Oakville High wrestlers remain competitive despite not having full roster

By STEPHEN GLOVER

The Oakville Senior High School wrestling team has been competitive this season despite lacking athletes in three weight classes.

The Tigers (4-4) have to forfeit matches this season in three weight classes because they don’t have anyone to compete at 103 pounds, 112 pounds and 171 pounds.

“It’s tough on the kids because our dual record isn’t as great as it could be,” Oak-ville head coach Brett Lieberoff told the Call. “But we have a chance to go over the .500 mark in duals this year.”

The Tigers competed in the De Soto Invitational last weekend, taking eighth place.

“We had a few guys out, so we only had nine guys wrestling,” Lieberoff said. “I was pleased, though, with how we wrestled.”

The Oakville head coach hopes that once districts start Feb. 9, Justin Northcutt, Charles Toney, Luke Vogel, Scott Marler and James Jones eventually will advance to the state championships that begin Feb. 15.

Northcutt is a 135-pound senior who won his first tournament of the season last weekend.

“Justin’s really coming on strong towards the end of the season,” Lieberoff said. “He actually won his first tournament of the season at the De Soto Tournament.”

Vogel, a 145-pound junior, is another wrestler who has been solid all season.

“Luke sat out last year with a knee injury,” Lieberoff said. “He’s looked strong this year and is putting together a really solid season.”

Toney, a 189-pound grappler, is another junior who’s been wrestling strong toward the end of the season.

“Right now, Charles is wrestling as well as anyone on the team,” Lieberoff said. “He’s the only returning state qualifier from last year’s team and is 33-6 overall this season.”

Marler, a senior, has competed at the 215-pound or heavyweight class this season and has followed the direction of his teammates by finishing the season on a strong note.

“Scott’s in a situation where we’re trying to see what weight class is best for him,” Lieberoff said. “He, too, is really starting to come on strong.”

Another senior at the heavyweight slot is Jones, who has made great strides this season.

“James was actually undecided if he was going to come out or not,” Lieberoff said. “He’s made the biggest improvement of anyone on the team this season.”

The Tigers will be back on the mat at 7 p.m. Wednesday when they travel to Parkway South for a Suburban West Conference meeting with the Patriots.