Low numbers and lack of depth are just a couple of obstacles facing the Cave Spring wrestling team this upcoming season, in a tough River Ridge District that has been dominated by Christiansburg. With eight returnees and five newcomers for the Knights, the season ahead could be a challenge.
The team’s top wrestlers include Chase McDaniel (Soph, 120 pound class), who won the district, region and was a state runner-up; Travis Hodges (Senior, 126), a district runner-up, third in the region and three-time state qualifier; Austin Mobley (Senior, 132), a district runner-up and third in the region; Zach Hodges (Senior, 138), a district runner-up and a two-time state qualifier; Coty Love (Junior, 145), a district runner-up; and Logan Turner (Soph, 285), a district champion and is currently ranked No. 19 in the country preseason at 285 pounds.
“We only had nine varsity wrestlers out of 14 weight classes and still finished in the Top 3 in some local tournaments,” said second-year head coach Tim Nininger. “I expect a few to win/compete for state titles and the team to finish in the Top 3.”
As for the team’s weakness, Anderson stated, “Low numbers, lack of depth and a weak middle school program.” As for their strengths, “We have trained year-round and we have a tough schedule.”
As far as the upcoming season goes, Cave Spring is looking to win the Titan Toughman and Knights of the Round Table tournaments. They will also be competing with some top competition at tournaments in North Carolina and South Carolina, and in-state at Winchester and Hampton.
“When I took this job, I made a five-year plan,” said Nininger. “We have trained hard and are ahead of schedule. We will have kids competing for state titles this year.”
Cave Spring opens it 2011-12 season on Dec. 3 at the Battle of the Courthouse in Spotsylvania.
-By David Grimes • [email protected]