Josh Ohm likes what he’s seen from his Washington High School wrestling team during preseason practice sessions.
The Blue Jays will field returning lettermen from last season’s GAC North championship squad in 11 of the 14 varsity weight classes this year.
“We are, by far, off to the best start we’ve had since I’ve had the opportunity to be the head coach at Washington,” Ohm said. “Our numbers have increased a great deal from seasons past. We’ve had over 30 kids in the room at times and it looks like we are going to settle in at 27 for the opening of the season. We are very excited for the competition portion of the season to begin.”
Practice sessions have gone well.
“There is a very good atmosphere in the practice room,” Ohm said. “We have an entire group of guys who truly believe they can accomplish great things this season and are willing to put the work in for it. Some weight classes are extremely competitive and will go through many wrestleoffs throughout the year.”
Washington’s top returning seniors are Cody Summers, Caleb Summers and Spencer Baird.
“We have great leadership on the team in our seniors who each have earned at least all-conference honors twice in their careers as well as all being state qualifiers with Cody, Caleb and Spencer,” Ohm said. “We also have Josh Simmons joining our group of seniors, who recently moved here from New Jersey.”
Junior Cole Hamai is a two-time state medalist along with a two-time conference and district champion. He placed fourth in Class 3 at 132 pounds last season and moves up to 138 pounds this season.
“Cole brings a dependable force to the lineup,” Ohm said.
Washington’s projected lineup at this point is as follows:
• 106 — Freshman Cole Fregalette or sophomore Johnathon Thomas;
• 113 — Sophomore Parker Neptune, a returning all-conference performer, or Thomas;
• 120 — Junior Cody Gardner or one of the wrestlers at 106 and 113;
• 126 — Cody Summers or sophomore Nicholas Solter, both all-conference and state qualifiers in the past;
• 132 — Cody Summers, Solter or sophomore Josh Luck;
• 138 — Cole Hamai or sophomore Tyler French;
• 145 — Caleb Summers, a returning all-conference and state qualifier, or freshmen Arron Chatmann and Izeck Elbert, sophomore Alton Lockhart and junior Luke Knight.
• 152 — Baird, a returning all-conference performer and two-time state qualifier, or senior Josh Simmons and sophomore Jake Engemann;
• 160 — Junior Corey Kluesner or sophomore Josh Lombardo;
• 170 — Junior Kyle Summers, a returning conference champion and state qualifier, or freshmen Sam Andujar and Jeremy Monehan and sophomores Jake Nauman and Lombardo.
• 182 — Kyle Summers or freshman Jared Rennick;
• 195 — Junior Logan Baird, a returning all-conference performer;
• 220 — Junior Jacob Kliethermes; and
• 285 — Junior Matt Pecka, a returning all-conference performer.
The Blue Jays open the season Tuesday, Nov. 27, in a three-team meet against Owensville and Rolla at Owensville at 5 p.m. The first home meet is Nov. 29 against Borgia and Union at 6 p.m.
WHS team members have put in the work.
“I really believe they have put in a very impressive offseason. More than three-fourths of them all competed at team camp this summer and recently at the preseason Fall Brawl Wrestling Tournament held at Staley High School.”