The James River wrestlers will open the winter season with the “Blues Invitational” at Parry McCluer High School this weekend. The event will be held Friday and Saturday.
River is short on numbers but long on talent with the season set to take the whistle. Coach Bobby Stewart is looking for several individuals to have big seasons.
“My coaching staff and I have low numbers of participation this year, but the team we have is very experienced,” said Stewart. “We look for Xaiden (Wynn), Brayden (Forbes), and Nathan (Stewart) to each have a very successful year.”
Wynn is a returning state champion who will be trying for back-to-back state medals at 106. Forbes is a returning state fourth place finish with eyes on the top step and Stewart is a returnee who was a state runner-up in his freshman season. Coach Stewart hopes these three set the standard for a group of young hopefuls like freshmen Caiden Martin, Ryan Daniels, Efraim Echavarria, and Parker Melson.
“We hope the younger guys recognize what work it takes to achieve what these guys are,” he said. “For my young guys and newbies, we are looking to teach them a few things to be successful with and really focus on building their confidence on the mat. It’s tough to start wrestling in high school, so we have to expedite the process with these guys.”