By Chris Chaney
The Goshen wrestling team has some big headgear to fill as the Warriors begin their first season in five years without perennial state qualifier and two-time state champion Chaz Gresham suited up in the red and black. However, Coach Dallas Rise has a new crop of talent ready to take to the mat and restore Goshen wrestling back to a Southern Buckeye Conference power.
“We’re pretty young,” Rise said. “We have eight sophomores, one senior and one junior, so we’re young, but we have expectations to perform well.
“We have a freshman who came in with a lot of experience and one of the sophomores is a returning district qualifier. We’re young, but we’re still expecting good results.”
The Warriors’ season is just as young as its team is with only one quad match and one tournament to their credit so far in 2012-13. The team competed in a dual match at Reading High School Thursday, Dec. 6 where they wrestled Batavia and Reading and then they competed in Xenia Invitational on Saturday, Dec. 8 in which the team finished in the middle of the pack.
“(The season’s) gone alright,” Rise said of the first two events of the season. “We beat Batavia and lost to the Reading at our quad match. Then at our tournament, the Xenia Invitational, we finished fifth out of about 10 teams.”
As the Warriors begin to settle in to their season and weight classes, Rise is looking for big years out a couple of his more experienced wrestlers.
“We have a kid named Connor Rahm, who is a 152- or 160-pounder,” Rise said. “He’s a senior and he has been working really hard and should do really well. And then his brother, Tanner Rahm and he’s going to be either a 126- or 132-pounder.
“Then we have a freshman who will wrestle at either 120- or 126-pounds. His name is Trey Atwood. He’s really good and goes around and does a lot of club stuff in the summer. And then there is a 138-pounder, Sterling Briggs, he should have a good year.”
Goshen has a pretty tame month of December as far as matches go. The team will only compete two more times before New Years, once in a tournament and the other in a tri-match. The Warriors will compete in the Coaches Classic at Harrison on Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 15 and 16 and then a few days later on Dec. 19 against Little Miami and Monroe.
While the team is sure to bump into their fellow Southern Buckeye Conference opponents along the way, Rise hasn’t let the conference aspect really become clear yet.
“Well, (league) is just so far away with as long as the season is and with the injuries that happen during the season…it’s hard to say,” Rise said. “I think the league is a little down this year, but I’d have to say that I think Bethel is the early favorite. They’re tough this year and they’re going to be hard to beat. Same with New Richmond, Western Brown and Blanchester. They’re going to be hard to beat, too.
“We’re just going to have to work hard all season and hope we stay healthy and try to be competitive at the end of the year.”