GNADENHUTTEN -- Twenty grapplers are now preparing for coach Bill Gilmore's 16th season as the head man of the Indian Valley High wrestling program.
The Braves are coming off a 15-9 season last year, but did lose five quality matmen. Gone are Darren Warner, (a two-year state placer), Dominic Bell (state alternate last year), Dakota Smith (a district qualifier last year), Travis Riddle and Matt Dobzien.
Heading the cast of returnees is three-year letterwinner Dalton Farrow (220). The senior posted a 34-13 mark last season and was a district qualifier.
Two-year veterans are seniors Ben Aponik (195), Austin Western (138/145) and Brock Metzger (285), along with junior Nathan Wenger (126/132).
Aponik accomplished a 20-10 record last season while Farrow finished at 34-13 and Western posted a 30-9 mark. Aponik and Western were also district qualifiers.
Single letter returnees are senior Cody Valentine (220/285), juniors Daniel Roan (120/126), Logan Ryan (160/170) and Heath Williams (106/113) along with sophomore Braden Swaney (120). Of that contingent, Ryan shone brightest last winter, compiling a 27-16 record.
The remainder of the current roster includes senior Evan Cross (182); juniors Austin Gardner (132) and Vince Sunderman (126/132): sophomores Jay Elliott (138/145), Tyler Feutz (120/126) and Andrew Westmill (126); and freshmen Mitchell Giffin (113), Clayton Kerns (138), Dresden Korns (132) and Alec Love (152).
"We have most of our experience at the extremes of the weight classes," said Gilmore. "Our young kids will give us a lot of depth at the lower weights while at the upper weights, what we lack in depth, we make up for with quality."
Assisting Gilmore this year will be Andy Lahmers, Nick Swaldo and Dave Bell.
Gilmore looks for more league domination from Cuyahoga Valley Christian Academy, but thinks his squad can back up last season's PAC runner-up finish with another strong season if the team can fend off Tuslaw and Manchester.
The 2012-2013 schedule is relatively unchanged from last year, with the team getting its season underway on Saturday, Dec. 1 at the Cambridge Invitational.