Shenandoah wrestling opens its season with trips to Clarke Thursday, Dec. 5 and Friend (Neb.) Saturday, Dec. 7.
Shenandoah head coach Todd McGinnis is short on numbers again this season, but has liked what he has seen so far.
“We would like to have higher numbers,” said McGinnis, “but the guys have been working hard. We had an open mat Friday and had several kids there.”
McGinnis is trying to improve the culture this year and so far that is looking better.
“We’re trying to push a “we not me” mindset,” said McGinnis. “And the guys have been doing that really well. This week is go week. We’re looking forward to seeing what we have.”
Avery Martin opens the season as the top returner. He is a junior and should be strong after winning 31 matches as a sophomore.
“Avery shined in his first year,” said McGinnis. “We saw a lot of great things from him, especially late in the year. He’s back and leading the way.”
Landen Newquist looks to improve on the 12 wins he earned as a sophomore while Michael Reed jumps into a leadership role for his sophomore season. Lane Allumbaugh is another athlete mentioned by McGinnis who put in good work this offseason and is excited to get started.
The Mustangs travel to Clarke Thursday as one of five teams in the field. The Mustangs and host Indians will be joined by East Mills, Mount Ayr and Southwest Valley for duals. That’s followed by the two-hour bus ride to the Friend Tournament Saturday. The Mustangs are one of 15 schools in the field and the only one not from Nebraska. McGinnis is hopeful for a strong start.
“It has been our philosophy to go out and wrestle tough and the win/loss will take care of itself,” said McGinnis. “We want them to be aggressive, get after it and represent well.”
The Mustangs will follow up their first week of competition with road trips to Griswold and Riverside during the second week, followed by duals at Bellevue West (Neb.) and Clarinda before wrapping up 2019 with their home tournament Saturday, Dec. 21.