Westby High School wrestling team 2018

Members of the Westby wrestling team for 2018-1 include (back, from left) coach Drew Hendrickson, Bjorn Leum, Ty Harbough, Dakota Bakkestuen, Dylan Nottestad, Conor Vatland, Ryan Knight, Lukas Hanson, Austin Mowery, coach Rob Kirner; (middle) Mitchell McKittrick, Dallas Geier, Gunnar Hanson, Logan Turben, Gus Klum, Brock Hoskins, Trevor Lemke, Dominick Hansen, Grant Fremstad; (front)m anager Justice Franks, Nicole Klum, Josie Hofslien, Karri Seland, Maddy Swick, Bree Hatlan, Emily Bender and anager Jayden Satona. Not picture is manager Jordan Gettelman.

The Westby Area High School wrestling team believes their goals are within reach this 2018-19 season.

“I believe we will be a very competitive team. We have 22 duals on our schedule and our goal is to win at least 15 of them,” said head coach Rob Kirner. Kirner will be joined by assistant coach Drew Hendrickson as they come off a 10-7 record from the previous year.

Wrestlers who have graduated are John Lucas, and 2017 sectional qualifiers Justin Erdman and Jack Lipski. Kirner, who has been coaching 20 years, said he still believes the team he has can get it done.

“Nine of our starters for this year finished with an above .500 winning percentage last season and the experienced freshmen we have fit into our lineup perfectly.”

“Westby has a really solid lineup, top to bottom. We have a lot of experienced wrestlers throughout and many of those have extensive varsity experience,” Kirner said. Exemplifying that experience are returning wrestlers Ryan Knight, a 2017 sectional qualifier and 2018 state qualifier, Austin Mowery, a 2017 state qualifier and 2018 sectional qualifier, and Conor Vatland, a 2018 sectional qualifier.

Some challenges face the Westby Area High School wrestling team. “Our biggest challenge will be out working our opponents. Our guys are willing to train hard and do whatever it takes but we know the opponents on our tough schedule are working hard, too,” Kirner said.

The combination of experience and work ethic puts the wrestling team in a good position to meet their goals.

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Vernon County Broadcaster reporter

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