The list of accomplishments for the Peru wrestling team was impressive a year ago.
The Indians compiled a 19-4 record in dual meets, including going unbeaten in winning the Champlain Valley Athletic Conference and Section VII championships. The Indians won three tournaments, finished second in one and third in two others.
The bad news for CVAC opponents this year is that Peru returns a solid nucleus of wrestlers, including six defending sectional champions.
Still, teams like Beekmantown, Northern Adirondack and Saranac will be looking to make it difficult for Peru to defend its titles.
The Patriots, who are continuing to build their program, have 23 wrestlers on the roster. The team, however, is very young with only two seniors.
Freshman Dylan Baker (120), eighth-grader Elijah Gainer (126), junior Dan Evans (145), sophomore Scott Cumber (152), senior Kodie Simpson (170), sophomore Keith Christensen (182), sophomore Richard Nichols (195), senior Collin Fuller (220) and sophomore Kenneth Rivers (285) were all in the line-up in AuSable Valley’s season opener against Peru on Wednesday.
Dylan Baker, Taylor Blaise, Keith Christensen, Craig Cumber, Hunter Cumber, Scott Cumber, Dustin Drake, Dan Evans, Collin Fuller, Elijah Gainer, Dannie-Lyn Jackson, Joe Leclair, Richard Nichols, Kendra Niemann, Kenneth Rivers, Kodie Simpson, Tiffanie Smith, Casey Spear, Justin Steady, Ryan Steady, Ashlie Stranahan, Michael Stranahan, Seth Stevens.
The Eagles look to be much more competitive in the league this season after losing just one wrestler — heavyweight Hayden Head — off last year’s team. Head went on to win a NYSPHSAA Division II title a season ago.
Beekmantown will have all the weight classes covered. The Eagles, who started their season by winning the Saranac Early Bird Tournament this past weekend, expect to be pretty tough through the middle weights and will look for improvement from all the new wrestlers in the varsity line-up. The concern is developing some depth.