Sullivan South’s Caleb Salyers and Dobyns-Bennett’s Cole Rushing, foreground, battle during their 120-pound match Tuesday. (David Grace photo)
KINGSPORT — The wrestling match between Dobyns-Bennett and Sullivan South on Tuesday evening featured two teams going in different directions for the 2013-14 season.
The Indians list 31 grapplers on their roster; South has only eight team members, and four of them are on the injured list.
“Hopefully we can put out some fliers in the school to draw some interest and maybe some of the football players will come back out and wrestle for us,” said Rebels coach Matt Swayne.
Swayne has been at the head of South’s program since its beginning seven years ago.
Unlike the city schools, Sullivan County does not have a middle school wrestling program. The Rebels depend on the local AAU to develop future Rebels.
“I think that right now we have 30 kids competing in the AAU program. They are mainly of elementary age but hopefully they will acclimate over to high school,” Swayne said.
Dobyns-Bennett has strength in numbers and experience. The team returns four regional qualifiers, including two regional champs.
“The majority of our nucleus is back and we are throwing some freshman into the mix,” D-B coach Buzzy Mann said. ”The season is still wide open, right now it is early and we still have some guys trying to make weight.”
Mann is entering his 18th season as the Tribe coach.
The Indians won Tuesday’s match 63-9.For an expanded version of this article, please see Wednesday's print edition or our electronic edition.