The numbers are there for the VASJ wrestling team this winter.
So is the talent and the leadership.
There is a lot to look forward to this season in the Vikings wrestling room and veteran coach Bob Mullin is excited to get going Dec. 8 at the North Coast Classic at Independence High School.
“Just a few years ago we had seven wrestlers on the roster, this year we have 17. We are going to fill 11 of 13 weight classes regularly. We are going to compete in the state dual meet tournament for the first time, so yes, I am very enthused about this year,” Mullin said.
Perhaps the most recognizable name on the VASJ roster is senior heavyweight Patrick Sheridan, who qualified for the Division III state tournament in March. However, the Vikings are not a one-man show.
Senior 132-pounder King Seyou and junior 195-pounder Kiras Kijauskas return as district qualifiers from a year ago and will provide leadership as well as points on the mat for VASJ.
“Obviously, we have high hopes for Pat that he can return to Columbus, but it will be interesting to see guys like King and Kiras who are very talented and work hard to see where they end up in the postseason,” Mullin said.
“We have great leadership with our senior class as well as with Kiras. This is a good group of guys.”
Ray Velez, Re’ Williams and Carl Chaney are the other three seniors on the roster along with Seyou and Sheridan and will be expected to lead a relatively young group that includes seven freshman who will see action at the North Coast Classic.
Owen Nunnally, a junior, will wrestle for the time at 212 for the Vikings.
Nathan Oriani is back after competing for VASJ as a freshman last winter. Tyler Boyd-Roston is the other sophomore on the roster for Mullin.
Charles Stachnik and Josh Longstreet are among the freshmen who will start the season in the VASJ lineup. Marlen Gardner, Cornelius Green and Montel McBooth are among the other freshmen who will see time on the varsity mat this season.
“We have some young guys who are getting thrown into the fire at the varsity level because we don’t have the numbers for a JV schedule, so it will be interesting to see how they respond,” Mullin said.
“This team has more depth and can fill more weight classes than we have had in a while, so I think we will more than hold our own in some duals against some teams this year. It will be exciting to watch the team grow and hopefully continue to get better and better.”