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Varsity Wrestling Looks to Qualify for Dual Meet Championships

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The Wesleyan wrestling team, led by head coach Dennis Stromie, looks to fulfill their goal of filling out all their weight classes with successful wrestlers this season. Last season was a success with a number of individuals placing in the state tournament.

Stromie was a state champion wrestler in 1976. When asked about how his experiences in high school affect his coaching style, Stromie said, “My high school coach had a great impact on me. I had a great coach that was positive with us, and had great knowledge of the sport and what he taught. He was one of those coaches you would die for. There was dad, and then there was coach.” Stromie strives to coach and use the techniques like his coach today.

The wrestling team wants to fill all the weight classes competitively, and qualify for the dual meet championship. To achieve this, they must finish top two in their region. There are also a number of individuals who have a chance to place in the state individual championship such as William Delk, George Bielan, Haydon Koch, Chase Kelly and Patrick Ryan.

There has been a significant increase in participation. Stromie said, “This is my 5th year here, and my first year we had single digit wrestlers in high school. Now we have over 30 high school guys and 40 middle school guys. We can now fill out all the weight classes that will help us in the dual meets this year.”

The Mat Wolves follow a practice routine that begins with drills and stretching, then specific technique lessons, and ends with live wrestling and conditioning periods. These practices will help them look for success.

When asked about how he maintains his weight for his weight class, senior Chase Kelly said “My best dietary method for maintaining my weight is an egg and cheese for breakfast, a salad for lunch, and fish for dinner. While it is very hard to cut out snacks, that is also a vital part of my weight maintenance.” Kelly and the rest of the team will watch their diets, and will look to place in the state tournament this season.

Girls and Boys Cross Country Teams Perform Well Under Tough Conditions

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For the sixth year in a row, both the Boys’ and Girls’ Wesleyan Varsity Cross Country teams made it to the state meet. After a state championship for the boys and a runner-up finish for the girls in 2014, the runners were hungry for another solid performance. The races were held at Carrollton Elementary school on a five kilometer course under very muddy conditions. “Today we faced the toughest state course that I have ever seen. I feel like we rose to the challenge and attacked it head on,” said Head Coach Chad McDaniel.
This year, the boys finished third out of 31 schools with a fifth place finish from junior Bailey Renfroe, a 13th place finish from senior Mikey Olson, 16th from senior Henry Collins, 25th from sophomore Peter Hess and 26th from senior Clay Tyler. Times were slowed substantially by course conditions. Ahead of the Wolves were state champions from Bleckley County and runner-up finishers from Pace Academy. Collins has struggled with a back injury for the majority of the season which had a significant impact on the team. Renfroe has consistently led the team and typically finishes with sub-18 minute times.
The girls finished runner-up for the second year in a row out of 29 schools with a fourth place finish from senior Ellie Bradach, seventh place from senior Kylie Reed, 19th from senior Beck Coxhead, 20th from freshman Quinn Kaloper and 28th from junior Sophia Kidder. Lovett came in first. Solid senior leadership has been a big factor for the girls.
Wesleyan’s cross country program has consistently contended for state championships over the last 15 years, and draws enormous participation from the student body. This year, well over 100 high school students participated. McDaniel leads the team with the help of six other coaches. “I believe that we are able to compete at a high level every year because our athletes are willing to endure a great deal of pain day after day for a greater cause. They are doing it for each other,” said McDaniel.

Swim and Dive Makes Big Splash in Competition

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    Photo: Brian Morgan // Coaches Trotter and Bufton
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    Photo: Brian Morgan // Captains: Ben Buckley, Chandler Marsh, Kyle Rappe, Abby Gardner, Ellie Bradach, and Sydney Weissman

The swim team at Wesleyan is ready to take over Davidson Natatorium for the winter season once again. With large meets on the horizon and stiff opposition, head coach Kevin Kadzis knows that his team must be prepared both mentally and physically. Looking to improve on last year’s strong showing at state, the Wolves have been working hard in both the gym and pool to increase the overall endurance and strength.  Kadzis is very excited for the season. In an interview he said, “We are looking forward to a great season.” A great season it will certainly be.

Kadzis also named off a few of the key swimmers saying, “Certainly our captains will be important. Ben Buckley, Kyle Rappe, Chandler Marsh, Ellie Bradach, Sydney Weissman, and Abby Gardner.”  If this year is to be at all similar to past years, captains will play into the direction of this team.  Although talent is deep and young, the captains will have to lead their team with good attitudes and good spirit.    Senior swimmer Grant Sauer has a very interesting way of describing swimming.  The sport is difficult, and is like “riding a bike, except the bike has square wheels.”

Swimming is not meant to be easy, and all of the swimmers know that, but a love for the sport and the drive to win fuels their efforts every day. With the common goal of a state championship, the swim team know that they must be prepared to train the hardest that they ever have to achieve it. With a great senior class, the team is prepared for many records, personal bests, and Wesleyan top ten times will be broken.  Already this season there have been top ten times from Ethan Moon (500 free and 200 IM), Ben Buckley (200 Free and 200 IM), Joseph Berney (Diving), and Kate McCahan (Diving).  Although there have been many new top ten times, there will surely be more on the way as the season goes on.  Senior captain Sydney Weissman is very encouraged by how the team is looking thus far this season.  She said, “We have a lot of strong swims from younger swimmers.  It is very encouraging to see them improving so much in practice and in meets.  We are hoping to continue to see similar drops in time throughout the meets this season!”

Looking ahead on the season, the Wet Wolves will have a tough schedule with big meets against tough opponents coming up.  Big meets this season include an away meet against GAC in January, Holiday Splash Invitational against many high classification schools in early December, and the Metro Meet in January.  With large opponents, fast swims, and many lasts for the seniors, the Wet Wolves would love your support as a student body at upcoming meets and events.

Wolves Making Deep Run into Playoffs

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    Senior Maddie Jones focused during a game. Photo by Brian Morgan
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    Sophomore Madison McKemie huddles up with her team. Photo by Brian Morgan

Varsity volleyball is off to a great start in the postseason play. The Lady Wolves have played well in all of their games thus far. They have been solid on the court this year, landing them a spot in the GHSA Class 2A.

With a big win against Gordon Lee, the Lady Wolves have earned a chance at revenge for last year’s playoff loss against Lovett. Lovett, a historically strong team, knocked Wesleyan out of the playoffs last year, and is back for more yet again. Keep Reading

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