Polk County wrestling coach Phillip Miller spent much of last season vowing to all who would listen that the Wolverines would reach the state 2A dual team playoffs.
Which is exactly what Polk County did, the Wolverines finishing as the second 2A team in the Western Highlands Conference.
Miller isn’t quite ready to make the same declaration this season – “I’m optimistic,” he said – in part because he’s still figuring out exactly who will be wrestling this season for the Wolverines.
Polk County opens its regular season on Tuesday, traveling to Christ School for a tri-match with the Greenies and East Henderson. With football season having just ended Friday, Miller gave those players the option to take this week off before reporting for practice.
Thus it will be a reduced Polk County team that will trek to Christ School for the openers.
“It’s really going to be next week before I see what we’ve got,” Miller said. “Until next week I’m not going to know for sure how many of the football players will be out.”
Miller does expect two of those players, Dustin Calvert and Devin Panchyshyn, to be two of the team’s top threats this season. Miller won’t have, though, junior Chase Emory in the lineup. A season after finishing sixth at the state 2A meet, Emory moved to Chase High School during the summer.
“Dustin Calvert will probably place in the state meet, and Devin Panchyshyn is going to be a lot better this year,” Miller said. “Beyond that, we’re going to be young. It may be like last year where we’re out recruiting kids every week.
“We’re just not going to know for sure until the football players come out.”
Triston Watkins, who won 16 matches last season at 106 pounds, returns, and Miller expects footballers Braden Miller, Christian Davis and Dillon Knighton to be back.