Last season was a story book year for the El Dorado Wildcats wrestling team. Story book and historic as last year's squad went undefeated in league and was the first in school history to win a league and regional title. The Wildcats sent 9 wrestlers to state and came back with one state title winner in senior Austin Hughey and two runner ups in senior Bryce Morgan and freshman Reno Hughey.
That was last season and there is hope for a return to the top of the ranks this season with a seasoned veteran returning team. Gone are state contenders, Austin Hughey, Bryce Morgan, Marcus Walker, Kyle Macy and Cole Reinhardt. Needless to say a strong senior class.
“It was a fun four years with all the seniors that left, I hated to see them go but it is a start to a new chapter in El Dorado wrestling, with the seniors and leadership coming back this year hopefully we can keep this program going,” said El Dorado wrestling head coach Wes Reynolds.
The Wildcats return state finalists this season and will be led by Jake Leckliter, Reno Hughey, Daniel Thomas and Jacobb Burnett.
Just missing out on a state berth in his junior season, senior Gage Armstrong looks to step into the leadership role vacated by that of Austin Hughey and Bryce Morgan.
In the KWCA preseason rankings, sophomore and state runner up as a freshman Reno Hughey is ranked second in the 126 lbs. weight class to begin 2013-14. Hughey's teammate and state qualifier last season as a junior Daniel Thomas is ranked fourth in the 120 lbs. weight class.
Along with the returning state qualifiers from last year the Wildcats are looking for new blood to step up into several vacated senior positions held last season especially in the middle and heavier weight classes.
"We have some guys that have been in the program and are going to have to step up this season into a more prominent role for us to be successful again as a team," said Reynolds.
Kody Melugin, Dacota Motter and Nick Buckley look to make strides this season in an increased role for the Wildcats.
With a strong core of returning talent and leadership the Wildcats could quite possibly have another record breaking exciting season.