push a little harder, and he'll push himself just as hard. He'll say, 'Come with me and let's do this together."
"Now, Ryan is the verbal one. Heis the one who is yelling at the guys as a team. He'll shout, 'Come on guys, we can go harder. Guys we can pus ourselves more. Guys we can do better than."
It's nice that we have three different types of captains because they can relate to the kids in different ways. They know what they can say to each kid."
Guernsey said he is cautiously optimistic about his line-up this winter.
"We should have at least some pretty good lightweights," said Guernsey. Shadi Jammoul should have a good year at 103. He did a lot in the off-season, probably more than any other wrestler on the team. He was at all the open mats in the area. I'm looking for good things from him."
Pencilled in as the Wildcats' 112-pounder is Alec Breckenridge, whose skills defy his ninth-grade status.
"Statistically our best returner is Said Youssef, whose at 119, Guernsey said. "He gives you all you want."
At the other end of the spectrum, the 'Cats will be led by heavyweights Wally Eppler and Jordan Birman, both of whom made lofty contributions to the Wildcats' football team in the fall.
"They'll probably split time, but I expect both of them to do well," said Guernsey.
Other key starters include Jimmy Ahearn (135), Barackman (160) Jackson Chalmers (160), Curtis Crosier (171), Crowther (152), Brett Echols (130), Eppler (285); Shadi Jammoul (103), Aaron Jones (130), Chase Kallil (125), Nick Rizzo (130), Ryan Schultz (140) Ziad Tamimi (135) and Brendan Varner (189).
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