Vandals coach Jeremy Auch reports, “The start of wrestling season is here with some boys anxious to get started and others not so much. This year for me has started good, We’re up to nine wrestlers, two seniors, four juniors, one sophomore and two freshman.

The seniors include Preston Hubbard, returning for his final season. “He has improved in all three years and I expect him to do good things this year,” Auch said.

The other senior is foreign exchange student Georgiy Abramenko from Norway. “He has some background in a Mixed Martial Arts program, so it will be a lot of learning for both of us.”

Junior Chris Drayton returns to the Vandal squad this year after placing high in the state tournament the last two years. Third as a freshman year and fourth his sophomore year. “He put in a lot of offseason work and looks good. I expect he’ll be right in the mix for a state title,” Auch said.

Junior Ashton Sanders sat out last year due to an injury but looks good and health this year. “Excited to see what he does.”

Brandon Lee will be a newcomer, but shows high hopes of doing great things on the mat. Auch says, “He could be a sleeper that no one sees coming.”

Kaden Briones is another first-year wrestler. “He’s a good kid and tough just lacks experience.”

Sophomore Quade Filippini placed fourth last year in state. Auch said, “He is exciting to watch and I expect him to be in the running in state, he will cause some havoc that’s for sure.”

Freshmen Sam Baumann and Orrin Knudsen are both coming up to varsity from Auch’s middle school program. And he says, “Both did really well. I’m excited to see what they both do on the high school level. Both are good coachable kids and have lots of try.”

He adds, “All in all, it should be a good year. Nice to see the sport of wrestling growing again in Eureka and I hope every year is bigger than the next. I started coaching in 2013 with only two kids and every year since I’ve gained one or two. Hopefully one year I will have a full team of 14.”

The Vandals’ schedule began Nov. 30 with matches at the 10-team Earl Wilkins Duals in Fallon.

The boys don’t have anything this weekend, but do participate in the Pershing County Mustang Invitational in Lovelock Dec. 14, then the Lowry Cory Louk Invitational in Winnemucca Dec. 20-21 just prior to Christmas break.