The Dominion Post  

UHS wrestling team prepping for N.Y. tourney

Created on:   Thu, Dec 7, 2017   6:43 PM

Last modified:   Thu, Dec 7, 2017   6:58 PM

The Dominion Post

MORGANTOWN — For University head coach Ken Maisel, wrestling isn’t a two-hour a day sport.

“To do this you have to live the lifestyle. It is not just the 3:00-5:00 practice,” Maisel said. “What you do from 3:00-5:00 is important, but what are you doing from 5:00-3:00 in terms of diet, sleep, and school is too. If you are only working on 3:00-5:00 you will never be a champion.”

Maisel has high expectations for his athletes. He encourages them to set goals and chase them with exuberance.

“We have them do a lot of meaningful goal setting. We had most of our kids do a lot of work in the off-season so we are excited to see that pay off,” Maisel said. “We have a saying — soon the winter will be asking what you did all summer.”

It’s hard to argue with results, and Maisel’s squad has certainly reaped the rewards of his coaching style in years past. The Hawks finished with a dual meet record of 11-1. They won the Amityville (N.Y.) tournament, as well as The Superior Photo tournament hosted at UHS. The squad won the WVSSAC Class AAA Region I tournament and qualified 12 wrestlers for the state tournament out of 14 weight classes. Overall, the Hawks had a school record eight state place winners, three of which were state finalists.

“We did very well,” Maisel said. “We finished third in the state and we were very close to being second.”

The success didn’t come without experience, however, and the team lost five seniors to graduation, including three state placers. They also bring a lot back, though, returning state finalists junior Matthew Simpson, second in the state at 106 pounds, and sophomore Jake Staud, second in the state at 113 pounds. Other state place winners returning include senior Owen Zeiders, fourth in the state at 145, junior Braeden Pauley, fifth in the state at 132 pounds, and junior Jacob Simpson, sixth in the state at 120.

According to Maisel, other key returners include seniors Hayden Starcher at 170 and Josh Rudmann at 160, junior Brise Bennett at 132, and sophomore Jace Stockett at 106.

Despite tough losses from last year’s senior class, the talent still at University is visible and Maisel will enter the season with high hopes.

“Our expectations are really high. Parkersburg South is the best team in the state right now but our expectations are to try and win a state championship,” Maisel said. “We have really high individual expectations for many of our wrestlers as well.”

The Hawks will once again open their season at the Amityville tournament, which will kick off Dec. 8, in Long Island, N.Y. The Hawks will open the season at home with the Superior Photo Tournament, on Dec. 16.