MHMA Raven

MHMA sophomore Ethan Seager wrestling his Oskaloosa opponent.

A program that once held practices in a small closet space at Maur Hill-Mount Academy is turning things around for the upcoming 2020 season. The newly renovated Haverty Gym has a specially designed space for Raven wrestling.

The team moves forward into the season with 20 members, a large number compared to last season’s six-person squad. Coach Craig Handke, entering his seventh year as wrestling coach, said he is excited to have a full team.

“It’s starting to feel like a program,” Handke said. “We’ve got 20 kids on the team this year so that’s a big deal.”

Handke described the team chemistry as being a positive factor heading into the season.

“We are big on teamwork,” Handke said. “In a program like this, your new guy who knows nothing won’t just get thrown in the corner like at some schools. You’ll see older guys pulling him in, and trying to help him get it. We can’t move on until everyone gets it.”

The Ravens welcome back Dylan Smith (senior) who wrestled at 160 lbs., Ethan Seiger (junior) weighs in at 113, and Will Madden (Senior) who competes at 195 lbs. Both Smith and Seiger were a match away from state during last year’s season, while Madden was two matches away from state.

Raven wrestling has put together a brand new facility that will be used for the first time during the

upcoming 2020 season. The facility features a brand new mat, padded walls, and a timer system.

Handke said the wrestling program has made a lot of

progress.

“There used to be more coaches than kids wrestling,” Handke said. “It’s a challenge, but that’s why I like it, and it’s come

a long way.”

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