Fifteen lettermen provide strong foundation for Warrior mat team

The goal of the 2017-18 Carrollton wrestling team will be the same as in past years: every day improve, get better as a person and stay healthy.

That formula has worked well for the Warriors in the past. Last year’s team posted a 25-2 overall record, won the Northeastern Buckeye Conference (NBC) title with a 7-0 record for the third consecutive year, won the regional State Dual Title for the first time in school history and competed in the State Dual final four, won a sectional championship for the fourth consecutive year, placed fifth in the state in Division II with six state qualifiers and four state placers, including a state champion for the first time in school history, a state runner-up and two fifth place finishers.

Head Coach Ken Pasiuk and his staff have plenty to be excited about this year.

They return 15 lettermen from last year, including seven district qualifiers, three state qualifiers and two state placers.

“We are excited once again with the group of wrestlers we have to work with this year,” said Pasiuk. “We’re going into this season with a lot of experienced wrestlers as well as some inexperienced wrestlers we hope can improve their skills and be an impact this year.”

Top returners for the Warriors include:

*Junior Ben Pasiuk (145 lbs.), who finished last season with a 58-4 record (37 by pin). He is a two-time state placer (runner-up in 2017), two-time district and sectional champion and two-time NBC first team selection.

*Senior Justin Shaw (152 lbs.), who finished last season with a 57-8 record (31 pins). He is a two-time state qualifier (placed fifth in 2017), a three-time district qualifier, two-time sectional champion and three-time NBC first team selection.

*Junior Brandon Daniels (160 lbs.), who posted a 44-13 record last season (18 pins). He is a two-time state qualifier, two-time district qualifier and first team NBC pick.

*Senior Brayden Carter (132 lbs.), who finished last season with a 19-19 mark (11 pins). He is a two-time district qualifier.

*Sophomore Nathan Blake (113-120 lbs.), who finished last year with a 38-17 record (20 pins). He is a district qualifier.

*Sophomore Robbie Hoopes (120-126 lbs.), who posted a 30-18 record last season (17 pins). He is a district qualifier.

*Senior Winsten Yekel (285 lbs.), a district qualifier.

Other lettermen include seniors Noah Carrothers (160-170 lbs.), Tanner Newbold (138 lbs.), Noah Rutledge (195-220 lbs.), Tavis Rutledge (285 lbs.) and Brice Weiland (138 lbs.); and sophomores Seth Brown (170-182 lbs.), Alex Carrothers (170-184 lbs.) and Colby Moore (170-182 lbs.).

Other team members include seniors Storm Carson and Tanner Newbold; juniors Chase Baxter, Chris Gromely, Mason Henry, Tristen Hutson, Jaret Lane, Teagin Mohn and Jordan Poracky; sophomores Greg Hilliard, Nick Leonard, Clay Rector, Travis Richerson and Jayden Zbuca; and freshmen Jacub Babe, Joe Beard, Brandon Brown, Oscar Cazares, Nick Jones, Tory Lane, Evan Lewis, Adam Lashley, Kyle Miller and JT Richardson.

“We have a lot of wrestlers who were successful last season as well as some freshmen we believe will contribute to our team this year,” Pasiuk said.

The veteran coach, who has amassed a 239-89 record while at the helm of the Warriors, said by improving individually, they will improve as a team.

“Our improvements can be made in the classroom, in the community, as a wrestler or in any number of areas, but we have to be sure we are getting better as an individual every day. If we’re doing that, we can be certain our wrestling goals individually as well as a team will get closer to becoming a reality,” he said.

The Warriors kick off the season at the Lexington Duals Dec. 2 at 10 a.m.

They host Salem in the NBC dual meet opener Dec. 14 beginning at 7:30 p.m. and participate in the North Canton Hoover Tournament Dec. 15 and 16.

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