After a 17th place finish at the Class A state meet last year, the Yankton Bucks are ready to get back on the mat for this season.
“Every year you kind of reflect on how the year went, you kind of look at what you want to improve on the next season, and you know we have some veterans coming back this season,” Yankton Head Coach Riley Smith said.
The Bucks will return three state medalists from last year including defending 195-pound champion Owen Warren (So.). Junior Tucker Bahm (106) and senior Trevor Ellis (285), who both placed seventh at last year’s state meet, will also return along with Warren to lead the Bucks. And all three will look to improve on last years’ performance and elevate their play this season.
“All three of them have state experience, and every year they’ve gone up the ladder, and their hungry, they want more, you can see it at practice,” Smith said. “They see where they were at last year and they want to improve on that.”
The Bucks will be young however, with just four seniors on the roster, and Coach Smith is looking for the new varsity wrestlers to gain experience with the schedule this year.
“We picked up a few more duals, which is nice, and there are going to be some tough teams we face this year,” Smith said. “But these guys have been working hard in practice and by the end of this season, hopefully they get some pre-varsity jitters out of the way.”
The Bucks will gear up for their first meet on Thursday, when they host Beresford/Alcester-Hudson and Watertown in a home triangular.
“It’s nice to get that first competition out of the way,” Smith said. “We have guys with less experience but are really ready to go for that first triangular and the biggest thing we have been working on when it comes to the duals is to wrestle to six minutes, unless you’re the one doing the pinning, make sure your wrestling to six minutes.”
The Triangular will begin at 5 p.m. on Thursday at YHS. The team will then travel to Watertown for a tournament on Saturday.
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Dec. 5 Yankton Tri. 5 p.m. (YHS, Beresford-Alcester-Hudson, Watertown)
Dec. 7 Watertown Dual Tourn. 10 a.m.
Dec. 10 Yankton Quad 5 p.m. (YHS, Lennox, Lincoln, Washington)
Dec. 12 Dakota Valley Tri. 5 p.m. (YHS, Dakota Valley, Vermillion)
Dec. 21 S.F. Washington Inv. 9 a.m.
Jan. 3 at Huron 6 p.m.
Jan. 7 Harrisburg Tri. 5 p.m. (YHS, Mitchell, Harrisburg)
Jan. 11 Brandon Valley Inv. 9 a.m.
Jan. 13 Brookings Tri. 5 p.m. (YHS, Brookings, S.F. Roosevelt)
Jan. 17 Brandon Valley Tri. 5 p.m. (YHS, Aberdeen Central, Brandon Valley)
Jan. 24 Pierre Quad 5 p.m. (YHS, Pierre, R.C. Central, Spearfish)
Jan. 25 River City Rumble 10 a.m. (at Chamberlain)
Feb. 1 Brookings Inv. 9 a.m.
Feb. 8 Yankton Inv. 9 a.m.
Feb. 15 Huron Inv. 10 a.m.
Feb. 21 Region 2A 1 p.m. (At Sanford Pentagon, Sioux Falls)
Feb. 28-29 State Tourn. 10 a.m. (At Premier Center, Sioux Falls)