Wyoming Area’s wrestling team is young, looking for a few needed additions in the upperweights and working under a new head coach.
That coach, Steve Mytych Sr., who takes over for his son, Steve Mytych Jr., however, believes the Warriors will be better off than some others assume under those circumstances.
“We’ll be young,” Mytych Sr. said. “I think they’ll step up more than some people expect.”
Much of the Warriors’ lineup will be filled by freshmen and sophomores, but many of them came up through the school’s junior high program, which Mytych Sr. was coaching two years ago.
One of the sophomores is Patrick Heck, who produced one of the four individual titles while helping Wyoming Area finish third out of 12 teams at the District 2 Class AA Tournament. The other champions – Carmen Mauriello (120) and state qualifiers Andrew Schutz (128) and Nicholas Heck (138) – are among the many graduation losses.
Patrick Heck won the 106-pound district title and one bout at Northeast Regionals as a freshman.
Heck, who went 17-14 overall, and sophomore Charlie Johnson, who was 12-5 and placed third in the district at 132, are the leading returnees. Heck is expected to be at 120 with Johnson at 126 or 132 this season.
Junior Jude Polit-Moran was 14-15 a year ago. He will be at 170 or 182.
Junior Shaun Vaszuez (106) was in the lineup most of last season while junior Jeff Skursky (220, 285) and sophomore Zach Briggs (152, 160) also have some varsity experience.
The rest of the lineup will come from sophomores Kevin Pish (120), Matt Crawford (160), Jason Wilson (160), Zach O’Brien (170, 182) and Frank Yurek (285); freshmen Mitchell Higley (113), William Shelley (113), Kendrick Bryer (138) and Adam Buczynski (145); and some possible newcomers at the higher weights.
Mytych Sr. is trying to recruit additions to the team, including talking to some football players about filling spots.
“I’m working on it,” he said. “We had one or two kids walk in the room last week.”
Regardless, he will have a relatively new group in terms of high school experience.
“We’re just trying to cover all the basics,” Mytych Sr. said.
Although he has many years of experience coaching younger wrestlers, Mytych Sr. has just one year as a varsity coach, more than a decade ago. In that season, he led Wyoming Valley West to the District 2 Class AAA title.
While Mytych Jr. pursues his dream of wrestling in the Olympics, his father takes over the Wyoming Area program. When he is in the area, Mytych Jr. will continue to help coach the team.
“Steve just got back from Russia, traveling with the (national) team over there,” Mytych Sr. said. “He has some other commitments. Whenever, they call him, he’ll go wherever he has got to go.
“He’s going to Cuba for a little while for some training there.”
The Warriors finished tied for third among seven teams in Division 2 of the Wyoming Valley Conference last season and Mytych Sr. expects defending champion Lake-Lehman to again be strong.