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Building for the future

As the wrestling season began, Dickinson High coach Cody Wolf sat down to have conversations with his underclassmen. "I told them to look around at the kids they have standing next to them. I said, this is an awesome future team coming up but it ...

As the wrestling season began, Dickinson High coach Cody Wolf sat down to have conversations with his underclassmen.

"I told them to look around at the kids they have standing next to them. I said, this is an awesome future team coming up but it only takes a few guys to make that trend go down," Wolf said.

In just his second season as head coach, Wolf is dealing with a nightmare situation most coaches face at some point during their career.

Training violations that occurred before the season began left the Midgets, who were looked at as a young and inexperienced team the way it was, without some of their most experienced and talented wrestlers.

On Friday, the Midgets opened the Dickinson Classic wrestling tournament which boasts more than 30 teams and continues today at 10 a.m. at Dickinson High School's gymnasium. Opening day results were not available at press time Friday.

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While Dickinson may not have great results at the Classic, Wolf is looking to some promising underclassmen to take the reigns this weekend and expand upon their already burgeoning leadership roles.

"We knew that our team was hurt after that and we'd have to have a bunch of people stepping it up," said Dickinson sophomore Justin Brown. "We knew we needed to be a team and come together, start wrestling a lot harder."

Brown, whose older brother Ben is a senior who is out with a knee injury until after the New Year, is one underclassmen who has been thrust into more of a leadership role.

Brown finished 24-21 as a freshman and took sixth place at the West Region tournament. He's currently Class A's third-ranked 112-pounder.

When Ben Brown returns from injury and others return from their training violation suspensions, the Midgets will have four seniors. Only two are currently able to wrestle.

"All the young guys that are coming up, freshmen and sophomores, they're always working hard," Wolf said. "... I can't ask for anything more of them young kids and how well they work in the wrestling room."

Freshman Colton Schaeffer, who comes to Dickinson through its cooperative agreement with New England, is benefiting from the extra time he's seen this year.

"We're just a young team that needs a little work," Schaeffer said. "This year our goal is just to improve and get better. The coaches have said, if you lose, you didn't completely lose, you can work on things and still not lose."

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Schaeffer and fellow freshman Pat Tangen see this season as one that could be the building block of a successful future.

"In a few years we'll be right where we want to be," Tangen said. "Right now we're young, but like coach says, we're learning from every match."

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