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Tioga County Sports Report
CANDOR / SPENCER — It’s been a few years, but if the numbers game pans out SVEC could field a full wrestling line-up this season.

“Numbers are pretty decent this year,” coach Jesse Buck said. “It looks like for the first time in quite a while we might be able to fill the whole roster, no holes in any weight class, so really excited about that.”

Among those numbers are kids who have previous mat experience.

“We had a really good group come up from modified, so actually everybody in the room this year has wrestled before, which is another big thing for us. It allows us to really refine some technique and get into some more technical stuff, so excited about that.”

The Eagles lost state qualifiers Devin Beach and John Hammond to graduation, but have several quality veterans returning.

“We’ve got Kaleb Soto. He's like really good,” Buck said. “If he goes out and wrestles the way we know he can, he's competed with a lot of kids who've placed at the state tournament, so really excited for him.

“Shane Neal as well, if he stays healthy. He's a really tough competitor. He's back at the same weight class again. He's strong and athletic at that weight. Another year of improvements. He's going to be looking really good.

“John Johnston being another one. And then also we’ve got Anthony Spear back this year. He was with us before. He had been in Waverly for a little while, but he's back here in Spencer with us again.”

Tayah Beach, who placed third in Section IV’s first-ever girls championships last year, should be strong in that division again.

SVEC needs someone to step up and fill the leadership role vacated by Devin Beach.

“We're looking at that right now in the first couple of practices, which are usually the tough ones to jump into,” Buck said.

“Any one of those guys who I just mentioned, I'm kind of looking to step up and fill that role, whether it be Kaleb, Shane, John, Anthony, even Jacob (Vanetten) as well. He's a rock solid kid.”

The Eagles open the season Dec. 3-4 at the Clyde Cole tournament hosted by Oxford / Greene.

“Excited for that,” Buck said. “I think we have quite a few kids that can place at the tournament. It's usually a decently tough tournament, so it's a good one to set you up for the season. We'll be excited to see how they compete.”


IN PHOTO 1: SVEC coach Jesse Buck is hoping to have a full line-up this season. ... PHOTOS BY TIM TAYLOR.

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