Discipline at heart of LM grapplers success

Posted on: November 30, 2017
Photo of varsity wrestling team

Thanks to a disciplined approach to building the ranks of Little Miami wrestlers, Head Coach Chad Craft has been blessed with more than three times the grapplers this season than when he began coaching at Little Miami four years ago.

Craft ended the 2015 season with nine letter winners. This year, he will have 34, and the best opportunity he has ever had at taking a Southwest Ohio Conference championship.

Craft will be depending on a core group of solid performers to lead his squad, including seniors Casey Lawrence and Grant Frith and junior Cole Gintert.

Lawrence was a second team all-conference honoree last season and won the Southwest Ohio Conference sportsmanship award for Little Miami.

Craft also returns Ben Blevins, a second team, all-conference honoree who won fifth place in the USA Weightlifting Competition over the summer. Blevins was also named to the second team, all-district football team for southwestern Ohio as an offensive lineman for the 2017 season.

Craft also brings to bear extensive coaching experience and success as an athlete himself. Before beginning his nine-year coaching career, Craft was a two-time high school state qualifier, placing fifth in Ohio his senior year. He then went on to wrestle for the College of Mount St. Joseph for four years. He has coached multiple state placers, qualifiers and champions at other schools, and is ready to have some Panther wrestlers join their ranks.

When asked who will be Little Miami’s toughest opponents this year, Craft had a somewhat surprising answer: “Ourselves. The guys have the ability to be successful, but they must have confidence in themselves.”

The squad begins conference competition at the Edgewood Invitational on Dec. 8 and 9 at Edgewood.

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