A new season and era will begin for the St. Edmond wrestling team tonight.
The Gaels will take to the mat for the first time under first year head coach Tanner Utley in their season opener against perinnel North Central Conference power Clear Lake.
Junior varsity action begins at 6:30 p.m. with varsity to follow at 7:30 p.m.
Utley takes over for 15-year St. Edmond veteran Jim Allison, who turned the Gael program into a North Central Conference front runner.
"I feel like I've done this before,'' Utley said. "I'm excited to get out there and see what we have. I have been around the kids for a couple of years and I know them.
"We just have to go out and compete.''
The Gaels will be lead by three ranked and returning state qualifiers from a season ago. Fifth-ranked senior Teddie Harvey (152), sixth-ranked junior Kaden McClintock (113) and fifth-ranked junior Vinnie Harvey (220) will be key contributors for St. Edmond.
The Gaels will also have for the first time in a number of years post an entire varsity roster.
"I can't remember the last time we've had a full lineup,'' Utley said. "This will give us a chance to win at every weight."
Also coming back for the Gaels will be district qualifiers Colten Lastine (120) and Dillon Nelson (182).
Seniors wrestling for the Gaels will be Eddie Harvey (132), Matt Stumpf (138) and Jacob Salisbury (195).
Juniors in the first lineup will be Parker Huebsch (145), Jimmy Averill (170) and Caelan Burbank (285).
Sophomores taking part against the Lions will be Ryan Szalat (106) and Nick Hindt (160).
Nick Johnson (126) is the lone starting freshman.
"We don't have a lot of numbers, but we're defintely ready to toe it up with somebody other than ourselves,'' Utley said. "We just have to go out and compete for six minutes.
"We still have things to work on, but we have to go out and compete strong.''
Clear Lake enters with two ranked wrestlers. Ryan Schmalen is rated No. 4 at 106 pounds and Andres Gonzalez is second at 126.