Northridge High School wrestling coach Eric Potts is concerned about his team becoming complacent.

Northridge High School wrestling coach Eric Potts is concerned about his team becoming complacent.

Last season, he saw his wrestlers go through the motions at practice during the doldrums of January, and they did not fare as well as he would have liked in the postseason.

Now, Potts would like to see more intensity in practice so his athletes can reach their postseason potential.

"I think we need to see more maturity in the practice room," Potts said. "We're crossing our fingers that they will bring it up a notch before sectional and district. The workouts definitely need to become more elevated."

The coaches can shout instructions only so much, and there comes a time when the wrestlers must give that extra effort, Potts said.

"We're presenting them the techniques and the workouts in practice, but (the wrestlers) have to come in hungry," he said. "They have come to the practice room with the attitude of wanting to work hard. You know they say you can take a horse to water, but you can't make it drink. It's the same case here."

But it's not as if the Vikings have been embarrassed on the mat. On Jan. 18, they beat East Knox 54-16 and Loudonville 33-25 to improve to 6-0 in MBC dual meets.

Jake Adkins (106 pounds), Shane Mulligan (126), Drew Mullen (132), Thomas Williams (145), Wade Stischok (152), Zach Rudy (170), Jacob Burke (182) and Anthoney Verhovec (heavyweight) were double-winners for the Vikings.

"I think we're better than we were last year because we're filling more weight classes and all of the sophomores and juniors have another year of experience," Potts said. "Those things have helped us out a lot."

On Jan. 13, Northridge lost duals to a pair of larger schools in Chesterland West Geauga (38-34) and Elyria (53-16). West Geauga is a Division II school with 341 boys, while Elyria is a Division I school with 894 boys. The Vikings are Division III with 182 boys.

"We were facing better competition and want our kids to get used to wrestling better guys," Potts said. "The better that the competition is that you face, the more improvement you can gain from that."

On Saturday, Jan. 28, the Vikings travel to New Lexington for the Jimmy Wood Memorial. Last season, Northridge finished seventh (151) in the 23-team event behind champion New Lexington (318.5). Williams won at 130 and Rob Mickey was fourth at 145. Parker Fox (112) and Verhovec were sixth with Jeff Maynard (119) and Rudy (160) both seventh.

"It was a good tournament for us last year and we expect there to be four or five teams from our district that we haven't seen before," Potts said.

"It should be a good match for us."

•The track and field programs have a new coach in Gene Weil, who has been an assistant at Capital University and a cross country coach in West Virginia. He is a graduate of the University of Colorado.

"We're fortunate to find someone like him," athletics director Wayne Howard said. "He seems sincere, knows the sport, is interested in kids and has a lot of organizational skills."

Weil takes over the boys team from Mike Dudgeon and the girls team from Rebecca Brechbill.