The past two years have been historic for the wrestling team, and this year doesn’t seem to be any different.
Seniors Max Grayson and Kyle Burns are ranked first and fourth in their weight classes, respectively. This year is the first-time teammates have been ranked in the top five simultaneously.
They both have grown a lot since their run at the finals last year, and they recognize the value in each other.
“I think Kyle should have a good season,” Grayson said. “He’s definitely a leader on this team, and everybody looks up to him.
“So, if people see him winning, people would use him as an example.”
Burns is on the lower end of the 125-pound weight division, despite his success.
“We are tweaking a few things because he’s wrestling bigger kids than he has been used to, working on some moves that would set him in the right direction,” Coach Floyd said.
Burns has been living up to high standards for a while now. He was the first male state finalist in school history.
“I feel like I train a lot harder,” Burns said.
It’s more of the same with Grayson, who is ranked No. 1 in the 170-pound weight class, but sometimes competes in other classes. He’s been getting stronger and focusing on his technique more. He has won each of his matches so far and only continues to get better.
“Right now, I’m ranked number one in the state,” Grayson said. “My expectations are high, but I’ll take it one match at a time.”
Coach Floyd says coming in at second place last year and challenging for a state title boosted his confidence. This year is a tougher schedule, but if he stays healthy, he should compete for a state title.
With a stronger schedule and many freshmen joining the fray, having two leaders is crucial. Coach Floyd believes Burns and Grayson act as a standard for the freshmen, but he also has to make sure their success doesn’t intimidate others.
“It also scares some people from going out,” Coach Floyd said. “’I can’t do what those guys can.’ That’s one of the stigmas I’m trying to get rid of.”
The wrestling team leaves on Friday for their tournament at Dobyns-Bennett where 35 teams will compete. Weigh-ins are at 3 p.m. and the first match is at 6 p.m.