GOODLAND, KS- With the 2017-18 preseason underway Coach Sebaaly and his staff are excited about this years recruiting class.
At 125 with returning national qualifier Fabian Guerrero expected to redshirt this season the team has 4 new faces looking to compete for the starting spot. Local Goodland standout and 4x Kansas State placer finisher Tate Withington is looking to win the spot at this weight. Another northwest Kansas wrestler from Wakeeney John Kuhn will also be competing at this weight. Transfer Rudy Sanchez a Colorado State runner-up and Ryan Pierce a state runner-up from Nevada will hold down the lightest weight this year for the Mavericks. Coach Sebaaly on the 125 weight class: "I am really excited about this group and believe that all four will help us win matches there this season. I expect that all four will be in the lineup at times this year."
133 is another deep weight class for the Mavericks with returning national qualifier Jesus Morales returning. Look for Morales to be pushed by one of three former Mongolian Junior National Freestyle Champions on the Northwest Tech team this year in Munkhbat Bat-Erdene. Goodland's Tristan Cooper also returns to the mats this year and will provide additional depth and an already strong 133 pound weight class for the Mavericks. Coach Sebaaly on the 133 weight class: "133 is a good problem for us because I think we have a couple kids their that can All-American. I would not be surprised to see one of these three guys end up being the guy at 141."
141 has 5 wrestlers looking to nail down the spot right now.. Last years 141 pounders return with Goodland's Austin Hernandez (17-11 last season) looking to hold the spot, while James Taylor is expected to redshirt. Sam Colvin a talented state champion from Alabama is having a great preseason and looking to push for the spot. Colorado State Runner-Up Ryan Nava is also in this weight and has ties to Ulysses, Kansas. Dalton Moody (Liberal, Kansas) fresh out of the service and training with the Greco Team during his time in will also look to compete here. Toby Ellis of Arizona is the last wrestler looking to make his mark on this weight. Coach Sebaaly on the 141-weight class: "This weight really shows what we are looking for as it has a couple local wrestlers in it and 5 kids who are all 'tough kids' and love wrestling."
At 149 also representing northwest Kansas is Oakley state place-finisher Wyatt Murphy. Bo Ellis a 2a track state champ will also look to push for time at this weight. Brandon James is the lone recruit out of New Mexico this year, and will provide depth, while transfer Sam Heggs also has the potential to start for the Mavericks at this weight. Coach Sebaaly on the 149-weight class: " These four guys have had a great first couple weeks of the preseason, but need to keep pushing as some of the talent guys from 141 may push up into this weight class."
With returner Vince Evenson looking to redshirt at 157 the team has two newcomers looking to battle it out for the spot. First semester Caleb Mendez who placed third in Colorado last year will man the spot. Mendez may drop down to 149 for the second semester. Barry Carpenter a state champion out of Virginia Beach, Virginia will look to man the spot at 157 second semester as he will more than likely start the season up at 165. Coach Sebaaly on the 157-weight class: "We don't at this point have a lot of depth at this weight class, but we do have guys that I believe can be on the podium at the end of the year. From 157 up we have some flexibility on what weights guys will go and will have to see how the first few tournaments play out."
165 for the Mavericks features an east coast flavor with Emon Edwards out of Georgia, Kaje Reynolds of Delaware and state runner-up Nartorian Lee of Florida. Second semester Tsogtbayar 'Buka' Tserendagua of Mongolia is expected to drop from 174 to this weight class for the Mavericks. Coach Sebaaly on the 165-weight class: "I'm really comfortable with what's going on at this weight. Barry Carpenter, Nartorian Lee, and Buka could all be starting at 157-174 at the end. There's a lot of talent here and they will all push each other to get better."
174 looks to be in the hands of NHSCA Senior All American and three time Virginia state placer Kade Sanders. Ey'mon Campbell out of Colorado Springs, Colorado will also push for time at this weight. Coach Sebaaly on the 174-weight class: "Kade is going to be fun to watch this year. He has an attacking style and is tough as nails. First semester we may also see Nartorian and Buka at this weight at times, to keep him fresh."
184 features two new wrestlers in state champion from Glenn Allen, Alaska Joseph White and Colorado state placer Casey Hand. Coach Sebaaly on 184 weight class: "White has been on of the most pleasant surprises of the preseason. The kid has a motor that doesn't quit and is always getting extra work in the weight room or on the track. Casey Hand has a great build and I would not be surprised if he moves up to 197 at some point this season as well."
197 features 3 wrestlers for the Mavericks this year. The first is returner Kyle Rodriguez up from 174 last year. Iowa's Rhett Jaeger and Florida state placer Zac Viers are the other two wrestlers at this weight. Coach Sebaaly on the 197 weight class: "All three guys came into the preseason a little beat up, so we have some work ahead of us here, however, I'd be saying that no matter what. Kyle had a great off-season putting on muscle to help make the transition to the higher weight, but those two freshman are working hard and I think are ready to be difference makers."
285 is not only the largest bodies on the team it also has the largest number of guys competing for the spot on the team. Leading the way is returning NJCAA All American Odgerel Batkhishig. Jordan Arbizo a state champion out of Arizona is also at this weight and will see time for the Mavericks on the mat. Jaron Christensen a state placer from Abilene and Anuflo Alvardo a state placer out of Commerce City, Colorado will also be competing for the spot here. Djah Mack of Baltimore, Maryland, Isaiah Polanco-Rivera of Coco Florida, and Tyler Jenkins of Alabama all provide depth at this weight and may redshirt this season. Coach Sebaaly on the HWT weight class: "This is a weight were really confident in as we head into the season. Odgi has performed well at this weight in the past, but he has a lot of hungry guys behind him, looking to take his spot."
The team is expecting to release its schedule shortly.