by Mark Jurgena
COLLINSVILLE — Second-year Collinsville wrestling coach Jordan May is working hard to build up the Kahok wrestling brand and if the upward trend in participants is any indication things are going well.
A year ago, May had 30 boys on the squad as they began preseason practices, this year 47 Kahoks showed up to the wrestling room to compete including 12 freshmen.
As for the girls squad numbers are up as well from five a season ago to eight for the upcoming campaign. Also last week, the Southwestern Conference announced there would be dual meets for the conference schools that have girls wrestlers.
The boys have four seniors return to the squad to lead the way including sectional qualifier and last season’s team MVP Cody Lutz.
Other seniors include Tyler Minner, Robbie Freeman and Vinstin Springfield.
For the girls two-time state medalist Taylor Dawson returns for her junior season after a solid offseason competing in national competitions.
Dawson, who placed second in the state as a freshman and third a season ago, won the prestigious War of the Roses event in Indianapolis, Ind. this summer.
“We’re still young,” said May. “Just looking at our lineup we have a lot of new faces again. Unfortunately with the way weights worked out this year, we might not have a 113-pounder.”
Collinsville opened its season Tuesday night hosting a quad with Freeburg, Sparta, and Litchfield.
The boys return to action Saturday in Edwardsville for a quad with Springfield, Mattoon and Mahomet-Seymour.
On the same day, the girls will be in action at a tourney hosted by Normal (Community).
After that, the Kahoks host Edwardsville at Fletcher Gym for an SWC dual match.