Sean Moistner had a pretty good idea of what his returning wrestlers would do this season.
Coming off a state championship in the duals and tradition category, the Alexander coach was interesting in seeing what his younger wrestlers would do.
Those new to the lineup have seem to fill in well for the Cougars.
Heading into Saturday’s Southern Slam in South Carolina, Alexander has compiled a 16-0 duals meet record.
“We got a lot of good things going on right now with the team,” Moistner said. “We have some kids that have developed. We knew what some of our returners were going to do. It was a matter of seeing the new kids in the lineup.”
Moistner has been high on juniors David Jackson Dobbs and Gabriel Santiago. Dobbs is wrestling in the 106-pound division while Santiago is at 170.
The coach is also impressed with Dawson Matthews, who wrestles at 145. The freshman has a 13-3 record going into the weekend.
“They have had to step up, and they have,” Moistner said. “It is their time for a shot at success. I think we have gotten a lot of help from the ones that are new to the lineup.”
Although the Cougars have competed against a tough in-state schedule, it will face a lot of stiff competition this weekend. The Southern Slams attracts teams throughout the Southeast and is considered one of the top tournaments in the nation.
The Cougars finished fourth in 2014 in the two-day tournament.
“We feel we are one of those top teams,” Moistner said. “I’m looking for our guys to wrestle tough and apply what we have been working on. I just want to see us get better with each match. We have some things to improve on. We have a few teams that are hot on our heels and we want to stay two steps ahead.”
Being the defending champions in the state, Moistner knows his team will get everybody’s best.
“For the most part, I feel we have handled everything well,” he said. “We have to go into every match knowing people want to beat us. I tell the kids everybody wants to say they beat the state champions.”