Washington’s Devon Van Cura (standing) placed sixth at the state tournament last year and is looking to best that as he enters his senior season.
Washington’s Devon Van Cura (standing) placed sixth at the state tournament last year and is looking to best that as he enters his senior season.

Archived Story

Pack wrestling team has high hopes

Published 6:25pm Monday, November 18, 2013

The possibilities are endless this season for a Washington wrestling team that brings back a trio of seniors who each have state tournament experience.
Devon Van Cura, Jason Gardner and Thomas Remick are entering their final season with the Pam Pack and coach Daniel Riggs said that they are determined to endit with a trip to state.
“Oh yea, they’re hungry. You can see it in their eyes,” Riggs said.
The trio is not only expected to make a run at a state title, but will be looked upon to fill the leadership role.
“Each of them bring a lot of leadership and experience,” Riggs said. “After losing guys like Ned Batts and Jason Campbell and the other seniors from last year, these three are ready to step right into their shoes and take over the program.”
Last season Remick and Gardner advanced to the state tournament for the second straight time, while Van Cura placed sixth at state in his first go-round.
Riggs said that each brings something different to the table, but that they are all capable of winning a state title.
“Remick is not one of those people that worries about who he is wrestling, he just goes out there and gives it his best shot,” Riggs said. “He’s one of those unorthodox type of wrestlers where you don’t know how he got into that position or how he got out of it. He’s a wrestler that gives coaches heart attacks, but he’s fun to watch.”
Gardner has been in the program for a while and Riggs said he has improved his physique.
“Jason is going to try to wrestle at 126 this year and he has spent a lot of time in the weight room,” Riggs said. “He went to the Penn State camp with a group of our guys and I think he’s ready to step up.”
Van Cura, who battled a wrist injury last season, is back in prime condition.
“He’s good to go. His wrist hasn’t given him much problems so far and he’s going to go at 170 pounds this year,” Riggs said. “Devon is the opposite of Remick, he’s one of those technicians where everything has to be perfect and go smooth.
“He’s been working his butt off this summer to get in shape. I think he was a little disappointed with his sixth-place finish last year and he’s going to use it as motivation this year.”
While Remick, Gardner and Van Cura headline the team, Washington also has some promising up and comers.
“I think Chris Bohn is going to have breakout year as long as he can keep his confidence up and believe in himself,” Riggs said. “Freshmen Simeon Pope and Jacob Smith have both looked go so far, then we have a junior transfer from Beddingfield named Kenneth Keys who has done well.”
Overall, Washington has 26 wrestlers on its roster and Riggs felt the team is capable of competing for an Eastern Plains Conference championship.
“Every year we feel like we can compete for a conference championship and I think this year it might be one of our better shots,” Riggs said. “I think it’s going to come down to Farmville, us and North Pitt.
“It’s whoever wants it the most and I can see it in a lot of guys this year that they want this conference championship pretty bad.”

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