Two years ago, Dillon Wildin placed sixth in the 145-pound class at the state wrestling tournament.
Last year, Cody Wildin one-upped his brother and came in second in the 135-pound weight class at state.
This year, the Wildin brothers will lead a talented group of wrestlers on a quest to obtain a state victory.
Joining Cody and Dillon are senior letter winners Tylor Neil, who was a state qualifier in the 152-pound class, heavyweight Joe Richmond, and 215-pound Nick Klenda. Juniors 119-pound Randy Regnier, 140-pound Andy Shipman, 152-pound Galen Funk, 171-pound Andrew Kjellin, and sophomores 160-pound Colten Johnson and 125-pound Cole Lewman make up the rest of the returning letter-winners.
“Our whole team should be very good,” head coach Chad Adkins said. “I have been the head coach in Marion for 10 years; this is the best group of kids that I’ve worked with as far as talent goes.”
The team was 8-8 overall last year and 4-4 in MCAA.
“We struggled with eligibility last year. We very rarely wrestled with our full team on the mat,” Adkins said. “That will not be a problem this year. We have a 30-point schedule this year, which means we will be able to wrestle at full strength all year.”
The Warrior team will include 21 Marion students and six students from Peabody-Burns High School. Adkins believes the team will have many strengths, with youth as the team’s only weakness.
“We have good senior leadership; we will be skilled technical wrestlers; we will be in great shape; and all our kids want to work hard and win,” he said. “We’re young in many spots, which can be a weakness if the coach doesn’t do his job.”
The team goes on the road Dec. 17 to duel one of its toughest opponents for its second meet of the season at Minneapolis. Adkin’s goal is to go undefeated in dual meets.
“We duel some tough teams: Minneapolis, Burlington, Hoisington, Smoky Valley, Hillsboro, and Halstead,” Adkins said. “We always look forward to the triple dual with Hillsboro, Smoky Valley, and Hoisington.”