The "Six Pack" is gone. Actually, the Mount Greylock wrestling team graduated seven regulars off last year's team.
Needless to say, there are some big holes that need to be filled.
"We lost seven really good kids," coach Ray Miro said. "It's tough to have that change over, but like with anything else, you got to just pick up and move ahead -- that's all.
"We do have some kids coming back and we've got some young kids that were around last year. We're not completely shelled, but we are missing some kids and we don't have anybody in the upper two weight classes right now."
Miro was able to more than double the Greylock representation on the team from the 2011-12 squad. Last year's team had just seven Mounties. There are 18 now. McCann has three on the team, Hoosac Valley has nine and Drury has none.
He credited the influx to some recruiting he did in gym classes, hosting two four-day sessions -- one for seventh-graders and the other for eighth-graders. He said he picked up seven or eight kids just from those sessions.
"What we did do is pick up a lot of kids," Miro said. "They're a lot of new kids, but you got to try to do something somewhere."
It starts with the three seniors on the team. Allison Crews (McCann Tech), Mitch Graves (Hoosac Valley) and Ross Jackson (McCann Tech). The youthful team will be looking to the trio for leadership throughout the season.
There will be opportunities for
"We're obviously going to have some wrestle-offs this year," Miro said. "But the reality is most of the weight classes are taken."
Geneeva LeSage will be starting in the lightest weight class. The sophomore from Greylock may also see some time at 113 depending on how her teammates in the weight classes are weighing in (above or at weight).
Backing her up will be Jude Rorke (MG, 7th) and Dante Jackson (HV, 9th).
Crews will anchor this spot much of the year. Miro said there isn't anyone who can seriously back her up because they are all too young. The senior should be able to provide the Mounties with a solid wrestler in a low weight class, often times held by younger male wrestlers.
Devon Pelletier seems to have a strong hold on this weight class. The eighth-grader from Greylock gained a lot of valuable experience last season with as much matt time as he received last year, including attending the annual Pennsylvania meet the team travels to.
Travis Hilchey is back and has no intention of loosening his stranglehold on this weight class.
CJ Lillie and Cayman Mead will battle for varsity matches, which should help both grow as wrestlers. Lillie is a junior at Hoosac Valley, while Mead is a sophomore at Greylock.
There is a tight battle for the starting varsity position in the weight class, also. Joe Gwozdz (MT, 10th) and Dakota Lane (MG, 9th) will need some wrestle-offs to settle who's starting each week.
Graves has a lot of expected of him from the coaching staff. The senior put in the work in the offseason and his technique has improved. This division can be one of the most competitive, so he'll need to draw on his experience to give the Mounties points.
David O'Brien seems to be locked into this weight class. The freshman from Hoosac gained a lot of experience last year, wrestling in more than 30 matches between the 152- and 160-pound class. The coaching staff has high hopes for him, despite his youth.
The Mounties have a question mark here. Maurice Nemtzow, a freshman from Greylock, is penciled in, but toher than that, Miro's not sure who will be wrestling here.
Johnny Colon is "firmly planted" in this spot, Miro said. "No one is going to take it from him." That's a lot of pressure for the Hoosac sophomore, but Miro thinks he's up to the task.
This will be Jackson's domain. The senior spent much of last season wrestling up a class in 195, despite barely weighing in for the 182-pound class. He may see some time in 195 again, it just depends on how others are weighing in.
Carl Swanson should be wrestling here, but he and Jackson may switch from time to time, depending on match-ups. The sophomore from Hoosac should see plenty of time in the circle, either here or at 182.
With Colon, Jackson and Swanson wrestling in the three classes directly beneath this one, Hunter Abriel should make himself comfortable. The freshman from Greylock shouldn't have much to worry about in terms of competition from within the team, which will allow him to focus on getting better.