LAKEVIEW — Todd Barton’s first season has Lakeview wrestling head coach didn’t go the way he wanted.
The Wildcats were just 6-27 on the season and youth had a part to play in that, Barton said.
“We had a lot of young athletes,” he said. “We only had two upperclassmen. It started out rough, but as we started to bond as a team the season got a little better.”
Numbers also had a part in the record, Barton noted.
“We had trouble filling the lineup as well,” he said. “It’s hard to win matches when you’re giving up three or four voids at a time. And it’s hard to compete with the experience of the other teams.”
But the six wins weren’t as important to Barton as the growth of the team, he said.
“We don’t measure our success with wins and losses, we measure it with the growth of our team as individuals,” he said.
Lakeview did have one wrestler in Terry Greiser get to the state finals as an individual. But a couple other wrestlers were key for the team, according to Barton.
“We had our only senior on the team, Gus Ward, falling in a heartbreaker in the blood round to qualify for state,” he said. “He lost by a point. But what he did for our team was extraordinary. He took a group of primary freshmen and led them like a leader should and helped them develop as not only wrestlers but individuals.”
Barton also mentioned Austin Davy.
“He (Davy) put up a lot of points for us by leading the team in pins,” Barton said, noting he had 16 pins. “He didn’t get much credit through the year, but he won a couple of tournaments and fulfilled his role as a returning sophomore.”
Barton said most of the team will be back next season, and it will be incumbent on them to start work to get ready for then.
“Next year this team has potential if they put the work in in the offseason,” he said. “If they work hard during the offseason and don’t take any time off from sport to sport the potential is great to do great things. But they all have to return and be willing to put forth the effort.”