SEASON PREVIEW: GREENVILLE
Greenville High coach Jim Miller said goodbye to some outstanding wrestlers last season, but they left behind a path for younger teammates to follow.
"We have some goals from last year," said Miller, whose Trojans successfully defended their Section 2-AA championship. "We're coming along. But we lost five kids to graduation, very solid performers for us. We have our work cut out for us."
Those "solid performers" included state heavyweight runner-up Brent Beckstein, section champs Scott Cornelius and Brian Kuhn, and district qualifiers Jim Spiegel and Brian Anderle.
"We have a good group of kids," said Miller, with 21 listed on the varsity. "Our goal is to improve each time we go out to compete and building into a very fine team. We pretty much have the same schedule as in the past. You don't have to go too far if you want to have some competition. Right here in Mercer County, it's a good quality league to be in."
Leading returnees are section champ Dan Eaves and fellow district qualifiers Billy Collins, Dan Burns, Chris Peterson, Justin Kiser and Sean Hinderliter. Collins, a three-year letterman and regional qualifier two years ago, has 74 career wins and hopes to reach the magical 100-win plateau this season.
The Trojans, who open the season Dec. 12 at home to Jamestown, will probably line up with freshman Andrew Jones at 103, followed by Burns or letterman Corey Hanna at 112. Either sophomore Peterson or Burns or Hanna will be at 119. Peterson or senior Jared Hanna, a letter winner, will fill the 125 slot.
Seniors Collins and Kiser will be at 130 and 135, respectively, with junior Hinderliter at 140. Sophomore Brian Swartzbeck is plugged in at 145, followed by junior letterman Brad Barker at 152. Eaves, a senior, and junior letterman Luke Liszka will be at 160 and 171. Junior letterman Mike Stephens fills the 189 class, with senior Shawn Uhrin and freshman Tim Heim trying for the heavyweight post.
Others who are pushing to break into the lineup are: juniors Anthony Aversa (189), Joe Brence (160) and Bill Davis (140), and a pair of freshmen, Cody Noble (130) and Dave Pickering (140).
"Billy (Collins) has the most experience; one would hope he would put together a fine run at the end," said Miller. "Justin Kiser does a fine job and Dan Eaves is returning section champ and he could do some things. Mike Stevens is a good athlete and should have a good year. Some kids need to go some distance yet, they need to improve. But it's kind of fun to see how they'll do at the end. Our schedule lets kids improve if work at it."
Miller is assisted at the varsity level by Denny Stephens and Gary Vargo, with Brian Holszhu and Craig Thurber, a former Greenville state champ and NCAA Division II national champion at Pitt-Johnstown, at the junior high. The elementary program is headed by Mike Battles and Joe Fuoco, with several others helping out.
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