The WHS wrestling team is looking forward to a successful season under head coach Joey Heersche and assistant Travis Conrad. Senior Sean Dugger and Sophomore Eli Mumpower were interviewed by the Charger to get a better understanding of the team.
How many people are out this year?
Eli: Ten. Marek Boatwright and Jackson Havenstein are the freshman. Myself, Derek Wallin, Lane Berkenmeier, Isaac Mumaw, and Alex Warner are the sophomores. Frank Gilbert is our only Junior, and Sean and Austen Bonnette are the Seniors.
How many returning wrestlers do you have?
Sean: We have 6 returning wrestlers from last year, so we aren’t inexperienced. Austen is returning from Sophomore year and Lane is returning from Junior High.
What are some goals you hope to achieve as a team this year?
Eli: We want to have multiple state qualifiers.
Sean: While we’d like to make it to state, we still want to build the team up for years to come.
What are some of the challenges you will face this year?
Eli: Everyone making weight.
Sean: Poor motivation due to the long season makes it tough to keep going. Holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas also destroy motivation as it just means getting back down to weight.
What are some team strengths/weaknesses?
Eli: Some of the wrestlers are struggling to stay eligible academically.
Sean: The team lacks experience on any state mats, but is willing to work hard to get there.
What do you think are some community expectations for the team this year?
Sean: I imagine the community expects a lot from how successful the team has been, so we might as well fulfill those expectations.
Eli: State qualifiers.
How do you think the team will bounce back after losing two state champion wrestlers?
Eli: We already have some possible state qualifiers.
Sean: Just because we lost some champions doesn’t mean we are going to stop, we are just going to want to send more to the state level as well as getting more champion titles.
In what way do you guys think you can help keep the program going in future years?
Eli: Keeping a fun environment so people don’t quit.
Sean: By keeping a high level of success as well as having fun, the program will continue to improve.
The team opens the season Saturday at Mission Valley.