Berlin wrestling coach Jim Day has guided the program to nine state championships. He knew coming into this year, the program would be young and small in numbers.
As the season went on, he saw improvement on a daily basis and by the end of the year, the young Redcoats showed their level of skill.
Berlin finished seventh at the state championship and had a state champion come out of the Class M meet in Windham.
"The tournament was a coach's dream," Day said. "The kids really blossomed and executed at a very high level. We wrestled 16 places above our seeds which for only bringing a team of nine wrestlers was fantastic."
Jordan Zima who was seed 12th at 160 lbs. earned a fourth place finish and wrestled well all tournament long.
Ethan Greider, 115 lbs. "is right in the mix with the best wrestlers in the state. He was confident and aggressive the entire tournament." Day said.
Riley Greider, 108 lbs. defeated two wrestlers seeded above him, one who was a senior with 20 wins coming into the tournament.
Rich Schlichting, 134 lbs. made it to the semi-finals by pinning the number three seed in the quarterfinals. He dropped a 2-0 decision to the number two seed in the semi-finals. Rich finished fifth.
Rick Mullins, 154 lbs. wrestled to his third place seed, losing by fall to the returning state champion. "Rick really wrestled a very clean tournament tactically and technically," Day said.
Jake Eliades, 138 lbs. became a state champion. "Considering he is only a sophomore that is an excellent effort," Day said. "Jake's road to the title was not easy as he had to comeback in the round of 16 with a takedown in the final 10 seconds and had to win the semi-finals in the final overtime period. The focus and positive attitude of this group has been impressive.
Day said the year has been rewarding.
"We have had very few down days in practice and I'm very pleased for our assistant coaches, wrestlers and their families that they got to all share in the success we had over the last weekend," Day added.