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The Lackawanna Trail wrestling team continues an uphill battle to get the program to where it was in years past, but head coach Keith Youtz is hopeful to show improvement from a season ago in 2017.

The Lions finished 3-5 in Division 2 of the Lackawanna League last season and will look to several returners to help turn that number around.

“We’re looking to be more competitive this year,” Youtz said. “If the attitude in the room right now continues throughout the season, that should happen. We’re way ahead of where we were for the past two years.”

Youtz added that team will struggle some in filling all of the weight classes, but is optimistic on the individual side of things for some of the returning wrestlers, including senior Owen Hivner, a senior transfer from Abington Heights that finished second at districts in 2016.

“He’s definitely been a huge help,” Youtz said. “He knows what it takes to be a good wrestler and has been a big presence for us.”

That hard work has the potential to rub off on some of the younger wrestlers who will be looking to gain some valuable experience early in the season.

“We definitely have to get more of that with some of the kids,” Youtz said. “We’ve been dealing with having brand new kids for the past several years and don’t have a lot of kids who have been around the sport for a long time. We’re still trying to keep the program alive in some aspects, but if the kids work hard, we’ll get there.”

Trail will get its first action on the mat this Saturday at the annual Wyalusing Ram Duals before hosting Wyoming Area on Dec. 12.

Roster:

Seniors Trent Ashley, Mark DeBree, Tom Kohinsky, Jacob Westcott, Justin Brower, Owen Hivner and Koyotie Vilchock; juniors Jacob Brim, Carter Crook, Robbie Davis, Cody Moyle, Colin Mulhern and Bryce VanFleet; sophomores Cullen Ratchford, Tynell Bracero and Jeffrey Resto-Medina; and freshmen Ricky Davis and Dalton Klinges.

Schedule:

Dec. 9, at Wyalusing Ram Duals, 9 a.m.

Dec. 12, Wyoming Area, 6 p.m.

Dec. 16, League Tourney at Wallenpaupack, 9 a.m.

Dec. 28, at Tunkhannock Holiday Tournament, 10 a.m.

Dec. 29, at Tunkhannock Holiday Tournament, 11 a.m.

Jan. 3, at Valley View/Mt. View, 6 p.m.

Jan. 10, at Western Wayne/Blue Ridge, 6 p.m.

Jan. 13, Trail Tourney, TBA.

Jan. 17, Elk Lake/Honesdale, 6 p.m.

Jan. 24, at Montrose/Scranton Prep, 6 p.m.

Jan. 26, at Coal Cracker Tourney, TBA.

Jan. 27, at Coal Cracker Tourney, TBA.

Feb. 6, at Nanticoke, 6 p.m.