LINDSBORG – For the upcoming 2022-23 wrestling season, the Smoky Valley program will count on five seniors, four on the Viking boys side and one on the side of the Lady Vikings, to lead the program as they look to improve their chances at state qualifiers and finishers.
Entering his 18th season as the leader of the Viking wrestling program, Ben Elliott will be assisted by Adam Lackey, Trevor Whittaker, and Courtney Strauss.
In 2021-22, the Viking boys had one state qualifier and finished 13th in regionals after placing fifth in the league, while the Lady Vikings finished 27th as a team at the state tournament after placing third at both the regionals and in the league.
Noelle Peters is the lone senior for the Lady Vikings while sophomores Kenzlie Crain, Taytum Reed, and Rylie Tolle all earned both varsity and state tournament experience as freshman. Tolle finished third in regionals while both Crain and Reed placed fourth though none of the three placed at state.
For the Viking boys, four seniors – Wyatt Johnson, Richard Zeller, Justin Holt, and Alex Grosland will provide team leadership. Holt placed fourth at regionals last season and went to state while junior Connor Barnes is coming off an outstanding sophomore season where he finished 26-8 for the season and came within one match win of qualifying for the state tournament.
Takoda Hauk and Geo Luis, both sophomores were others that the coaches noted to watch for during the 2022-23 season.
“Our numbers are lower, so we are looking to fill as many weight classes as possible,” explained head coach Ben Elliott during his pre-season reflections. “Our main goal will be to compete hard and get better every week.”
Viking wrestlers open the 2022-23 season on Saturday, December 3 at Riley County.
(The Staff covering McPherson County Activities can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org)