Atlantic/CAM opens the season on Thursday with a young Squad

(Atlantic) The Atlantic/CAM wrestling team opens the season on Thursday night at home against, Clarinda, Audubon, and Griswold.

The Trojans are coming off a 20-0 dual season one year ago, Hawkeye Ten Conference Champs for the third consecutive year, and finished the 2018-2019 campaign with five state qualifiers including state medalist Connor Pellett and state runner-up Chase McLaren. Those two were part of a large senior class lost to graduation.

This year’s team has a different look to it, with just two seniors leading the team’s 32-man roster.

Atlantic/CAM Head Coach Tim Duff says the coaching staff understands the importance of teaching, modeling and showing these young wrestlers what the Atlantic/CAM wrestling culture is all about. “The guys that have worn that singlet proudly expect certain excellence from our program,” said Coach Duff.

Coach Duff and the staff have spent a large amount of time talking about the teams’ culture and attitude during preseason practice. They’ve talked about things like attitude and effort and how they approach things mentally, and the right way to do things and the right way to think. “We use the analogy of chopping down a big tree,” said Duff. “If you can chop down the tree with one swing, it’s probably not a tree worth cutting down. Something worth having is going to take you a while. And that’s the process for us, it’s going to take a lot of effort and the bigger the goal’s the longer it will take to chip away at that tree. In the sport of wrestling, it’s all about effort and work and it’s not easy.”

The Trojans are blessed with two solid seniors in Cale Roller and Aybren Moore. Coach Duff says the staff is asking a lot of these two athletes this season.

“Aybren is a three-time district qualifier going for his third letter this season,” said Duff. ” He has some high goals and wants an opportunity to go the state tournament. He’s been one of the hardest workers in the room during the preseason. You can tell he’s focused on having a great senior season and that’s exciting.

“Cale Roller, a state qualifier was so close to earning his way onto the medal stand this past year,” said Duff. “He’s back with a renewed focus on getting back to the state tournament and finishing high on the podium. Cale and Aybren have to take ownership of this team. And so far it looks promising.”

The Trojans will conduct wrestle-offs at the multipurpose room tonight starting at 6:00 p.m. The event is open to the public.

The quadrangular with Clarinda, Griswold, and Audubon starts at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday night, (December 5),  at the Atlantic High School gym.