Roane County wrestling going through some changes
SPENCER — The Roane County wrestling room is in a transitional period, as some grapplers from a year ago graduated, while other may not be back. Head coach Wayne Jarvis has been doing his best weathering the storm, as has the rest of the coaches in the LKC. Jarvis has been working to make sure his team is prepared for the start of the only month-long season which only had eight dates on the Raiders’ schedule.
“It’s been a hard time. We’ve had three or four time where we’ve had to revise the schedule (in LKC coaches’ meetings),” he said. “You make commitments and think you’ve got it, then you have to scrap it all. Each time we’ve done this, we’ve prioritized other LKC teams. Luckily, we’ve got good men and good leaders around.”
A couple stipulations from the last meeting was that teams could only wrestle quads and had to have two days off in-between events. Jarvis also had questions about how the map will operate this season. Currently, Roane County is not red. That means students can attend in-person learning, but that could change. His biggest fear is having to change plans when everything is finalized on the day of heading to an event.
“We’re anticipating being able to return to school on Jan. 19, but I don’t know what that’s going to do to turnout on wrestling,” Jarvis admitted.
“We have a pretty modest number of kids who have signed up already, but I don’t know if some of them will be deterred with the season being so short. We have more kids coming out with the thinking being that some kids can endure one month and then quit without being committed for next year.”
Roane’s wrestling roster is noticeably smaller than in years past, but Jarvis is thankful Sam Richards is returning. As the team’s only 2020 state qualifier, Richards is expected to lead the charge heading into the shortened season.
“It’s unusual for Roane to only have one state qualifier, but thank goodness Sam Richards is back,” he said. “I don’t know what weight he will be, but I’m guessing somewhere in the neighborhood of 113. Russel May will be back, and he was all gung ho. He was a first-year wrestler as a sophomore. He’s really enthusiastic, and he’s chomping at the bit. Those two are the ones that come to mind, but we’ll have a few talented freshmen and I’m sure some other upperclassmen. I think they key for us is going to be progressing fast enough and learning how to handle ourselves on the map. If we survive early, maybe we can do something at the end of the season and get some qualifiers.”
The first quad on the Roane schedule is a major test, as Roane travels to Parkersburg to take on the Class AAA Big Reds, Clay County and Wirt County on March 6.