MIDDLEBURG - Middleburg High wrestling coach Richard Duisenberre has become a squeezer of lemons trying to make lemonade in his years of putting the best wrestlers he can on mat for the Broncos.
"We get what we get and then we scrap," said Duisenberre. "We get a smaller number of guys than most teams, but most of them come with a little attitude to try and just outwork the other guys. I'll take that."
Last year, Duisenberre and assistant coach Dustin Tollison pushed the Broncos, led by 138 pounder Storm Mercado's region title. 145's Chris Burch's district title and fourth at region and 152 Bryce Williams' district title and third at regions, to a 48th place finish in Class 2A with Orange Park and Ridgeview finishing above the Broncos. All three were quick state meet exits and are now graduated.
"If these guys work like those three, we'll be alright," said Duisenberre.
Duisenberre likes sophomore Riley Girgis as a top returner; third at districts last year with an overtime win, but with just one win at regions, as a top candidate to go further in 2019.
"Just a tough kid," said Duisenberre. "He just absorbs what we are saying in the room."
Alex Nayfack, a junior at 160 last year, was team leader last week with Ridgeview High graduate Coll Robertson, rolling with him in the Tuesday practice.
"If he applies himself, he has good athletic instincts," said Duisenberre.
Two additions from the Bronco football team were Tyler Garcia, a lineman, and Jay Lane, a running back; both strong athletes with junior high wrestling experience.