Despite continuing to battle low numbers he Collins-Maxwell wrestling team made some progress in 2019-2020.
The Spartans only had five wrestlers compete regularly on the season.
“We have been struggling with this for a few years now,” Collins-Maxwell head coach Mike Leslie said. “It is really hard to keep the morale up when there are only two or three guys in the practice room.”
But that is up from the four wrestlers that competed regularly a year ago. Collins-Maxwell also picked up its first dual victory since 2017-18, going 1-18 in duals after finishing 0-23 a year ago.
“It was an up and down season,” Leslie said. “But we saw a lot of growth from every wrestler on the team. We got better at finishing when we were in a bad position.”
Collins-Maxwell’s dual victory came against Baxter, it’s biggest rival, on Jan. 14. The Spartans defeated the Bolts by a 30-12 score in a triangular dual at Colfax to avenge an earlier loss to their rivals.
“The dual win over Baxter was our biggest highlight for sure,” Leslie said. “We made up for losing to them earlier in the year and then won every match we had and got our first team win of the year.”
Jacob Pierick, Carter Davis, Joseph Butcher and Clayton Leslie were the four returning wrestlers with experience from last season.
Pierick wrestled at 120 pounds and went 24-17 as a junior after going 17-13 a year ago. He provided a huge individual highlight for the Spartans by winning an individual sectional title in Class 1A at Ogden Feb. 8, pinning Baxter’s Cole Smith then edging Ogden’s Dominic Degeneffe by a 2-0 decision in the finals.
The first-place finish advanced Pierick to districts the following week at Pleasantville, where he placed third to finish one spot shy of qualifying for state.
“We could normally count on him to pull out a win when he had to wrestle,” Coach Leslie said. “We were impressed with Jacob getting to districts.”
Davis, a senior, was the team’s most improved wrestler. After going 9-18 a year ago Davis finished his final season at 21-14 competing at 106.
“We only had one senior this year,” Leslie said. “He filled what will probably be a hard slot to fill for awhile at 106.”
Davis took third at sectionals.
Butcher finished his sophomore season with a 9-30 record at 132. Clayton Leslie went 9-16 in his sophomore campaign at 126.
Sophomore Kayden McKinney stepped in to fill in at 160 for the Spartans this season. He went 5-9 before an elbow injury cut his season short.
Freshman Marshall Day was 0-5 at 145 and sophomore Dylan McCarl 0-8 at 195.
It will be tough to replace Davis next season. But Leslie is confident his team can continue to grow and become more successful in 2020-2021.
“We are always looking to add numbers to our team,” Leslie said. “Until we start to field bigger teams all we can do is work on individuals. We are really hoping to qualify a few guys for districts and hopefully someone making out to state.”