FAIRMONT, W.Va. – The East Fairmont Wrestling team was able to hit the mat starting on Monday for the first time since the State tournament last season.

The Bees lost a lot of talent including two state tournament contenders in Geno Casuccio and Dom Postlewait but who they do return is three-time state champion Blake Boyers.

Boyers earned his third state title last season after a 3-1 win by decision.

He now returns for his senior season and his head coach Adam Boyers expects big things out of him again this year, including stepping up and leading the team.

“Actually a pretty young team other than that. We graduated some state place winners from last year Geno Casuccio, Dom Postlewait graduated so looking for Blake to be a leader on the team and we’ve got some other seniors who are stepping up,” Adam Boyers said.

The EFHS wrestling team will use this week to strictly work on strength and conditioning before they are able to incorporate sport-specific drills starting Monday, February 15.

 This week we’re just really trying to get the kids back in shape. Some of them worked out on their own but others haven’t been able to. So it’s running, calisthenics, push ups, pull ups, sit ups, those types of things, without being able to touch there’s really not a lot you can do in wrestling, ” Coach Boyers said.

Coach Boyers also touched on the differences the high school wrestling world will experience this season including new rules on handshakes and the winners’ arms being raised at the end of the match.

He said the weirdest difference is one you might not even think of.

“As weird as it sounds, not shaking hands.  So we’re able to wrestle for six minutes but we’re not allowed to shake hands before or after  so that whole sportsmanship side of it. We understand it, but it’s weird since we’ve done it for so long,” Coach Boyers said.  

But despite the differences his squad will experience, Boyers is excited to have his team back together and is ready for the season to start.

“It’s great. You know it’s a weird season because it’s so short but I’m just happy these kids will get a season at all, it’s been delayed a couple times. The seniors have put their whole lives into this coming down to these next two months so I’m really happy they’re able to be together, ” Coach Boyers said.