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Seeking improvement

Youngsville must fill spots lost to graduation

Pictured, from left, are: Youngsville assistant coach Aaron Morris, Ian Mancuso, Logan McDonald, Aidan Mancuso and Youngsville head coach David Myers at the Section 1 qualifiers last season. Ian Mancuso and McDonald graduated last spring and now the Eagles will rely on captains Aidan Mancuso and Cody Jespersen heading into this season. File photo

Youngsville wrestling has some big shoes to fill ahead of the 2023-24 wrestling season after the departures of PIAA Class AA Northwest Regional qualifiers Ian Mancuso and Logan McDonald to graduation.

Entering the season, Eagles wrestling coach David Myers knows it will take a collective effort to help ease the impact of those losses.

“Ian and Logan left some big shoes to fill,” said Myers. “Their leadership was key to the younger wrestlers’ growth. We’re counting on (captains) Aidan (Mancuso) and Cody (Jespersen) to step in and fill that void. If they can provide leadership by example, I think our younger kids will mature quickly.”

Aidan Mancuso — Ian’s younger brother — is a returning District 10 qualifier from a season ago and along with Jespersen, he, Alex Patch and Shelby Lobdell make up the senior wrestlers on the Eagles’ roster.

Ultimately, Myers knows that in order to improve on a 1-17 record from a season ago, Youngsville will have to rely on the quick development of the underclassmen on the roster.

“We’d like to see an improvement from last season,” said Myers. “We have a lot of raw talent in the room. Our younger wrestlers are going to have to step up. But as long as we’re seeing improvement in the kids’ development I think we’d have to call that a win for as young a team as we have.”

Myers and assistant coach Greg Barnett have a solid core of underclassmen with varying degrees of experience. Among them are juniors Kale Jespersen, Cole Johnson, Gavin Olson, Kenneth Shellhouse, Owen Auflick and Michael Carnahan. Sophomores are Graeme Minnis and Connor Minnis and freshmen include Carsyn Branstrom, Sarah Blauser and James Soltis.

“Cole has been away from wrestling for several years but has brought a solid work ethic into the practice room. He’s driven to improve,” said Myers. “Carsyn had a solid year in junior high last season and we’d like to see him develop further. Staying healthy is going to be paramount. We had several kids suffer injuries last season and they’re gnawing at the bit to get back out there and compete.”

The Eagles will compete in Region 3 again this season alongside Seneca, Union City, Titusville, Corry and county rivals Warren and Eisenhower. Youngsville opens the season on Saturday, Dec. 9 when they compete at the Commodore Perry Duals Tournament.

Below is the schedule for the upcoming Youngsville wrestling season. Region matches are denoted with an asterisk and home matches are in CAPS.

Saturday, Dec. 9 at Commodore Perry Duals, TBD

Saturday, Dec. 16 at Redbank Valley Duals, TBD

Tuesday, Dec. 19 at Union City*, 6 p.m.

Thursday, Dec. 21 at Corry*, 6 p.m.

Wednesday, Jan. 3 vs. WARREN*, 6 p.m.

Friday-Saturday, Jan. 5-6 at Tool City Tournament (Meadville), TBD

Wednesday, Jan. 10 at Titusville*, 6 p.m.

Wednesday, Jan. 17 vs. SENECA*, 6 p.m.

Friday-Saturday, Jan. 19-20 at VFW Tournament (Mercer), TBD

Wednesday, Jan. 24 vs. EISENHOWER*, 6 p.m. (Alumni Night)

Friday-Saturday, Jan. 26-27 at Fred Bell Tournament (Grove City), TBD

Thursday, Feb. 1 vs. SHEFFIELD, 6 p.m. (Senior Night)

Friday-Saturday, Feb. 16-17 at Sectional Tournament, TBD

Friday-Saturday, Feb. 23-24 at District 10 Tournament, TBD

Friday-Saturday, March 1-2 at Northwest Regional Tournament, TBD

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