VIENNA - Ohio Valley University first-year head coach Pat Sole will take the Fighting Scots wrestling team into battle at 5 p.m. today in Kentucky for a triangular against Central Baptist College and host Campbellsville University.
This season will mark the first time OVU has had varsity wrestling and while the excitement is high, reality also has set in for coach Sole. That's because the OVU mat boss has had to deal with a plethora of issues ranging from sickness and injuries to wrestlers coming and going.
Nonetheless, coach Sole is excited for the season to get under way and is equally pumped about what he hopes will be a much-stronger Ohio Valley lineup come the second semester.
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Ohio Valley University wrestler Tyler Reed, top, will compete at 133 pounds. Reed is questionable for today’s and Saturday’s matches.
Former Waterford standout Tyler Reed is questionable for today's match as well as Saturday's Patriot Open at the University of the Cumberlands in Williamsburg, Ky. If he's able to go, Reed will compete at 133 pounds.
Ohio Valley will not fill weight classes at 125, 141 or 197.
Although Chris Robbins and Garrett Wireman were expected to go at 141 and 149 respectively, they are likely to get bumped up to 149 and 157 unless former Williamstown standout Tyler George recovers from injury in time to take his spot at 157 and allows them to drop back down.
"We're battling some injuries and some issues," coach Sole admitted. "It's just one of those things.
"Give us a couple weeks and we'll be back up filling a majority of our weight classes."
Even though former Parkersburg South standout Coleby Richards is currently out of the lineup at 165, freshman Kobina Henriques is set to fill in for him.
The Fighting Scots also will feature Brad Clark at 174 as well as Chase Long at 184 and Blake Lucas at 285 during their inaugural season opener.
"Some of these guys we'll have to juggle around," said the coach.
"We've gone from a small lineup to a smaller lineup."
Coach Sole, who restarted the Liberty University wrestling program, was an assistant coach at Parkersburg South for nearly two decades and helped coach the Patriots to 10 Class AAA state championships.
"It's been a challenge," coach Sole added. "But the school has been good and the support has been good as far from as the community.
"We're looking to build on our experiences. They've trained hard since the beginning of September and hopefully we can keep them healthy for the next semester."