The Bozeman Hawk wrestling team ended last season 5th overall in the state tournament. The snowy weather outside today meant it was time for a new season and a chance for a new start.
"Our guys are pretty hungry, they want to get out there and compete and battle," said Hawk wrestling coach Nate Laslovich. "The 5th place at State I don't think is indicative of how our guys performed all of last year. We had a tough end to the season last year. More than anything we're just looking at this as a new year."
The juniors who watched their seasons end now have another year under their belt and enter the season with high hopes.
"My goal is to win a state title obviously," said Bozeman senior Keavon Buckley. "I think, as a team, that's our goal as well. It's my last chance so that's all I'm really focused on right now."
"My personal goals are to win a team title, in all honesty," said fellow senior Vito Degidio. "That's one of my bigger goals. Individual comes second. I'd like to see us win as a team first."
A new season also brought many new faces as the Bozeman wrestling room was packed Tuesday evening. Even some of the state championship football players were suiting up for the team, adding to the excitement for the upcoming season.
"I think they're just kind of thriving off of the fall," Laslovich said. "Our fall sports season was ridiculous. We've got some new faces in there that are tough and overall we just have a really competitive group."
"We just have to work hard and everyone has to step up, both on varsity and JV," said Degidio. "If we step up I think we'll have a good shot at winning state this year."
The freezing weather certainly helped the recruiting process. The Bozeman weather outside was frightful and the indoor wrestling room, compared to the freezing temperatures, was delightful.
"This time of year, nobody wants to be our there," Laslovich laughed. "A nice hot wrestling room is the perfect place to be."
"We have a couple of great freshman coming in," said Buckley. "I know next year they'll be pretty good, so I'm definitely excited for where this program is going."
The Hawks will kick things off Thursday at the Red and Black scrimmage at Bozeman High. They will then begin their regular season Tuesday when they hit the road to face last years champion, Great Falls.