Wrestling team has high hopes for repeat success


Braden Weinel

Earl Blake and Frank Dickinson match up on the first day of practice.

by Braden Weinel, Reporter

Last year, the wrestling team made history by reaching the dual meet regional finals for the first time. This year, with several returning wrestlers, strong coaching, and talent from new participants, the team hopes to go even further.

Long time Urbana head coach, Ben Arneson, returned to his alma mater in 2016 to head the Lancer wrestling program. While at Urbana high school, Arneson won one dual meet state championship, five regional championships, and seven county championships.

In his second season as the Lancer head coach, he brought the team to the regional dual meet semi-finals where they faced off against against Manchester Valley High School and won by a tie-breaker. The Lancers advanced to the regional finals, but, unfortunately, were beaten by Tuscarora High School.

Arneson said, “I believe that we have the talent, ability, and right group of kids to contend for a state championship this year.”

Among the Lancers lineup is senior captain Earl Blake. Blake is a three-time county champion, two-time state champion, five-time all-American, and a twelve-time national team member. He is committed to wrestle at Kent State after he graduates high school. Blake believes that the team can bring home a state championship this year.

Blake is a role model for the other wrestlers on the team and through him comes hard work and intense training.

“I try to lead by example. No matter how hard the practice is, I continue to push through and show the other wrestlers that they can do the same, ” said Blake.

Freshman Sean Mullineaux is an experienced wrestler. Before high school, he wrestled for the Warriors Wrestling club and the Predators Wrestling club

Mullineaux said, “We have a lot of potential on this team to go very far.”

The first match this season will be on December 6 at Urbana High School at 6:00 p.m.