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Titan wrestlers prepare for 2018-19 season

With two State qualifiers returning to this year’s team, the Tea Area High School wrestling team is excited for the upcoming season.

“We’ve got a ton of grit, heart, and determination in the room,” said Titan head coach John Niesen. “Our kids are fighters that will never quit.”

Leading the Titans this year on the mat will be returning State qualifiers: JT Panning and PJ Parmelee. The two are part of three returning junior starters, with the other being Kiet Gilberts. Other returning starters for the Titans include sophomores Devin Pence, Chase Sommerfeld, and Trevor Welch.

The team features no seniors but a strong roster of quality athletes.

“We’re still a pretty young team overall,” said Niesen. “We are finally starting to bridge that gap, though, with a big junior class.”

The team graduated Jakob Thomas last year but welcomes several new juniors including: Soren Brands, Rhett Daggett, Cole Ebert, Ethan Olson, and Bryton Schlunsen. New freshmen on this year’s roster include: Raiden Durband, Isaac Johnson, T.J. Krietlow, and Thomas Ostrem. Seventh graders new to the program include Alex Bartell, Austin Eimers, Fyrst Henricksen, Jonah Hunter, Ian Jorgenson, Carson Lohr, and Jackson Tschetter.

The team welcomes back sophomores Dylan Pence, Justin Walz; freshmen Connor Eimers, Preston Eimers, Quincy Hulverson; and eighth graders Adam Elkins, Matthew Schwebach, Maddix Slykhuis, Wyatt Stuntebeck, and Hunter Wilson.

The above Titans have already had a strong week of practice under their belts.

“Our kids stepped up and set a great tone and intensity in the early ongoings,” said Niesen. “We’re looking to build on a much improved dual squad from last season and put together a string of 10+ wins and hopefully sneak a few more guys into the State Tournament this season.”

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