The New York Mills wrestling team will once again be made up of a combination of experienced wrestlers and some younger kids looking to work their way into the starting lineup.
“We had a young team that got some much needed experience last season, so we hope to capitalize on that,” said Eagles’ head coach Eric Niemi.
Niemi enters the 2015-16 season with 15 years of experience and an overall record of 228-98.
He will be assisted this season by Doug Salo, Mike Weller and Kacee Skoog.
New York Mills is coming off a season which saw the Eagles compile a record of 10-11.
Seniors Sam Erckenbrack and Jesse Roberts will be counted on to provide team leadership.
Other returning letter winners include: juniors Jonny Flynn, Mason Friederichs, Dan Frost, Nick Hendrickx and Jett Saewert; sophomores Jake Erckenbrack and Charlie Fox; along with freshmen Dylan Fischer, Matt Frost and Carter Haman.
“Filling all weight classes will be a challenge, but by the end of the season our teams usually find themselves,” Niemi explained. “Anyone on our team, seven through twelve, has the ability to make an impact. That impact can be made in practice, the classroom, the hallways, weekends and of course on the competition mat.
“The ability underclassmen have to be major players on a team is unique to wrestling, so in situations like this there is opportunity for growth and that growth will be our key to success.”
Niemi added that his goals for this team right now are to keep everyone in the room, get that much needed experience and build that competition shape.
According to Niemi, Park Region Confernce opponents West Central Area/Ashby/Brandon-Evnasville, Bertha-Hewitt/Verndale and Otter Tail Central have some established individuals and should have solid seasons.
WCA/Ashby/Brandon-Evansville and the Barnesville Trojans begin the season as the Section 6A favorites.
“If we can lean on the experience in our upper weights while developing younger wrestlers, we could have another solid season,” Niemi stated.