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Tigers ready to wrestle

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The Morris Area/Hancock/Chokio-Alberta wrestlers hit the mat this past week for the official start to the wrestling season.

Head coach Troy Ostby set the tone the first day of practice.

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“This is not captains’ practice anymore. If you want to do well this season, it starts right now, right here in this [wrestling] room,” Ostby told his players on the first day of practice.

Coach Ostby is back again in his fourth season of coaching, along with assistants Blaine Hill, Kyle Koehntop, and Nate Kleespie. Ostby is excited about the numbers he is seeing this season.

“Four years ago, I think we had 26 kids out, and now we’re close to 40,” Ostby said. “We need those kinds of numbers to build a solid program.”

Ostby is also excited to see this year’s seniors perform because they were in his first group of kids when he first started coaching

“They kind of came up with me, so they know what’s expected.” Ostby said.

“Now what I’m really excited for is these sophomores that are coming out because we have a lot of sophomores that have been with the program since kindergarten.” Ostby said. “That’s the kind of kids we need to build our program.”

Another young team with plenty of depth for the Tigers going into this season. The Tigers have leadership in the six returning seniors.

“Even seniors, though, are kind of young” Ostby said. “Like only being out for their third year.”

Dylan Johnson, from Chokio-Alberta, was the lone state qualifier and is returning to the mat for his senior season.

“I expect [Johnson] will do the same, if not better this season.” Ostby said.

Ostby assures that there will be plenty of opportunity for those seventh, eighth and ninth graders, who don’t make the 14-weight varsity cut, as there are five junior high tournaments scheduled this season.

The MACAHA Tigers will start on the mat Wednesday, Nov. 27 in Belgrade-Brooten-Elrosa.

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