Following a second-place finish at the district duals this past weekend, the Carroll wrestling team is looking bring home a district championship this coming weekend, a goal that coach Joe Hathaway said he believes his team is more than capable of accomplishing.
The Dragons wrestling squad was without three of its starters when it finished second to Keller Central at the district duals, but Hathaway said his team performed well regardless.
“It went pretty well,” Hathaway said. “I was pretty happy with our showing since we had three of our starters out.”
Hathaway said he has been impressed with how his team has performed to this point in the season.
“We're looking very good,” Hathaway said. “We've got a lot of guys that are getting better and better each time they come into practice. It's starting to show when they compete, now. It was a younger group, with a few seniors to anchor. The seniors have really come around and the younger guys are wrestling very well.”
Hathaway said he has a couple of wrestlers that are competing very well and should lead the team at district.
“Michael Basler is a senior and returning state placer,” Hathaway said. “He is arguably the best 165-pounder in the state right now. Cameron Gonzalez is a senior, and he has also been doing very well this year. Jack Duval is a sophomore, who is competing well for us.”
Gonzalez wrestles at 152 and Duval wrestles at 145 pounds.
Hathaway said that Zach Francis at 182 is also wrestling very well, and said his female wrestler, Adara Bumpass, is having a strong season.
Hathaway the objectives for the district meet are to get wrestlers from each weight class into the top four places.
“We want to qualify all of our wrestlers for the regional tournament,” Hathaway said. “The top four go to regionals. It would be mean 14 out of district, which is a very attainable thing. We ended up sending 13 last year. The big thing about district is that it is a really good measure of how well rounded you are.
“Regionals and state tend to be how good are your best kids. District tells us how well we are doing from top to bottom in our line up.”
Hathaway said that another big objective for his team is a district championship.
“I think it is very attainable,” Hathaway said. “Our district is very good and very deep this year. So it's going to be something where it is going to come down to our guys going out and picking up bonus points in their individual matches and all that stuff is going to add up.
“It's going to be a close one, and it should be a fun tournament that comes down to the last few matches.”
The district meet will take place on Jan. 24-25 at Northwest High School.