Wrestling preview: Wolfpack stars look to soar on the mat
Park may not field the toughest wrestling team to beat, but a few individual Wolfpack wrestlers look to have monster individual seasons.
"Individually, we've got some really good kids," Wolfpack coach Jim LaBrosse said.
Senior captains Garrett Whitehead, ranked No. 6 for 170 pounds, and Peter Oyebanji at 145 expect to have big seasons. Fellow senior Josh Ruiz at 152 and sophomore Antonio Davis, No. 9 in 195, also have goals set high for big winter.
"As far as a team, we're a little light down below," LaBrosse said. "Traditionally, we have a lot of good heavyweights, and we're a little low on heavyweights right now."
Park doesn't have enough starting-caliber wrestlers to field a full lineup, which will cost points in dual matches. The Wolfpack have 29 wrestlers out between varsity and junior varsity.
"We don't have depth in a lot of weight classes, so we're hurting on numbers," LaBrosse said. "Ideally, we need to get more kids out for the program."
LaBrosse does believe that a few more wrestlers could emerge for varsity during the course of the season and help close the gap on some opponents. He hopes to see his team finish in the middle of the Suburban East Conference.
Park opened its season at a tournament in Maple Grove Dec. 2. Whitehead, a returning state entrant, won 170 pounds. Davis placed second in 220, and Solomon Lankow took second in 138. Ovebanji finished third in 145.
The Wolfpack have a big early-season challenge ahead with Hastings and Forest Lake Friday followed by their home tournament Saturday.