Connor Stukitz and Jakob Kees are two wrestlers the Copperheads are looking to do big things this year.

Although still young, the Catawba Ridge wrestling program is returning talent and experience from the past couple of years and is looking to turn some heads.

The Copperheads also have a new head coach in Allen Runyon, who brings years of experience on the mat as well. Runyon, who has been at the school since it opened, is a former state qualifying wrestler with Fort Mill and was an assistant coach at Fort Mill for years.

This year’s roster has roughly 25 wrestlers on it with five seniors and 16 returners from last year’s team.

“They have some experience, some more than others,” Runyon said.

Some wrestlers that Runyon is looking to lead this year include sophomore Jarrett Eubanks at 152-pounds, as well as junior Jakob Kees and senior Connor Stukitz. Kees will flex from 132 and 138-pounds and Stukitz will go between 126 and 132-pounds.

Other wrestlers that have the potential to have a good season include heavyweights Tony Atkins and Alex Bunz, along with Forrest and Jackson Rozelle at 160-pounds and 138-pounds respectively.

For Runyon, one thing he wants is the team to be in every match.

“I want us to be competitive in our matches,” he said. “I want us to go wrestle a full match and give it our best.”

Catawba Ridge will have a lot of traveling to do as they only have one home match scheduled for Jan. 25. The rest of the time they are on the road for tournaments, dual and tri-matches, among others.

The Copperheads will open the season at Nation Ford Wednesday, Dec. 1 in a tri-match against the Falcons and Andrew Jackson.

Mac Banks:, @fortprep