Young Raiders get grip on the numbers game Atholton HIGH SCHOOL WRESTLING PREVIEW

December 06, 1992|By Michael Richman | Michael Richman,Contributing Writer

To coach Ron McMillan, a healthy Atholton team that shows steady progress on the wrestling mat translates into a .500 team.

That's 50 percent better than last season, when the Raiders, after forfeiting four or five weight classes per match, finished 0-13.

This year, McMillan, a third-year coach, has more room for optimism.

Despite an inexperienced roster, every weight class will be filled. In addition, McMillan laid a solid foundation for the future, luring at least 10 junior varsity football players to wrestle, mostly at the same level.

Only three of Atholton's athletes have more than two years of experience: seniors Jason Sturm (119/125 pounds), Eric McElheny (135) and Dale Beauchamp (171).

Sturm, who is coming off a 20-11 mark, has placed in the county tournament the past three years between 103 and 119 pounds. The coach considers Sturm "my one dependable wrestler" and expects consistency again this season.

Sturm, a team captain, will rotate with sophomore Eddie Stoesser at 119 and junior Bret Miller at 125. Miller also will compete at 130.

"Whether he can get to the [county] finals, I don't know," McMillan said of Sturm. "He's been close in the past, he's beaten kids who've placed ahead of him, but getting to the final is a different story."

McMillan also speaks highly of freshman David Tangredi, who will alternate at 103 and 112, and junior Byron Hall (140), a first-year high school wrestler who competed several years ago in junior leagues. In McMillan's mind, Hall is a "hungry" wrestler with "a really great attitude."

"If [Tangredi] can mature into high school wrestling, then he can do as well as anybody else at that weight class," McMillan said.

"103 is usually a weight class where there's a wide variety of experience, from raw kids that have never wrestled to the rare kid who stays small and wrestles four years."

Three football players will compete on varsity -- freshman Rick Trott (145) and sophomores Matt Radik (152) and Marc Davis (heavyweight). Trott is contending with sophomore James Presley at 145.

"I'm very pleased with the turnout we had," McMillan said. "We made big strides in getting the football players to come out."

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