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Shropshire hoping to help alma mater grow

Daniel Boone first year wrestling coach Blake Shropshire had dreams of coaching and teaching at his alma mater, but he didn’t realize that it would happen just a year removed from college.
“It’s kind of crazy that I fell into the job like this,” he said. “My high school coach (Reed Ratliff) was coaching and he decided that he wouldn’t be able to do it this year, so they asked me to do it and here we are.”
Hired on as an Algebra II and Geometry teacher, Shropshire didn’t believe he’d have the opportunity to coach wrestling for the same school where he roamed the mat just a few years ago.
The Blazers are anchored on the mat by three seniors with Tom Ketron, Dalton Hall and Josh DeBord.
Ketron is wrestling at 182 lbs and his coach believes that he has what it takes to make a run this year.
“I am expecting big things out of him. I am sure that he will place top three in the region so he will probably get to go to the state this year,” Shropshire said.
Hall has been wrestling at 220 and has helped Ketron show the six freshman and a sophomore that make up the team that way to do things.
“He and Tom have only lost a couple of matches this year, so I am expecting them to be the leaders of the team,” Shropshire said.
The injury bug recently had it’s way with DeBord, who will wrestle at 152 lbs if a hand injury doesn’t keep him out of the tournament.
“I don’t know if he is going to be healed up in time to go to the region tournament or not,” Shropshire said.
Region tournament will take place at the end of the month on Jan. 29, while the individuals will take place during the second weekend in February.
Shropshire knows that his first year probably won’t be his best year at the helm of the Blazer program, but he hopes to install a program for the future.
“If we are going to be successful we are going to have to get some feeder programs going,” he said.
Other wrestlers that have contributed to the Blazers season are freshman Noah Griffith (113), Francisco Saucedo (138), Gage DeLoach (138), Aaron Scott (145), Jacob Marsteller (145), and Isabella Badon (112). The lone sophomore on the team is Glenn Baxter at 132.