EHS grapplers have sights set on stellar season

By Ivan Sanders

   Elizabethton's wrestling program has been like a young chick trying to break out into a bold new world from its shell. Coach Bill Potter's squad has been chipping away at a shell that has kept the program relatively anonymous on the mats, but this season could be the breakout year that Potter has been waiting on.
   "We are going to be a fairly young team, but we have a nucleus of young men that could possibly see six to nine people qualify for the state tournament," said Potter when reviewing his roster for the 2003-04 season.
   "This team has very good work ethics as a team and proved we are ready to compete when we took seven medals in a preseason match at Mitchell County, North Carolina against a couple of teams ranked high in that state."
   Heading the Cyclones lineup this season will be three proven leaders in seniors John Ross at the 130-pound slot and Patrick Jenkins at the 145-pound weight class holding the co-captain slots while junior Mitch Cornett, wrestling at 152 pounds, has garnered the captain slot.
   "Mitch is the type of kid that shows up at every practice and works really hard," stated Potter. "He is also really devoted to this sport and loves every minute that he is on the mat."
   A break down of the weight classes find the Cyclones forfeiting out at the 103-weight due to no one showing up to take the spot. Sophomore Tyler Ross, younger brother of John, is solid in the 112-pound class.
   Freshman Heath Honeycutt will anchor the 119-pound class while senior and first year wrestler Kyle Germaine has reeled in duties at the 125-weight class.
   Junior Corey Henson, a second year wrestler, will follow John Ross up in the 135-pound class. Chris Hubbard will hold down the fort at 140 pounds while Kyle Gilliam, a sophomore transfer from Science Hill, will see reps in the class once he becomes eligible.
   Following Johnson and Cornett respectively will be junior Justin Chizmar wrestling in his first season at the 160-pound class. Big, strong freshman Justin Harmon has secured a slot in the 171-pound weight class.
   Freshman Zack Potter, Coach Potter's son, will bring a distinguished AAU youth wrestling career to the mats, as he will wrestle at either the 189 or 215 weight class. The young Potter has recorded over 100 matches won in AAU, including claiming an AAU National Championship.
   Jarrett Taylor will wrestle in the other slot depending on where the younger Potter is penciled in. Closing out the heavyweight weight division in the 215-pound class will be freshman Chase Turley.
   Potter is hoping that the success experienced by some of his present team will fester and spread to the other members. Jenkins and John Ross experienced some success at the state meet last season, winning at least a match or two and there is no reason why both cannot possibly via for a medal this year.
   With the dedication shown to this point, Potter has a reason to feel good about his team's chances. The Cyclones will give the local fans plenty of opportunities to take in some quality matches, as EHS will again host its own tournament in Border Wars as well as another small tournament in Rumble in the Mountains.
   Elizabethton will also be participating in the Indian Classic at Dobyns-Bennett and the Fandetti Brawl at Science Hill.
   Today will be the first official match for Potter's Cyclones as they travel to Crockett to participate in a three-way meet with Crockett and Boone. It's then off to the Indian Classic on Saturday in Kingsport.