NITRO, W.Va. -- If Nitro is to emerge from a competitive field of local wrestling teams, a high volume of grapplers should do nothing but help the cause.
The Wildcats fielded a wrestler in all weight classes except the 113-pound division and first-year head coach Kevin Skeens is putting all of the extra bodies to good use.
"We're still pretty young," Skeens said. "We've got two seniors on the team and a total of 25 kids, so we have plenty of extras. It's a little bigger than what it used to be, and it makes it good in practice because these kids can wrestle-off each week for a varsity spot."
That policy stretches even to returning sophomore David Smith, who qualified for the state meet as a heavyweight before falling to the eventual runner-up.
Smith, who started as an offensive and defensive tackle for the Wildcats football team, caught pneumonia and came into the season a bit overweight, making him ineligible as the first day of the St. Albans Red Dragon Duals were being held on Friday evening.
However, Skeens expects Smith to return next week, although nothing is guaranteed when he gets back.
"Smith is coming back as a heavyweight," Skeens said. "After football season he had to shed a few pounds. He becomes eligible next week for Point Pleasant, so he'll be wrestling off against one of our senior heavyweight wrestlers, Brian Lester, so it should be good come Wednesday night."
Provided Smith can earn his spot back on a weekly basis, he figures to be among the favorites in the division, especially on the local level.