Photo by Lori PoteetCole Slavens (top, North Montgomery) and Boone Welliever (bottom, Southmont) will be some of the top competitors at their weight classes in the county meet.
Photo by Lori Poteet

Cole Slavens (top, North Montgomery) and Boone Welliever (bottom, Southmont) will be some of the top competitors at their weight classes in the county meet.
The Montgomery County wrestling meet will be held Saturday at Crawfordsville at 9 a.m.

North Montgomery is the defending champion. They'll return three individual champions from last year's squad to this year's event. Zach McCoy, Tanner Webster and Kobi Wray were champions last year.

Charger head coach Maurice Swain said that every weight class is key when going against teams the caliber of Crawfordsville and Southmont.

"I expect a rowdy environment. Crawfordsville is getting better each year and we are not overlooking them at all," North Montgomery head coach Maurice Swain said. "We must wrestle our best to have success against them. Southmont is loaded. They return 8-9 varsity starters from last year's very tough team. They are filling the rest of their lineup with freshman studs and other young studs that have previous varsity experience. They have qualified for team state and have previously defeated a very tough Lebanon team that defeated us this weekend. Southmont will be the team to beat this weekend and we have to wrestle better than we have all season just to compete with them."

Southmont returns Alex Grino, Boone Welliever, Connor Moor and Wayne Highfield as individual champions from last season. Southmont has not had a wrestler at heavyweight this season, so they should be at an immediate disadvantage by wrestling only 13 weight classes.

"Every guy has a job to do on Saturday whether it's to get six (with a pin) or not give us six. We all need to do our job to win county," Southmont head coach Kevin Wilkinson said. "High-pressure matches are always good preparation for the post season. This is definitely a high-pressure day so it lets us see which guys can step up to the challenge. Our captains (Caleb Martin, Connor Moore, Zach Worm, Wayne Highfield and Anthony Gregg) will be the guys we lean on since they have been here before. Hopefully they will set the tone for the younger guys so they can focus on doing their job."

Robert Manns is the only Athenian returning as a champion.

"Our biggest strength so far has been our team balance," Crawfordsville head coach Chris Ervin said. "We don't have a lot of superstars, but we also don't have a lot of weak spots in the lineup. In a tough dual meet, it is important to score bonus points (majors, tech falls, pins) whenever we get a chance and to avoid giving up those bonus points, especially pins, to the other team.

"This is our first big meet of the year," Ervin added. "That will help us prepare for those other big meets that come toward the end of the year. Dealing with the crowd, the hype of county, etc. will be good experiences for our team."