The list of accomplishments for the Peru wrestling team was impressive a year ago.
The Indians compiled a 19-4 record in dual meets, including going unbeaten in winning the Champlain Valley Athletic Conference and Section VII championships. The Indians won three tournaments, finished second in one and third in two others.
The bad news for CVAC opponents this year is that Peru returns a solid nucleus of wrestlers, including six defending sectional champions.
Still, teams like Beekmantown, Northern Adirondack and Saranac will be looking to make it difficult for Peru to defend its titles.
The Patriots, who are continuing to build their program, have 23 wrestlers on the roster. The team, however, is very young with only two seniors.
Freshman Dylan Baker (120), eighth-grader Elijah Gainer (126), junior Dan Evans (145), sophomore Scott Cumber (152), senior Kodie Simpson (170), sophomore Keith Christensen (182), sophomore Richard Nichols (195), senior Collin Fuller (220) and sophomore Kenneth Rivers (285) were all in the line-up in AuSable Valley’s season opener against Peru on Wednesday.
Dylan Baker, Taylor Blaise, Keith Christensen, Craig Cumber, Hunter Cumber, Scott Cumber, Dustin Drake, Dan Evans, Collin Fuller, Elijah Gainer, Dannie-Lyn Jackson, Joe Leclair, Richard Nichols, Kendra Niemann, Kenneth Rivers, Kodie Simpson, Tiffanie Smith, Casey Spear, Justin Steady, Ryan Steady, Ashlie Stranahan, Michael Stranahan, Seth Stevens.
The Eagles look to be much more competitive in the league this season after losing just one wrestler — heavyweight Hayden Head — off last year’s team. Head went on to win a NYSPHSAA Division II title a season ago.
Beekmantown will have all the weight classes covered. The Eagles, who started their season by winning the Saranac Early Bird Tournament this past weekend, expect to be pretty tough through the middle weights and will look for improvement from all the new wrestlers in the varsity line-up. The concern is developing some depth.
Returning starters include seniors Gage Bourdeau, Casey LeClair and Zachary Myers, juniors Brandon Defayette and Jonathan Graziane, sophomores Eathan Bacon, Dylan Peryea and Michael Cartee, freshman Tyler Myers and eighth-grader Anthony Cartee.
Sophomore returner Cody Laplante, along with newcomers Cody Watts, Bruce Goddeau, Casey Provost and Trent Cook are projected to start.
Gage Bourdeau, Casey LeClair, Zachary Myers, Chase Provost, Brandon Defayette, Jonathan Graziane, Eathan Bacon, Cody Laplante, Dylan Peryea, Michael Cartee, Tyler Myers, Anthony Cartee.
Cody Watts, Ryan Turner, Gage Cook, Dawson Delong, Austin Dubrey, Bruce Goddeau, Casey Provost, Trent Cook.
The Bobcats are another team with title thoughts as they return a solid nucleus from a season ago. NAC lost its CVAC opener to Saranac, but rebounded this past weekend by compiling a 5-0 team record to win the Ballston Spa Duals.
Leading the way this year for the Bobcats will be Justin Kellett, who now has 184 varsity wins, the most ever by the Section VII wrestler. Matt Lashway is another veteran who won his 100th match this past weekend.
Roland LaPoint (99), Scott Kellett (138), Collin LaBombard (145), Hunter Carpenter (152) and Justin Kellett (170) all went 5-0 last weekend, while Brandon LaBombard (132), Lashway (195) and Scott Guerin (285) were 4-1.
Russel Noel, Garrett Gero, Kaleb Sample, Matthew Carter, Jackson Sunderland.
Dustin Dominic, Austin Trombley, Brandon Edwards, Rusty Rombrio, Tyler LaPoint, Charles Bruce, Brandon Barber, Brandon LaBombard, Chad King, Mitchell Garceau, Scott Kellett, Dustin Manor, Collin LaBombard, Hunter Carpenter, Tyler Bracy, Leon Riley, Justin Kellett, Matt Lashway, Dallas Page, Scott Guerin, Joey Cayea.
Rolland LaPoint, Heny Knapp.
The defending CVAC and sectional champions are poised for another title run.
Peru has 12 returning starters, including senior Troy Seymour (160-170), a three-time sectional champion and fourth in the state a year ago, senior Kyler Agoney (113-119), a three-time sectional champion, and returning sectional champions in freshman Ethan Feazelle (119-126), sophomore Jordan Bushey (132-138), junior Nick Forget (126-132) and junior Luke McKee (195-220).
Junior Tanner Phillips (132-138), senior Noah Phillips (145-152), senior Caleb Feazelle (152-160), freshman Brandon Goddeau (99-106), junior Taylor Avanzato (182-195) and junior Dustin Neyer (170-182) also return as starters.
Junior David Stickney (126-132) is also back and is projected to be a starter, along with two varsity newcomers in sophomore Dillion Ashline (275) and eighth-grader Gaige Cosme (99).
Perhaps the only weakness is filling all of the weight classes, something the Indians are expected to do at some point.
Jake Goddeau, Derrick Cumber.
Tanner Phillips, Kyler Agoney, Noah Phillips, Troy Seymour, Luke McKee, Jordan Bushey, Joseph Barshaw, Caleb Feazelle, Shane Varin, David Stickney, Vincent Mangieri, Nick Forget, Ethan Feazelle, Brandon Goddeau, Taylor Avanzato, Dustin Neyer, Miles-Norris Davis, James Mason, Austin Reyell, Skelly Skonick.
Sean Adair, Dillion Ashline, Aaron Bell, Eli Bushey, Justin Christian, Gaige Cosme, Lenny Daniels, Micah Dramgoole, Austin Easton, Colin Hogan, Joseph Nephew, Nick Rabideau, Jordan Robinson, Hunter Sartwell, Riley Sartwell, Dustin Landon.
Among the wrestlers the Chiefs will be counting on include defending sectional champions Codie Gillette (138) and Nathan Wood (195), who both won matches on Wednesday when Saranac opened its season with a solid victory at Northern Adirondack.
John Devins (99), Shawn LaGraves (106), Richard Armstrong (120), Austin LaTulip (132), James Black (152), Michael Charland (160), Colby Staley (182) and Paul Herrera (220) also won opening-night matches for the Chiefs, who return a number of quality wrestlers from a year ago.
This past weekend, the host Chiefs, who will battle a lack of depth, finished third behind Beekmantown and Indian River in the Early Bird Tournament.
John Devins, Shawn LaGraves, Chad Brooks, Richard Armstrong, Rafael Rivera, Austin LaTulip, Codie Gillette, Will Marcil, James Black, Michael Charland, Colby Staley, Hunter Bishop, Nate Wood, Paul Herrera, Brendon Dubray.