By Anvil Welch
Globe Sports Writer
Joplin High School opens its wrestling season with a pair of duals tonight at Carl Junction.
The Eagles, under new coach David Myers, will tackle the Bulldogs at 5:30 and then face Webb City. The Cardinals and Bulldogs then will clash.
“This is a great way to start the season,” Myers said Wednesday night. “They should be competitive matches in addition to facing good rivals. We should know more about ourselves after those matches.”
Myers, who was at Diamond the past four years, said he knows that at least three of the senior Eagles were standouts last season — Danny Drouin, Keegan Loyd and Don Hollingshead.
The probable lineup for tonight’s opener is freshman Kaden Carlin at 106 pounds, freshman Bryce Schwarting at 120, sophomore Levi Puckett at 126, Loyd at 132, junior Noah Hembree at 138, Hollingshead at 145, sophomore Ashton Parker at 152, freshman Tyler McGrew at 160, senior Joe Fiscus at 170, senior Landon Taylor at 182, sophomore Jason Love at 195, Drouin at 220 and sophomore Jeff Owens at heavyweight.
“We’re open at 113 and, hopefully, that will be the only time this season,” Myers said.
Myers is expecting Schwarting to drop to 113 and Puckett to drop to 120. Myers projected freshman Skye Paulk to be at 126.
Myers also said Taylor likely will drop to 170. Then, Myers said, it will be a toss-up between freshmen Israel Bravo and Christian Plassman at 182.
Joplin has another senior, Elliot Kersh, competing at 170.
“I feel awesome,” Myers said. “We have some good kids and other underclassmen show promise. Our seniors are providing great leadership.”
Myers, who’s assisted by Nathan Mutic and Kris Dishman, said the Eagles have been working out some 21⁄2 hours daily at Jake’s Fireworks on North Main.
Myers, a 2002 graduate of Seneca High School, wrestled for a year at St. Louis-Meramec Community College before transferring to Missouri Southern and earning his degree.
He assisted Shawn Finch at JHS for several years before moving to Diamond. Myers applied for the Joplin position when Finch, a good friend, moved to Clinton (Okla.).