Kyle Seibel has reason to be excited for his first season in charge of the Vermillion wrestling team.
The first-year coach inherits a squad that returns four state tournament qualifiers and is starting to build some numbers across the board.
"My goal in taking this team over was to try to get a full squad, and that's still a work in progress," said Seibel, whose team opened its season Tuesday with a dual in Lennox.
"We need that if we're going to compete with the best teams in the state."
Vermillion, which finished 20th at the state Class A championships a year ago, will be led by Brett Bye (Fr., 31-10), who finished sixth at 112 pounds last year, Regan Bye (Fr., 21-20), Will Mart (Sr., 20-11) and Brenden Raizola (Sr., 18-16).
Filling out the rest of the weight classes for Vermillion will be Brandon Steenholdt (Sr., 113), Carter Kratz (7th, 120), Brandon Hertz (Fr., 152), Alex Osborne (So., 160), Damarius Cheeseman (Jr., 170) and Danny Goeden (Sr., 184).
A quartet of seventh-graders, including Kyle Seibel, Jr., will fill in at 106 pounds, but Seibel said he expects that class to be open most of the season – as will 195 and 285. The tandem of Josh Callahan (Sr.) and Marquese Tayborn (Fr.) will battle for the 126-pound spot.
yet another tough schedule this season, the Tanagers will have plenty of challenges before the state tournament next February in Sioux Falls. Aiding in their quest for post-season improvements, the Region 2A meet will be held in Vermillion.
Vermillion will also host three consecutive meets in the middle of the season: a dual with Canton (Jan. 19), a triangular with Rapid City Stevens and Central (Jan. 27) and a triangular with Beresford and Dakota Valley (Jan. 30).
Yet, for now, the focus is on Lennox. The Orioles, like Vermillion, are young, with 14 middle schoolers on the varsity roster for this season.
"They're in the same boat we are. I don't think they have a full varsity squad," Seibel said. "I'm looking for it to be a close match. We're giving up three spots, and I'm not sure what they will, but in my mind, I think we'll win most of the matches.
"That would be the goal, to win where we can and build experience from there."