Waukon wrestling team returns half of its 2019-2020 squad as letterwinners

2019-2020 Waukon wrestling team ... Left to right - Front row: Marcus Gibbs, Meridian Snitker, Owen Malone, Cullen Dickson, Tucker Jackson, Jakob Regan, Kameron Boots, Ray Bresnahan; Back row: Lance Egan, Connor Stegen, Carter Nolting, Daniel Cowell, Owen Frieden, Nathan Johnson, Mason Kelly. Not pictured: Tyler Block, Walker Hermeier, Tanner Kiel, Caleb Block, Kaelin Crawford, Gabe Byrnes, Joe Hennessy.

The Waukon wrestling team will benefit from exactly half of this year’s crew returning as letterwinners from last season’s squad that compiled a 5-17 overall dual meet record but came up shy of a win in Northeast Iowa Conference competition. That collection of veterans will be complemented this year by a group of first-year varsity competitors who, although young, have a considerable amount of mat experience of their own.

“We return wrestlers that have varsity experience and we have a strong group of young wrestlers that bring in quite a bit of competitive wrestling time prior to entering high school,” Waukon wrestling coach Mason Berns said. “I look for our wrestlers to display a hard work ethic, showing up every day, bringing their best to every competition, and applying that mentality to everything that they do.”

This season’s returning veterans are headlined by the senior trio of Tyler Block, Lance Egan and Nathan Johnson. This winter’s largest group, both overall and of letterwinning returnees, features six returning veteran wrestlers from the junior class in Daniel Cowell, Owen Frieden, Marcus Gibbs, Walker Hermeier, Tanner Kiel and Carter Nolting, with this year’s list of veterans returnees being rounded out by the sophomore pair of Owen Malone and Meridian Snitker.

“I look for them to be more competitive and bring intensity to the mat this season,” Coach Berns said of his veteran returnees.

The Indian mat squad was scheduled to get its season underway in a quadrangular date at Nashua-Plainfield with the host Huskies, Oelwein and Postville Tuesday, December 3 before competing in the Wapsie Valley Tournament Saturday, December 7. The wrestling Indians will then open their home season Thursday, December 12 before taking part in the South Winneshiek Tournament Saturday, December 14.

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