EVART -- Ben Bryant is coaching an Evart wrestling team which should boost a lot of talent this season.

"Reese Ransom had another great season as he qualified for the state tournament," Bryant said about 2018-19. "Darren Gostlin was a regional qualifier and lost in the blood round there. Garrett Johnson will be a hard wrestler to replace (and has graduated). He was a great team leader, a good wrestler, and a tremendous person and teammate."

Junior Reese Ransom is a returning two-time state qualifier. We expect him to place high this season.

Gostlin is a two-time regional qualifier, expected to be a state qualifier this season.

"We also expect huge jumps from Sam Bailey (sophomore), LJ Clark (junior), Nick Robinson (junior), and Kinkade DuBreuil (junior)," Bryant said. "We have Cole Hopkins coming in as a freshman with a load of experience. We are looking for him to jump into a leadership role right away and make a good run at the end of the season. We are also excited for many of the new faces in the room to contribute a lot right away.

"As our program continues to grow, we expect more and more each year. This is the first year that the Highland Conference will have wrestling and we look to finish near the top of the conference. We return a lot of guys that have wrestling experience. We also had some key athletes that have not wrestled for us in the past but will contribute right out of the gate. We should be tough through the middle of our line up."

Evart is at Big Rapids on Dec. 14.

"We need to continue to gain mat experience and confidence in our abilities," Bryant said. "This is the first year the Highland will have wrestling as a conference sport. I would assume the favorite would be Pine River as their program continues to be strong. It will be interesting with the additions of Roscommon and Houghton Lake.

I would like to see us competing with the top teams in the league."