Prep wrestling: Waterford, MHS wrestlers on the mat Saturday

Waterford has 10 wrestlers on its 2013-14 roster, and Scott Zimmer is eager for the season to get underway.

“I am very excited that we have a bigger group to work with this year,” said the Wildcats’ grappling coach. “With the freshmen that we have, and Dalton Ball making his return to the mats, we are looking to bring home some team hardware this year.”

Senior Austin Lang is Waterford’s marquee wrestler, and if he remains as durable as he has been throughout his career, this will be a school record-breaking winter for the standout 126-pounder.

“Austin is 15 wins away from being Waterford’s all-time wins record holder, which is currently held by Tyler Reed, with 164,” Zimmer said.

Last season, Lang won over 40 matches, and earned a trip to the state tournament at Value City Arena, Jerome Schottenstein Center on the campus of The Ohio State University. While he didn’t place, it was a good, eye-opening experience for him.

“Last year was Austin’s first trip to state,” Zimmer said. “He is working hard to make sure he is on the podium this year.”

Blake Heiss, at 182 pounds, is hoping to accompany Lang on the journey to Columbus. Only a junior, he is a two-time district qualifier.

Last winter, Heiss captured over 30 wins on the mat.

“Blake has put the work in all summer to get better,” Zimmer said.

A couple of other Wildcats to keep an eye on will be Zeb Offenberger (145) and Westen Wagner (152), Zimmer said.

“They’ve been the surprise in the wrestling room so far this year,” the coach continued.

The Waterford wrestling roster will also include Trey Perry (120), Ty McGraw (126), Cylas Reynlles (160), Tim Leach (138), Cody Malicious (170), and Ball (132).

Waterford is scheduled to open up its season in the Meigs Invitational Saturday.

Tigers look solid

Marietta High has a nice mix of veteran and younger wrestlers.

Joshua Clark (106-pounds last season), Malachi Vaughn (126), Scott Bricker (138), Anthony Winters (145), Garrett Davis (152), Jake Dickson (160), Troy Smithberger (170), and Jon Hedrick (220) all have varsity experience and are expected to be in the line-up when the Bill Heldman-coached Tigers compete in their season-opener at the Meigs Invitational in Pomeroy Saturday.

Some of the other schools in the Meigs field may be Waterford, Fairland, Jackson, Southeastern, Athens, Gallia Academy, Vinton County, Chesapeake, River Valley, Zane Trace, and host Meigs High.

Marietta’s mat roster will also feature Josh Burke, Zach Hearn, Logan Dickson, and four freshmen – Clay Carpenter, Zach Clark, Josh Montgomery, and Braiden Tucker.

Of the MHS grapplers, Davis could be one to keep an eye on. Last year as a sophomore, he was one of three district qualifiers. The other two were Will Cogswell (182) and Nick Spurr (195), who have graduated.

Davis was also a 152-pound runner-up in the East Central Ohio League tournament. Also a standout football player this past fall, he weighed in at 176 pounds on the roster.

Last winter, Marietta as a team finished sixth in a field of nine ECOL schools.