Lakeland uses experience for growth

Published 9:54 pm Friday, December 21, 2018

The Lakeland High School wrestling team hopes to have a strong showing at the state tournament this season.

The wrestling season is still relatively new, but Lakeland feels good about what they have this season. As a Class 3 school, Lakeland wrestles in a tough Southeastern District. However, Coach Nathan Hoffman believes that the type of competition they see through the regular season can help Lakeland in the regional and state tournaments.

The Cavs return Wilbert Doswell, who was a state tournament qualifier last season at 182. He was one of four Warrior wrestlers who reached the state tournament. This season, they hope to add more to that group. Lakeland has some young and first-year wrestlers who are learning, and Coach Hoffman is excited about the potential.

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“I got some young kids on the team, and I have better numbers that I have had in the past,” he said. “It makes the future exciting for what we have going on here.”

Lakeland has been a part of four duals with the Southeastern District, and it has been a learning experience. The Cavs struggled, but Hoffman knows that comes with learning. He knows that in the long run, the experience can provide a good glimpse of what’s to come in February.

“It’s good for us because once we get to regionals nothing will be a surprise,” he said. “The SED is tough, and it’s probably the toughest competition we will see.”

The Cavs will compete in the Toys for Tots tournament before a break. It is a dual tournament that features more than 300 wrestlers. Hoffman hopes to gain even more experience for the team. The tournament is over the course of multiple days, so guys will have to learn things like managing weight each day.

“Being in a big atmosphere will be good, and everything that comes with it,” he said.