New to the Portage County wrestling scene? Here’s eight wrestlers who could be in for a big year:
1. Hank Carey. Streetsboro senior, 170 pounds: Carey looked poised to make at least an All-Ohio run at 170 last season, only to have a bout of appendicitis scuttle his postseason. No wrestler in Portage County may be more anxious to make up for lost time.
2. Caleb Edwards. Rootstown sophomore, 113 pounds: Edwards finished third at 113 pounds in Division III last season — and was disappointed in his efforts, despite his only loss being to a defending state champion. That says it all about this young man’s ambition.
3. Andy Garr. Aurora senior, 145 pounds: Garr might be the most intelligent wrestler in the county, as proved by the fact he recently signed to wrestle at Columbia University. Injuries have hampered Garr during his career, but he’s focused on the state title.
4. Chris Langguth. Roostown senior, 182 pounds: Langguth has reached the state semifinals each of the last two seasons. He decided to forego playing football to have shoulder surgery and looks focused on winning that elusive state title. He’s not going far to wrestle at next level, having committed to Kent State.
5. Will McGhee. Aurora senior, 160 pounds: "Sweet Willie" might have the sweetest tilt in Portage County history, but this All-Ohioan proved he was more than a one-move wrestler last season. An Old Dominion recruit, McGhee is one of several Greenmen dreaming of state gold.
6. Isaaiah Smith. Field senior, 132 pounds: Smith made it to states in arguably the toughest weight class in Division II last season — and definitely the toughest in the PTC. This athletic and gregarious young man could be due for an All-Ohio run.
7. Brett Szuhay. Crestwood junior, 106 pounds: Szuhay returns as an All-Ohioan at the Division III level. Another year of growth should help him, as upperclassmen are rare at wrestling’s lightest weight class.
8. Nic Willingham. Aurora freshman, 106 pounds: Freshmen usually aren’t in the state title picture — but freshmen usually don’t have multiple junior high state championships under their belts. Called by his coach the greatest youth and middle school wrestler in Aurora history, if Willingham lives up to the hype, the Greenmen have a monster on their hands.