Elder Wrestling looks to succeed


courtesy TonyCat.com

Elder Wrestling is ready to go

The Elder Wrestling team is probably the most overlooked, yet most successful program in Elder history, especially in recent years. Coach Roush is going into this wrestling season for the 4th time as Elder’s head coach and he has one thing in mind; winning. Coming in four years ago he had big shoes to fill taking long time beloved Coach McCoy’s place, hoping to leave his own legacy here at Elder High School.

Elder returns seniors Connor Craig (State qualifier ’15), Jake Meredith (State Qualifier ’15 ’16), and Nino Salamone (State Alternate ’16). All have been four-year varsity starters, however, Craig transferred for Reading after his freshman year. I asked Craig what made him transfer to Elder, “I really liked the school when I shadowed and I saw myself coming to school here. The wrestling team being as good as we are also played a big role in transferring. Elder has offered me many more opportunities to succeed on the mats.”

All three seniors hope to go out in proper fashion by getting their name on the state placer board. Likewise, the underclassmen in the line-up have similar aspirations for this season. Elder returns some stud juniors led by Austin Murphy (State placer ’16), Ti’ric Evans (State qualifier ’15 ’16), Antonio McCloud, and heavyweight Alec Moore-nash.

Senior Will Ellerhorse, Junior Chucky Lipps, and Sophomore DJ Melillo were varsity starters last year and also hope to win some big matches this year for the panthers.

One of the most exciting and surprising things this year is the amount of experienced freshman that hope to shake the line up and make some noise around the city. From 106 pounds to 145 pounds Elder has 7-8 freshman who have been wrestling their entire lives. This is good for Coach Roush and the future of the wrestling team because depth in the line-up only makes the team much better as a whole for years to come.

Coach Roush is excited to get back on the mats and thinks this season is going to be special one. All of the wrestlers got a list of goals before the season started that Roush thinks are capable of reaching if earned through hard work every day this season. Some of these goals include repeat winning the GCL title, win back-to-back-to-back regional team dual titles, and take 8 men on the roster to the state tournament. Elder has only completed that last task once in team history in 2008 when they had two individual state champs in Tommy Pretty and Orlando Scales.

Senior Jake Meredith thinks that we have a good shot in completing these and can’t wait to get back on the mats for his senior season, “I’m really excited for this team. We have talent all across the board and I think we can really do something special this year.”

The Elder wrestling team has a lot of work to do this upcoming season and has some high hopes in reaching these goals. However, let the wrestling speak for itself and we will see where it all ends up in the state tournament on March 9, 10, 11.