MANSON - Most noticeable improvement is often made between the first two outings of a season.
Rookie head coach Tanner Utley is hoping that's exactly the case for his St. Edmond wrestling team today when they compete in the annual Doug Wood Cougar Invitational.
Start time is set for 10 a.m. in the MNW High School gym.
Joining the defending meet champion Gaels in the field are host Manson Northwest Webster, East Sac County, South Hamilton, Ogden, Ridge View, Alta-Aurelia, Clarinda Academy and OA-BCIG.
In their 2012-13 debut Thursday night, the Gaels dropped a 43-21 North Central Conference home dual to Clear Lake.
"Right now, the most important thing for us is to just get more mat time," Utley said. "We went over quite a few things (Friday) that are correctable mistakes. Of course you always like to win, but I was still satisfied with our effort (in the opener)."
106 - Ryan Szalat, so., (0-1); 113 - Kaden McClintock, jr., (1-0); 120 - Colten Lastine, sr., (0-1); 126 - Nick Johnson, fr., (0-1); 132 - Eddie Harvey, sr., (0-1); 138 - Matt Stumpf, sr., (0-1); 145 - Parker Huebsch, jr., (0-1); 152 - Teddie Harvey, sr., (1-0); 160 - Nick Hindt, so., (0-1); 170 - Jimmy Averill, jr., (0-1); 182 - Dillon Nelson, sr., (1-0); 195 - Jacob Salisbury sr., (0-1); 220 - Vinnie Harvey, jr., (1-0); 285 - Caelan Burbank, jr., (0-1).
Against the Lions, sixth-ranked (Class 1A) junior Kaden McClintock (113), No. 5 senior Teddie Harvey (152), senior Dillon Nelson (182) and fifth-rated junior Vinnie Harvey (220) all collected victories for the Gaels. McClintock and Teddie Harvey each prevailed by fall for their 77th and 101st career wins, respectively. Nelson earned a decision, while Vinnie Harvey came out on top with a forfeit.
"It's tough to get a read when your facing the same guys at practice every day, so we just got a little better feel for where we're at," said Utley. "We made some mistakes both mentally and physically out (on the mat)."
Other top individuals competing in today's field are Manson Northwest Webster's Payton Rice (No. 1 at 138) and Drake Harmon (No. 3 at 160), Ogden's Colby Munson (No. 6 at 106), Shawn Heaning (No. 7 at 113) and Kyler Kiner (No. 1 at 120), South Hamilton's JD Rader (No. 3 at 120), OA-BCIG's Cash Wilcke (No. 4 at 170) and Ridge View's Michael Davidson (No. 3 at 220).
"There should be a lot of good individual matchups," Utley said. "Team-wise, we feel we can finish right up (at the top)."
Prior to last season, the Cougars had captured their own tournament title five straight years.