Winter Sports Preview: Wrestling

The Owls began the season with two dual wins on Thursday.


Niko McNabb, Staff Writer

Winter sports are officially underway. The Windsor Owls varsity wrestling team has regularly had state qualifiers and medalists over the past several years.  Last year, the Owls made history when sophomore Reilly Baughman became the first girls state qualifier in Windsor wrestling history. In total, the Owls had three state qualifiers: Grant Pauli, Reilly Baughman and Luke Longton. Needless to say, the team was very successful last season and are looking to have an even better 2019-2020 season.

The varsity Owls are led by head coach Ryan Bollinger and assistant coach Tom Ford. Ford has been coaching wrestling for nine seasons. For Bollinger, this will be his second year as the head coach and his fifth year coaching wrestling overall. 

The Owls are filled with talent and new wrestlers this year. Bollinger and Ford agree that they have a strong group that are hard working and can definitely compete.

“It’s a long season, and we are only a couple weeks in at this point, but expectations are high, and we’re starting to see the competition level in the practice room grow, and everybody is putting the work in to get to our goals as a team,” Bollinger said. 

The Owls are led by senior Grant Pauli. Pauli begins his senior season tied for seventh on the program’s all-time career wins list at 114 wins. The stats speak for themselves–Pauli is an elite wrestler.

Both Bollinger and Ford love the enthusiasm he brings to the table.

Ford said, “Grant Pauli has trained in the sport for many years. His movements are refined and fairly skilled. This is a sport where the top athletes face an incredible amount of competitive pressure. Grant is going to bring some top-notch wrestling to the mat this season. You can always trust that Grant is going to put in a real fight.”

Aside from Pauli, Baughman, and Longton, Bollinger and Ford are looking to see successful seasons out of seniors Connor Meynell, Austin Henry and Seif Elkhashab as well as juniors Chris Butts, Dominic Pona and Seth Winkelmann. 

The varsity Owls began their season yesterday at St. Louis University High School. The Owls beat SLUH 42-27 and Oakville 46-32.

Bollinger, Ford and the team have high expectations for the upcoming season.

Bollinger said “We look to have a strong lineup this season and we can definitely compete everywhere we go. Expectations are high and everybody is working hard to get to where we need to be.”