MOUNT ORAB — Wilmington wrestling coach Kelly Tolliver knows the high school season isn’t made in early December.
So despite a pair of season-opening losses to New Richmond and Western Brown, Tolliver was pleased with his Hurricane squad.
“A lot of teams peak in December or January,” the veteran coach said after the match. “We’re pretty good about peaking in February, the way we structure our matches and our practices. Our kids know this is kind of like practice until league gets here.”
Wilmington was defeated first by New Richmond 44-34 then lost to Western Brown 54-18.
Posting wins against New Richmond were Jacob Boldman at 138, Isaac Allen at 145, Bryant Bergefurd at 160, Allister Brausch at 170, RJ Tolliver at 182 and Sawyer Garrison at 113.
Against the Broncos, winning Hurricane wrestlers were Boldman at 138, Brausch at 170, Tolliver at 182, Gage Smith at 220 and Alex Muslar at 285.
“We had a lot of new faces, too,” Tolliver said. “We have a bunch of juniors and seniors that just joined the team who have never wrestled before and they won some matches for us.”
Tolliver noted victories by Smith at 220 and Muslar at 285 in the match against Western Brown.
The coach also pointed out Briten Kessler, who lost a heart-breaker to New Richmond, has missed considerable practice and hasn’t even been on the mat in recent practices.
“He took one for the team with that one,” Tolliver said of his 195-pounder.
Tolliver said several of his lower weight-class wrestlers moved up a class, despite making weight at a lower class for this match.
“We’re fine,” Tolliver said. “We started out like this last year. We lost to Western Brown (to start the year) then when we came back against them in the state duals we beat them. We’re confident we’ll do the same thing this year.”
Reach Mark Huber at 937-556-5765, or on Twitter @wnjsports.