SEASON PREVIEW: JAMESTOWN
Mike Menold can make a claim that no other coach in Mercer County can make -- he's undefeated in his head coaching career.
Menold, who took over the Jamestown head coach post this season, started with a dual-meet victory over Hickory and is unbeaten in his career at 1-0. Menold, former assistant to veteran mentor Stan Skakalski, is the only new coach in the county.
"We're real excited about the season," said Menold. It's a little different (being head coach), your time is spent a little differently. It's nice to have someone like Jon (Fry, assistant coach) to help me.
"We set the goal to get better everyday and so far we've been able to do that. Hopefully we can continue to progress. We certainly are hoping to get some guys down to Hershey."
Menold also isn't counting out a good showing in the French Creek Valley Conference race or the Section 2-AA tournament.
"I would like to think that if we get better everyday, we'll be in the thick of things," he said.
Menold has some experience back, but had one key loss to graduation -- Dustin Harnett. Harnett was a seventh-place finisher in the state tournament at 189 last year.
Two key returnees are junior letterman Curtis Harnett and senior ace Nick Byler, a pair of regional qualifiers last season.
"Harnett made it to state in cross country, which is big mentally for him," said Menold. "He feels he's over the hump. And Byler is our team leader. He works real hard in the practice room and kids look to him."
The Muskies will open at 103 with sophomore Brandon Bunnell, a first-year wrestler who transferred from Pittsburgh. At 112 will be senior letterman Ryan Renwick. The Muskies will probably forfeit at 119, although Menold has a couple of inexperienced freshmen, Kevin Brown and Doug Cox, who could move in later in the year if they progress.
Harnett will start at 125, followed by sophomore lettermen Bud Stephens and Chris Harnett at 130 and 135 respectively. Freshman Jacob Demmler is at 140, with senior letterman Matt Gill at 145. Cory Brown, senior letter winner, will be at 152, followed by Byler at 160.
Sophomore letterman Mark McClimans and junior letterman Dan Harnett will be at 171 and 189, pushed by senior Ryan Gault. Heavyweight is junior letterman Eric Hyde, who is backed by first-year senior Mike White.
Some others who could crack the lineup are freshman Tony Lapa and sophomore Travis Shoemaker in the middle weights, sophomore letterman Brandon Zimmer at 145 and sophomore letterman Brad Patton at 160.
While Fry will assist Menold with the varsity, Nate Resele and Jim McElhinney are in the junior high. Elementary coaches are Jeff Calvin, who will also help out occasionally with the varsity, and Adam Smith.
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