The Times West Virginian

Sports

December 22, 2012

Elliott looking to have big junior season

RACHEL — Going into his junior year as a North Marion wrestler and coming back from 45-14 record last year and taking fourth place in states, Ryan Elliott is in it to win it this year.

Elliott is prepared to do big things for the Huskies this year.

“His work ethic has improved a lot. He’s working a lot harder, coming in during the mornings, and is taking it a lot more seriously this year,” said North wrestling coach Dave Tennant

 Elliott had a solid season on the football field as well.

“Football helps me a lot because I’m a little guy, and I have to work harder to not get crushed out there. It helps with my strength a lot too,” said Elliott. “Coach (Daran) Hayes’ weightlifting program helped him a lot in the offseason.”

“Football doesn’t hurt with wrestling, but nothing makes you a better wrestler than actually wrestling.” said Tennant.

“I traveled to Virginia Beach over the summer to compete in a national competition. I didn’t do very well, though. I won two matches. I didn’t place,” said Elliott, who went on to say, “It was a whole different level down there. We have some good wrestlers up here, but there were nothing but good wrestlers.”

“Ryan is really focusing on technique now, and I give a lot of credit to my assistant Jay Michael, who’s been working with him a lot. He really makes him understand how things work and why others don’t,” said Tennant ,who describes Elliott as a wrestler who works more on finesse but when it comes down to it is pretty aggressive and always hardworking.

“In our room you leave a legacy. We always try to build off that. Ryan has had three years of good wrestlers on his teams to build off, and I’m sure the younger guys will build off him,” said Tennant, who went on to add that the junior year is usually a peak for some wrestlers but not always as a rule, citing that a lot of kids do their best as seniors if they can overcome the other distractions of being a senior.

Elliott says that a state championship is his main goal this year, though he says anything better than fourth would be a big improvement.

If Elliott does win a state championship, he will follow in the footsteps of his father, Fairmont State athletic director Rusty Elliott, who was a state champion wrestler from Mannington and was North Marion’s head wrestling coach from 1981-1986.

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