Evart wrestling program enters second season

EVART — Ryan Hopkins is in his second season as coach of Evart’s wrestling team as the Wildcats continue to build a program.

The program made its debut last season as Hopkins was trying to build numbers. That effort will continue this year.

“We’re still putting our team together but I think we’re going to wind up with roughly 10 kids this year,” he said.

Practices started on Nov. 16, and are at the Evart Middle School. There is a full schedule for the Wildcats this winter.

Hopkins indicated the team is still technically classified as a club but will partake in the postseason MHSAA tournaments.

“We’re still putting a (lineup) together,” he said. “Two of my returning wrestlers are getting some experience now and have a lot of promise with Zach Parshall and Caleb Parish.”

Parshall (160) is a senior and Parish (hwt.) is a junior.

Hopkins is hopeful of filling as many of the 14 weight classes for each match as possible.

“Basketball tryouts just got over so some of the kids who tried out and didn’t make it I think will come wrestle and we’ll have a (larger) team than last year,” Hopkins said.

Looking ahead, “we have a very big group of wrestlers coming up through our youth program,” Hopkins said.

The season starts at Montabella on Dec. 9 and will continue at Big Rapids Dec. 12, and Farwell Dec. 16. There’s scheduled to be a home match Jan. 6 with Manistee. They will also wrestle Jan. 11 at Lake City, Jan. 13 at Lakeview, Jan. 20 at Sanford Meridian, Jan. 22 at Lakeview, Jan. 30 and Feb. 3 at Reed City, Feb. 11 at team districts and Feb. 13 at individual districts.