Coach: Jason Freiert, third season

Top returners: Seniors Jonathan Goodwin (152) and Wilson Low (132); juniors Raven Coleman-Brooks (145), Bryan Overton (160) and Humphrey Anuh (195).

Top newcomers: Seniors Michael Waters (182) and Melvin Iwukuoa (220); junior Josh Thibodeaux (170).

The gameplan: Goodwin, Hammond's most experienced and polished wrestler, missed much of last year with a knee injury and is looking to make up for lost time. Overton, a county finalist who won more than 30 matches last year including two in the state tournament, looks poised for a breakout season. Iwukuoa is the latest in a long line of football crossovers which last year included state placewinners Baldwin Asala and Payton Rose.


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Bonus point: Hammond assistant coach Ryan Mackin, who won a state title for the Golden Bears in 2001, is 4-1 as a professional mixed martial artist.

Howard Lions

Last season: 2-9, 6-13, 11th at county tournament

Coach: Shea Conway, first season

Top returners: Seniors Mike Frazier (285) and Nick Loiselle (170/182); sophomores Nate Schiavone (113) and Vince Schiavone (132).

Top newcomers: Junior Robert Bruffey (138); freshmen Nick Williams (106) and Bryan Crumback (119).

The gameplan: Things are looking up for the Lions. They have good numbers, around 38 at the start of the season, and a good influx of junior league talent, headlined by Williams and Crumback. Frazier pinned 12 of his first 20 opponents last year, and hopes to qualify for his first state tournament. As first-year wrestlers last year, the Schiavone twins took their licks, with Nate placing third at JV 103 and Vince fifth at JV 112. With some experience now, they should be ready to be varsity contenders.

Bonus point: Conway’s younger brother, Brendan, won 138 matches for Glenelg between 2006 and 2010, leading the Gladiators to their first state tournament title.

Long Reach Lightning

Last season: 0-11, 0-18, 12th at county tournament

Coach: Joseph Novotny, second season

Top returners: Senior Jay Rathod (130); juniors Ronald Hindman (106) and Matt Ellis (145).

Top newcomers: Junior Jon Liam (195); sophomore Kyle Fleisher (138).

The gameplan: Numbers are still down at Long Reach — they've got about ten wrestlers on varsity and eight on JV — but Hindman gives the Lightning a legitimate talent. He went 9-11 last year and finished seventh in a very deep 103-pound weight class at the county tournament. Ellis and Rathod got some varsity experience under their belts as well, and should be able to hold their own.

Bonus point: At last year’s District V Duals, Hindman went 4-1 with a pair of pins.

Marriotts Ridge Mustangs