Four very experienced seniors, including 2019 State Champion, Gabe Nagel, will lead the way for the Little Falls wrestling team.
Joining Nagel are Nathaniel Kludt, Calvin Sherwood and Peyton Carll as senior leaders for the Flyers according to head coach Mike Hendrickson.
State entrant Austin Litke is joined by fellow juniors Bryce Udy and Eli Van Risseghem.
Hendrickson also mentioned a number of underclassmen expected to fill out the 14 weight classes, including: Sophomores Ryan Kloeckl, Jonah Olson and Dane Ballou; freshmen Joey Wilczek, Hank Leclair and seventh and eighth graders Mason Rausch, Beau Robinson, Kobi and Noah Cameron and Ivan Petrich.
“It will be important for us again to be able to fill all 14 weight classes,” Hendrickson said.
He also believes that Foley and Mora will be the biggest competition in the Granite Ridge, while Bemidji and Willmar will challenge in Section 8-3A.
“If we can keep our guys on the mat for the whole season, we have great potential,” Hendrickson said.
As far as COVID-19 goes in wrestling, wrestlers do not need to wear masks like many other sports, but disinfection will be done often, and wrestlers are required to wear masks once they are done with their match.
“It certainly is a great opportunity for us to be able to compete. Nobody knows how long it will last, but we do have a start at least,” Hendrickson said. “Kids are resilient. They are adjusting to the daily differences from the norm they are used to. Thankfully we do not have to wear masks while wrestling. That would be extremely difficult.”
Little Falls hosts Long Prairie-Grey Eagle and Sartell for a triangular, Thursday, and then follow that with another home triangular with Hibbing and Morris, Friday.