SCOTT TRUXELL/independent sports editor
The 2017-2018 high school winter sports season is underway and it brings with it a new feature to www.thevwindependent.com sports. The weekly Coaches Corner will feature comments from area basketball, wrestling, swimming and bowling coaches. Today’s Coaches Corner focuses on Van Wert wrestling, Crestview Lady Knights basketball and Lincolnview Lancers basketball.
Van Wert wrestlers ready for challenge
Led by a first place finish by Isaiah Bretz (145 pounds) and a second place finish by Gabe Steyer (138 pounds), the Cougars opened the new wrestling season by finishing sixth out of 14 teams at Saturday’s Jim McCracken Invitational in Sidney.
“We were very pleased with our wrestlers willingness to embrace competition,” head wrestling coach Ben Collins said. “Our wrestlers competed with a focus on getting better throughout the day and they were able to accomplish that.”
The Cougars will open the home portion of the schedule Thursday against Defiance, then will make the short trip to Lincolnview for Saturday’s 10-team Lancer Invitational.
“We are looking forward to opening up with Defiance at home,” Collins said. “The Western Buckeye League decided to move back to having a dual meet with all league teams so that schools have more opportunities to spotlight their athletes at home contests.”
“This is our first chance to see where we stack up in the league and Defiance will be a good gauge with their success in the last 5 years,” Collins continued. “As far as Lincolnview goes, that is a great tournament for us. Our young guys will have another chance at getting better through a series of matches. It is almost like a home meet for us and the boys enjoy wrestling in front their friends and families.”
Wrestling action will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, with host Lincolnview, Van Wert, Ada, Antwerp, Celina, Defiance, Delphos Jefferson, Hicksville, Sidney Lehman Catholic, Parkway, Spencerville and Delphos St. John’s.
Crestview Lady Knights ready for first victory
Losses to Ottoville and Fort Recovery have led to an 0-2 start for the Lady Knights basketball team, but head coach Mark Gregory said his team isn’t shaken by the defeats.
“We are very confident in what we are doing right now,” Gregory said. “We make no excuses, those first two games are going to help us this season.”
Gregory also said he’s pleased with the positives he’s seen during the young season.
“Our girls have worked extremely hard and always do,” Gregory explained. “We have many areas to improve upon, but I appreciate how we have rebounded so far. We aren’t very big, so we work very hard in the trenches. Our girls attitudes have been great also.”
“Our primary focus so far this season has been coming together as a group and as a family.” Our motto for this season is One Team, One Family, and One Purpose. Our purpose is to be the best we can be everyday. I challenge the girls and they respond everyday.”
Crestview will host Parkway tonight, then will open Northwest Conference play Thursday at home against Columbus Grove.
Lincolnview ready to rebound
The Lancers hung tough with Van Wert on Saturday, but fell 50-42 in the season opener for both teams.
Caden Ringwald and Chayten Overholt combined for 31 of Lincolnview’s 42 points, leading head coach Brett Hammons to say others will have to contribute in the scoring column.
“Teams are going to key on Chayten and Caden, and we knew that coming in,” Hammons said. “In order for us to be successful, for us to have a good season, we can’t rely on two kids. As good as they are, we need other guys to step up, and I think they will.”
The Lancers will entertain Upper Scioto Valley on Friday, then will travel to Continental Saturday.