BELPRE - With a young team, but enjoying a successful season, Belpre head wrestling coach Scott Adams has hopes his Golden Eagle grapplers ''could finish'' with their best showing in the past few years at today's TVC championship tournament at Waterford High School.
Action gets under way at 9:45 a.m.
''Even though we have 13 of the 14 weight classes filled, we're young,'' said Adams, whose squad won the last tournament it wrestled in at River Local on Jan. 28.
''So I think the boys are starting to peak at the right time - that's a key to a season,'' said Adams. ''So we're looking forward to the TVC to see how we can do,''
After today in succession, it's the Division III sectional at Athens High School, then hopefully the district meet for some Golden Eagle matmen, with the ultimate prize being a trip to the state tournament.
Adams sees Athens and Nelsonville-York as ''the teams to beat'' today. ''We're going to have our hands full as both of those teams are loaded with seniors, and we only have one senior (Todd Packard).
''But our kids are wrestling strong, and we're going to try and come out of there hopefully in the top three. That's our goal - to finish somewhere in the top three.
''I don't know that we have the team to win it, but I think we have a good shot to be up there in the top three.''
Adams' teams ''haven't finished that high the last few years'' in the TVC tournament. After winning the TVC team title in 2008, Belpre came in ''second or third the following year, but haven't been up near the top since,'' said Adams. ''But we didn't have all the weight classes filled then, like we almost do now.''
''But although we are young, we do have a lot of experience in our kids,'' noted Adams
After passing at 106 pounds today, the Golden Eagles will open with sophomore Zack Davis at 113, followed at 120 by freshman Daniel Law (30-8), ''a pretty strong kid having a very good season going on,'' said Adams.
At 126 will be sophomore Mike Lockhart (17-13), ''with a good season going on as well,'' said Adams, and at 132 will be another freshman matman in Manney Tullius (28-6), ''who is wrestling really well right now, but is in a very tough weight class for the TVC,'' said Adams.
Junior Robbie Postlewaite (18-8) will be at 138, with Packard (12-8) at 145, ''another tough TVC weight class,'' said Adams.
At 152 will be junior Bryce Kesterson, with junior 160-pounder Cody Martin (5-5), a first-year wrestler, and junior Derek Davis (26-11), ''who's really surprised me with how well he's doing at 170,'' said Adams.
Another first-year wrestler is 182-pound junior Tyler Martin (20-17), ''who's doing pretty good,'' said Adams, with 195-pound sophomore Jamie Barrett (26-8), ''the lone remaining district qualifier we have on the team, who has a very good shot at winning the TVC,'' said Adams.
At 220 is another junior in Logan Arthurs, also a first-year wrestler, along with another rookie in junior Zach Thompson at 285.