Dillon, Crauder and Boner were Bolton’s top three wrestlers this season with all three placing in the top four of nearly all their tournaments for the season. All three qualified for the district meet with their sectional finishes — Dillon second, Boner third and Crauder fourth.
Strong showings for the season were also recorded by senior Tanner Bown, at 132; sophomore Isaac Jones, at 138; and freshman Jackson O’Brien.
Looking ahead to next season, the coach said he expects the team to be led by Dillon, saying the wrestler “has a lot of potential to maybe go (deep) into the postseason.”
Bolton said the team numbers were held down some due to COVID this year and he hopes the numbers will go back up next year to supplement this year’s juniors when they will be seniors. Of course, the experience for this year’s freshmen will be a plus for the squad.
“The freshman class really stepped up. They showed a lot of heart when we had few seniors back. Several seniors graduated early after the fall semester,” Bolton said.
A highlight for the season was participation in the first in-school, in-session dual meet at Middletown. It was an event during the school day to introduce students to the sport and the two schools plan to repeat the event next season at Talawanda.
“They really put the hammer down on us. It was a promotional thing. It was great. They picked up the positive vibe. Next year, they will come to us,” he said. “It was great, students got to choose math class or the gym. They had the lights and music, just like an NBA game. It was exciting for everyone.”
Bolton said he plans to promote the team in the school prior to the start of the next season, in hopes of picking up more team members to supplement the numbers, especially looking to recruit from other sports, particularly football, which has traditionally produced a lot of wrestlers in the past.