EXETER – After using strength in the lower weights to move up through the ranks of the Wyoming Valley Conference in recent seasons, Wyoming Area wrestling coach Steve Mytych thinks his team could show better balance in the upcoming season.
“Usually we’re loaded down low and we don’t have upper weights,” Mytych said. “This year, we have upper weights.”
The Warriors return four wrestlers who won at least 24 bouts last year and five who finished in the top four in the District 2 Class AA Tournament.
Wyoming Area finished 3-2 in Division 2 of the WVC last season and 14-8 overall in dual meets. It placed third in the District 2 Class AA Dual Meet Tournament and fifth in the team scoring of the district championship tournament where individuals trying to win their own weight class to advance to regional and, ultimately, state competition.
Patrick Heck leads the group of returnees, who have an impressive set of credentials.
Heck went 30-10 and finished second in District 2 at 132 pounds after winning district titles at 106 and 120 as a freshman and sophomore.
Zach Briggs, Justin Joseph, Adam Buczynski, Kendrick Beyer also return.
Briggs had the best record of the returnees. He went 31-7 and finished fourth in the district at 152 pounds after winning the district title at that weight in 2014 as a sophomore.
Joseph won 14 bouts while wrestling at as high as 220 as a freshman, but was down at 182 for districts and placed third.
Buczynski went 28-14 and took fourth at 170.
Beyer was 24-9 and was fourth at 138 pounds. He reached the 2014 district final at 132 pounds as a freshman.
Mytych is also hoping to be able to get Frank Yurek back.
Yurek, a senior, won 16 bouts at 220 and 285 last season before suffering a serious arm injury in the district tournament, leaving his status uncertain.
Sophomore Dan Kosko, a part-timer at 120 and 126 last season, is also back.
Zach O’Brien, who won five bouts two years ago, is back in the program and could help at 170 pounds.
The Warriors suffered some key losses.
Charlie Johnson, who placed fifth in the state last season, could not get an eligibility issue resolved and transferred out of state for his senior season, Mytych said.
Tyler Vince, who placed fourth in the district at 106 pounds, transferred to Wyoming Seminary.
With half of the lineup filled by experienced varsity wrestlers, the other half will likely come from those who came up through the school’s junior high program.
Sophomore Brandon Williams is at 106 pounds.
Robin Wroblewski (120), Tyler Martin (126), Steve Sokach-Minnick (145-152), Rick Semanek (152), Jared Polit-Moran (170) and Damon Barheight (275) could all work their way into the lineup.