2012-11-22 / Sports

Expectations high for winter sports season

Programs see growth, participation strong

MANISTIQUE – Winter sports will soon be in full swing, and, according to Manistique High School Athletic Director Rob Ryan, the season should be a good one. Ryan gave a report to the member of the Manistique Board of Education Monday.

According to Ryan, the school is currently in between seasons, but winter sports will soon be occurring with regularity. The swim and junior high basketball teams have already held their first games, he added.

For basketball, Ryan explained the school has five high school teams – three boys’ teams and two girls’ teams. The program that has really caught his interest, though, is wrestling.

“Wrestling is actually a program on the rise,” Ryan explained. “We had … 17 out at the first practice, which is great, probably the most wrestlers we’ve had out in 8 to 10 years.”

The team’s coach, Gary Bowman, expects to fill more weight classes than they have in a long time, Ryan noted. This means the team will have more of an opportunity to be competitive.

“When word gets out that we have enough guys … we’re able to host bigger meets because schools are willing to come here,” Ryan said. “We’re planning a pretty big meet in late January.”

In the meet, to be titled the “Division 4 Duels”, MHS can expect six to seven schools to attend. Ryan said the meet would be comparable to an invitational, with two of three mats available.

Another strong program is swim, he explained.

“Swim numbers are pretty solid, we’re in the low 20s,” Ryan said. “Maybe not as we once were, but we still have more kids on the swim team than any school our size.”

Competitive cheer will also make a showing this season, with another big home meet scheduled for January.

“Our numbers are real good for cheer; we have a junior high team and a varsity competitive team,” he said. “That program is going well.”

With three or four various home games a week, Ryan said the school can expect a winter rush.

“We’re heading into probably the busiest time of the year in athletics,” he added.

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