Hillcrest wrestling hopes for comeback after years of struggle
Nov 02, 2017 11:18AM
● By Jana Klopsch
Hillcrest High School junior and wrestler Brody Roemmich. (Photo/Steve Carnahan)
Hillcrest Wrestling has had its competitive runs before and they are looking to do it again.
Through the 80s and 90s, Hillcrest was known for great wrestling but over the last several years, through coaching changes and changes in area, they have had their struggles. But Gentry Gasser, Hillcrest High wrestling coach said Hillcrest is on the rise again and looking to continue.
“Hillcrest will return a solid core of varsity athletes only losing five seniors to graduation,” Gasser said. “Last year, Hillcrest had its first state placer in seven years when junior Keala Mahe placed fourth.”
Mahe returns this year and is looking to make a run at a state title.
“I feel good. We have a great chance to win region and put guys in the state tournament,” Mahe said. “We have to work hard and not just talk about it. We have some great newer wrestlers that will be able to make an impact for the team and complement our more experienced wrestlers.”
Additional teammates Scotty Abbott, Pete Heslop, Eric Ransdell, Cole Underwood and Alex Mena are also looking to cap great careers in their senior year to lead the team to a successful season.
“If we put in the effort we will be region champs,” Heslop said. “I hope to start a new generation of Hillcrest wrestling and bring back the pride and tradition we had in the past.”
Gasser said senior Jeremiah Peart will be one to watch as he returns to the mat after sitting out last year due to an injury. Fellow junior Brody Roemmich will look to maintain momentum this season and junior Noah Nicholls is a returning state qualifier and hopes to find the podium come February.
“I feel very excited about the upcoming season,” Nicholls said. “I feel like we have a lot more experience going into this year, and it should reflect in our performance.”
With a big push and extra support from the football coaching staff, Gasser said they should get a lot of newcomers to help build the team.
“Hillcrest will be in the running to win the Region 2 crown in the new 6A classification and challenge for a top 10 finish at state,” Gasser said. “We are planning on having around eight seniors and eight juniors with a lot of sophomores and freshmen to fill the ranks.”
Hillcrest is also sponsoring its first all-girls wrestling club and has garnered a lot of interest from the girls at the school. Sariah Gist has been competing with the boys her entire life and at the all-girls state tournament last year came home with a third place finish and hopes to translate that success to the boy’s side.
Hillcrest has a youth program for grades K-8 run by Eddie Gist that is looking for more members and they are also trying to establish a junior high team for fifth- to eighth- graders.More information on the wrestling team can be found at Hillcrest Junior Huskies Wrestling on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/groups/57163606642/