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IAC WRESTLING: DRAMATIC RISE IN NUMBERS HAS WAVERLY'S WITMAN EXCITED FOR 2021-22 (2021-11-19)

BY TIM BIRNEY
Valley Sports Report
WAVERLY — The numbers are up dramatically, and Waverly wrestling coach Devan Witman is excited for the 2021-22 season.

“With last year being a weird year, numbers were low; people didn’t know what to expect.

“This year, the numbers are double what they were last year,” said Witman. “I’t’s good to get on the mat and get rolling again.

“It’s been a good week of practice so far,” added Witman.

The Wolverines have 25 grapplers in the room, and Witman is pleased with the way the roster is constructed.

“Our roster is actually a good mix of things,” he said. “We’re looking to get some help from three 7th-graders, an 8th-grader, and five or six freshmen … we have a pretty big junior class, but only two seniors on the roster.”

Witman said the offseason was adequate, but could be much better.

“We kept the room open a couple days a week all spring and summer,” he said. “Our guys who wrestle year-round were there … and, we invited some other schools in, so were able to match up and got some practice partners.

“We also had our wrestling camp, which was huge for us,” added Witman. “Most of our wrestlers attended the camp, and got some good work in.”

The change made by the state in pushing back the start of the winter season had an impact on Waverly’s scrimmage schedule.

“Normally, we would host a big scrimmage the day before Thanksgiving, but with the late start no one is going to have 10 practices in by then.

“The opportunity for a scrimmage is really small,” said Witman. “We may still try to get something in with Elmira or Horseheads, so there’s a possibility but nothing set in stone.:

Waverly opens its season Dec. 3-4 at the Mark Stevens Tournament in Horseheads.

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IN PHOTOS 1-3: Waverly’s Conner Stotler and Landon McCarty. … PHOTOS BY TIM BIRNEY.

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