ROSCOMMON — Despite low numbers which will make garnering team success more difficult, if not impossible, the Roscommon wrestling team has three returning wrestlers expected to do well in the post-season.
The Bucks have a small roster of 10 or 11 wrestlers, and with 14 weight classes to fill each night it leaves them with a major hurdle to overcome for the team to bring home any victories.
Obviously, the odds are pretty long that the Bucks can anticipate any dual match success this season. But, there’s every possibility that they can bring home some hardware from invitational tournaments with the quality individuals on the squad certain to finish in the top tier.
“When you’re that low a number, it’s tough to compete, that’s for sure,” Coach Matt Morley said. “As much as I don’t like to say it, I’ve always been a team wrestler (and) a team player, focusing on individual success is, unfortunately, the mindset we’re going into.”
The plus side of the equation is the Bucks have a lot of freshmen talent that Morley believes is going to go places, and they have some quality returning talent expected to contend for spots in the MHSAA state finals, headed by senior Brenden Spencer, who wrestled at 112 pounds last year and took fifth at state.
Another returning state qualifier is senior Ethan Noreyko, while the last wrestler coming back is junior James Herrick. Everyone else is either new to the team, or in their first year of wrestling.
Filling out the roster are Ethan Winegardner, Hunter Spencer, Kolby Tyler, Dylan Aubrey, Jeremy Black, Max Thomas and Jeremy Pratt.
Brenden Spencer comes into the season with a national ranking and will no doubt be the most watched wrestler on the Bucks’ squad. Noreyko’s past success also makes him a key athlete on the team.
“I know Brenden did a lot of summer wrestling, and went to a lot of places,” Morley said. “Under the rules I’m not allowed to be his coach in any event, so unfortunately I was not involved in it. I know he placed quite high.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that he’s going to go to states and he’s going to place. It’s just a matter of how high.”
Herrick may not possess the God-given talent and skill some of the others have, but he puts in the time and effort working on his craft to get better on the mat, and has the potential for success. For the freshmen, it’s going to be a matter of time and patience.
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