Weatherford Lady Kangaroos wrestling coach Read Sanders doesn't wrestle with his thoughts when it comes to his team.
Entering this season he thought they would be strong again - and they are.
With six returners from last season's powerhouse program and three very solid newcomers, the Lady Kangaroos are once again one of the more formidable programs in the state.
"We Should win the district title again, for the third year in a row, but we will have to earn it.," Sanders said.
The Lady Kangaroos are in great shape to do just that. The list of returners includes:
▪ Senior Alex Herle, 119 pounds, three-time state qualifier and two-time state placer.
▪ Junior Erin Mance, 95 pounds, returning state qualifier.
▪ Junior Elizabeth Newby, 119 pounds, returning state alternate.
▪ Sophomore Genevieve Jackson, 215 pounds, returning state alternate.
Camille Fournier, a freshman at 102 pounds, is the top newcomer, a world team member. Another freshman who has caught his attention is 110-pound competitor Katelynn Snyder-Jones, who won the prestigious Arlington Tournament early in her high school career.
The Lady Kangaroos had a dominant performance in their own Outback Invitational. They were led by Fournier with a first-place finish, while Mance, Snyder Jones and Jackson placed second, Ana and Jessica Luna (110 and 148, respectively) were third, and Newby and Carissa Kelly (165) were fourth.
The Weatherford boys also had a strong home showing, placing second. They were led by first-place finishes from Travis Prince (152) and Nate Moore (160), with second places from Alex Espinosa (113), David Amoro (145) and Zach Watson (170). Austin Herle (106) was third and Taylor Watson (126) fourth.
They also won the annual Pre-Christmas Tournament at Chisholm Trail. Fournier and Herle took first, Mance was second, and Luna, Kelley and Jackson each took third.
Even without a full team to open the season, the Lady Roos finished second as a team in the elite Arlington event. Mance , Herle and Newby each took second, Fournier was third, and Jackson was fourth.
They also placed second as a team at the tough Eaton Duals, winning eight matches and losing one.
Those were followed by a first-place finish in the Frisco Liberty Quad event, going 3-1.
When asked about his team's greatest strength, Sanders noted, "We have a great team bond and good work ethic."
He then added about an intangible that could factor in their success, "Our girls learn quickly and are coachable."
They also did a lot during the off-season to further their skills. Mance was a national champion and world team member who traveled to Tubilisi, Georgia in Russia this past summer.
"We are expecting big things from her this year," Sanders said.
Also Fournier is a national champ and traveled to South America, placing third in the Pan Am competition.