Bulldog wrestling team will blend battle tested core with newcomers

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The MFL MarMac wrestling team includes (front, left to right) cheerleader Kira Krueger, manager Savannah Schaller, Bryce Radloff, TJ Coleman, Audrey Ruff, Mackenzie Bachman, Kadence Pape, Rylee Kugel, Keith Anderson, manager Rose Koehn, cheerleader Amara Buchheit; (middle) cheerleader Jordyn Jones, manager Morgan Jacobson, Averey Thornton, Jack Vorwald, Collin Henkels, Tristen Koehn, Holden Mathis, Quinn McGeough, Austin Schlee, Andrew Heins, cheerleader Lexi Ross; (back) head coach Chet Bachman, assistant coach Tracy Decker, Nolan Lerch, Austin Schaller, Karter Decker, Gabe McGeough, Kashton Mathis, Taylor Herzmann, Mason Overton and assistant coaches Chip McGeough, Collin Stubbs and Travis Johnson. (Photo by Audrey Posten)

By Audrey Posten, Times-Register


Last season was an historic one for the MFL MarMac wrestling team, as the Bulldogs qualified for the state dual tournament for the first time ever and advanced nine individual wrestlers to districts—with two making it to state. The core of that group returns in 2021-2022.


“We’ve got some really experienced kids, and then we’ve got some kids who don’t have very much experience at all, so we have to try to blend that and make it work on both ends,” said head coach Chet Bachman. “That can be a challenge, but we’ve got a lot of guys in here to help. We should be able to bring it along.” 


The team’s core features senior Gabe McGeough and junior Karter Decker, both state qualifiers a season ago. McGeough has twice placed at state, including third his junior season, while Decker was just off the podium in his second time at the state tournament.


“They are guys you can build around. They are your bread and butter and key part of your engine,” Bachman said. 


“Gabe has put in a lot of time and work—he’s a warrior. Now, he has to finish matches and wrestle the third period smart and continue to be coachable. Take what’s yours and don’t wait,” the coach added. “Karter has a lot of talent, a great kid, multi-sport athlete. He just needs to get through the grind.”


MFL MarMac also returns several of what Bachman called “spark plugs.” That includes district qualifiers Kashton Mathis and Andrew Heins, both seniors, and Tristen Koehn, Bryce Radloff and Holden Mathis, all sophomores. 


Bachman is excited for the return of another senior, Jack Vorwald, and sees potential in freshman Quinn McGeough.


“Then I have some other guys to inter-mix in there. You kind of have to see them emerge,” he commented.


In addition, the Bulldogs have three girl wrestlers this season, who Bachman said have all been working hard. Junior Kadence Pape was a state place winner last year and will be joined by freshmen Mackenzie Bachman and Audrey Ruff. 


Overall, Bachman described MFL MarMac as thinner at the top and bottom weight classes, with “a lot of meat in the middle.” The team will also have to overcome some injuries to wrestle its best.


“Our best wrestling is not going to be until mid-January. We’re nicked up yet and need to come along a little slower rather than come out too strong,” he stated. “We’ve got a great bunch of kids. We just need to bring the young ones along. Everybody has something to work with. Show up every day and do what you’re supposed to do and work hard. Stay healthy. That’s going to be the keys.”


The Bulldogs will kick off their season this week, with a meet at North Crawford on Dec. 2, then the Cascade Dual Tournament on Dec. 3.

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