WEST JEFFERSON — As the wrestling regular season runs through the final stretch before the conference tournament, regionals and state championships, Huskies head coach Adam Elliott has a lot to feel good about, saying his young team has lived up to expectations.
The team has been lifted by the stellar results from junior Jaron Greer, who transferred to Ashe from a school in Virginia over the summer. Greer filled the 220-pound void left by state champion Zach Bare, and Elliott said his 36-1 record on the year has been a major part of their success.
“It’s hard to replace someone like Zach, and you don’t expect to just have a new guy who does everything the exact same, but (Greer’s) done an excellent job for us this year,” Elliott said. “He’s one of a handful of guys with 30 wins and it’s been a big part of our success.”
Greer and fellow 220 lb. wrestler, freshman Jaxon Kitson, have combined for a 44-2 record on the year, the best percentage for any weight class on the team and the second most wins behind Timothy Peterson, Kabel Dillard and Joshua Santos’s 47 combined in the 195 lb. division.
Joining Greer with 30-or-more wins are senior Drake Elliott and juniors Peterson and Gabriel Bare. While the team is getting good production from its upper classmen, the majority of the team are sophomores and freshmen, something Elliott said early in the season would be a factor in the season.
“This is a young team, but we tell them that’s not an excuse,” Elliott said. “We’ve got Andrew Peterson, Drew Roland, young guys who are doing well for us and helping our team succeed.”
Of the 25 wrestlers, an overwhelming 16 of them are freshmen or sophomores, with six of them having double-digit wins already.
The Huskies only have two more regular season matches scheduled before the Mountain Valley Athletic Conference Tournament Saturday, Feb. 1 at Wilkes Central High School, where they hope to put on a good showing and send players to higher stages of competition.
Elliott said the team has continued to improve, giving the coaching staff confidence in their upcoming postseason play.
The Huskies have two more matches scheduled before the tournament, an away bout at Starmount Friday, Jan. 24, and a home match-up with North Wilkes Tuesday, Jan. 28, which will be Senior Night.