Plainview wrestling leaning on strong junior class in 2020-21

Beau Bearden
bbearden@gannett.com

A squad is usually most dangerous when it has a large group of seniors, but that’s not always true. Sometimes one senior is plenty and that’s the case for the Plainview High School wrestling team as it prepares for the 2020-21 campaign.

“When you look at it, our junior class is probably where we’re more powerful throughout our entire team,” said Indians coach Keilan Torres. “With that being said, I still have a lot of talented kids. They’re all young and they’re hungry. They want to be good at the sport."

"Some of them have only been wrestling a year to a year and a half, but they’re catching on a lot faster than I thought they would," Torres continued. "I think we’re doing a really good job of getting these guys bought in and having fun.”

And Plainview plans to lean on three Indians to help keep that enjoyable atmosphere going this season. One is a senior, while the other two are juniors who have experience in the state tournament.

“I’m expecting a lot of big things out of Bradon Wilson,” Torres said. “I’m expecting him to step up and be a leader this year, obviously being a senior and whatnot. The same goes for Reece Bennett and Jeston Gilliam who made state last year. I’m expecting them to step up and be leaders as well because they have a potential to be pretty darn good.”

Only time will tell what the trio accomplishes this season, but they’ll be put to the test against quality opponents. The Indians wrestle in Class 3A, but their schedule features a few 4A and 5A squads.

“We have some pretty tough duals scheduled for us this year,” Torres said. “… If I had to circle a couple, I’d probably say Sperry because they’re in 3A and they give us a chance to look at where we’re at, and Blanchard because they’re in the top five in 4A, if not higher. And then obviously, district duals on Jan. 26. It’s somewhere where we’re going to get tested and it decides whether we go to dual state or not.”

Torres also mentioned Durant as a dual to watch and it’ll be the home opener for the Indians at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 8.

Plainview then hosts Madill on Thursday, Dec. 10 before welcoming Ada to town on Jan. 5. The dual at Sperry is set for Jan. 7, followed by trips to Blanchard on Jan. 14 and Ardmore on Jan. 19.

However, Plainview knows this season is not guaranteed. A number of tournaments have already been canceled and the Indians are taking it one day at a time.

“It’s been kind of tough this year,” Torres said. “It’s been a little bit different than what I had last year. It just kind of sucks coming in and expecting to get these juniors rolling, so we could have a potential to go win a state title next year and show them kind of what they’re capable of doing. We’re having to battle a lot of adversity, just like any other team.”