Miami's wrestling program begins a new era tonight when the Wardogs make their debut under first-year coach Josh Bolinger.
Competition starts at 5 p.m. at the MHS gymnasium with Columbus facing Carthage, followed by Carthage and the Wardog at about 6:30 p.m. MHS and Columbus wrap up the evening at about 8 p.m.
“You always can use more time to get ready, but we need to get in and get after it,” Bolinger said. “We're ready to go.”
Bolinger succeeds Justin Gibson at MHS. He has been head coach at Carl Junction, Mo., the previous three seasons.
Bolinger said he would pretty much stick with the same lineup in both matches. He's got three weights where he will weigh in two wrestlers. One will bump to a higher weight.
Those weights include 125 and 130, with Colby Anderson and Caleb Potter; 160 and 171, with Grant Bigby and Jay Mann, and 189 and 215, with Tyler Johnson and Brandon Alley.
“We may flip-flop those guys from one match to the other,” Bolinger said.
The Dogs will be open at 103, 112 and heavyweight.
The rest of the Miami lineup will include Randy Collins at 119 pounds, Blaine Lyons at 135, Jacob Brewer at 140, Joe Lamb at 145 and Eli Marquez at 152.
Columbus and Carthage also will be seeing their first action of the season.
“Columbus has some good kids - C.J. Napier just signed with Nebraska,” Bolinger said.
Napier is one of the top wrestlers in the country. A two-time Kansas 5A state champ at 135 pounds, Napier is ranked sixth in the preseason by Amateur Wrestling News and is considered the No. 1 ranked wrestler in any weight in Kansas.
Napier also is a two-time Freestyle Junior All-American in 2007 and 2008
He had verbally committed to Oklahoma State but changed his mind after making his official visit to Lincoln, Neb.
Napier was third at 130 pounds as a freshman and has won back-to-back titles at 135. His career record is 108-9.
“Carthage has some really good kids at the lower weights,” Bolinger said.
Thursday's match against Coweta has been bumped to Dec. 16. The Tigers, just like Miami, were eliminated last week in the second round by Lawton MacArthur.
As a result, the Dogs' next action will be here on Dec. 11 against McDonald County, Mo.