Brian Booze is well aware that the only way to build a quality wrestling program is from the ground up.
He saw it first-hand when he was a District 3 champion for Greencastle-Antrim in his high school days, when the program was at its peak. He has seen it at the youth level and as a middle school coach.
And now he is trying to do something about it as the Blue Devils’ new varsity head coach.
Booze said, “I was at the middle school and was planning to stay there, but the high school job opened up again, and I just want to see some stability in this position.
“I know we need to work hard at the middle school level, and keep the kids going through the program — from the fifth- and sixth-graders into the middle school, and from middle school into high school.”
Until then, Booze and a veteran staff will try to squeeze out the best they can from their 13-man roster, a team Booze calls “mostly young, or inexperienced.”
Booze said, “We have a lot of green wrestlers — hopefully we can coach them up and give them some moves they can use that will work for them.”
The Blue Devils’ top wrestler from a year ago, Jared Miller, is back for his senior season at 145. Miller placed fourth in the Section III Tournament to qualify for the District 3 event. He was 0-2 at districts to finish with an 8-8 record.
“He had an injury early in the season last year that kept him out, but so far he looks good,” Booze said.
Junior Wesley Shubert returns to the lineup, but he is currently at the same weight as Miller.
Two G-A sophomore wrestlers who were injured last year return as starters — Garrett Keener at 126 and Adam Booze at 152.
Lorcan Wright (so.) expects to start at 132, while freshmen Greyson Weller and Kahner Trivitt are battling at 138. Freshman Mason Booze is currently injured, but is also at that weight.
The rest of the upper weight candidates are new to the sport of wrestling, except for junior Seth Hoch at 195.
Those new wrestlers, all juniors, include Isaiah Toney-Mayhugh at 160, Carlos Luna at 182 and Jack Sullivan at 220.
Booze said, “All three are pretty athletic. Isaiah is coming along nicely — he Googled some Penn State videos and has picked up a lot from them.
“I’m lucky to have a really good veteran staff and I’m hoping we can get something out of these guys. I’m proud of these upperclassmen to take on this difficult sport – it takes a lot of guts.”
NOTES: The staff includes former Greencastle coach Trent Mathews, former Blue Devil star Mike Lazich and David Sunderland, who has been a coach at North Hagerstown … Last year, the Blue Devils were 3-17 (1-5 in the Mid Penn Colonial) … Greencastle opens the season at the Chambersburg Duals Tournament on Saturday at 11:30 a.m. with a Colonial Division match against Big Spring … G-A could forfeit as many as four weights.