Joe Toppe Staff Writer
December 11, 2013
EASLEY – After finishing their first season with a winning record, the Easley High School wrestling team is hoping to hit the mats running this season.
“Last year was the first time in Easley High School history that the wrestling team had a winning record,” said head coach, Jeff Harris. “They finished second at the region tournament, made the playoffs, had a region champion, and qualified a freshman to state.”
Harris is excited to bring an experienced group of grapplers to the mats this season.
“Easley has eight varsity returners this year and four second year wrestlers,” Harris said. “However, we did graduate three seniors last year, our heavyweight region champion is out due to injury, and we had a senior move to Georgia, but our guys are picking up the slack.”
Harris said Green Wave standout, Robbie Machamer, will be the only returning senior to this year’s team.
“Robbie Machamer is the only returning senior this year and will be a four year letter winner,” he said. “State qualifier and sophomore, Jordan Bakeman, will be wrestling at 120 pounds to 126 pounds this season, and we have good quality wrestlers this year all around “
According to Harris, the team will have more middle school students than in previous years.
“We have the most middle school kids ever this year with 13,” Harris said. “The good thing is the majority of them played football at Gettys and will hopefully help us in the future with high school football player recruiting. Also, we will only be graduating two seniors this year which will give us even more experience on the team next season.”
Harris took time to thank his assistant coaches.
“New assistant coach Zach Klebe has stepped back into the Easley High School wrestling program,” Harris said. “Coach Klebe use to be the head coach several years ago and now has come back to continue to help Green Wave wrestling grow. For the past three seasons, Adam Kern has been my assistant coach but had to step down this year due to a new job, although, he still helps out when he can. Kern has been a big part in helping turn our program around. “
In addition to leading the Green Wave wrestling team to their first winning season in history, Coach Harris was voted all region coach of the year.
“I am honored by the recognition, but the credit has to go with my assistant coaches, the faculty, and the wrestlers on the mat,” he said. “We have all worked together to turn this program around and we are looking at getting even better in the future.”