C-E Sports Writer

 DuBOIS - There was no sophomore jinx for DuBois Area High School
wrestling coach Rich Barron last season.
 In his second year at the helm, Barron guided the Beavers to one of the
finest seasons in school history as they won their third District 9 Class
AAA title in four years, placed third at the Northwest Regional Tournament,
finished 11th at the PIAA Championships and also medaled two wrestlers at
the state tournament.
 And despite losing seven starters from last year's 11-4 team, the
Beavers could very well put together an even better season this year thanks
to the return of some key veterans to go along with the a good crop of
young wrestlers up from last year's unbeaten junior high squad.
 Heading that group of veterans for DuBois are two of their four state
qualifiers from last year, which includes one of the Beavers' state
medalists. Senior Mike Diaz placed second at states at 112 and was the
Tri-County Sunday/Courier-Express Co-Wrestler of the Year. Diaz finished
the season with a 34-4 record and also won his third District 9 title. Look
for Diaz to start the season at 130 as he may drop down to 125 or 119 at
some point.
 Fellow senior Garrett Bontempo made his third straight trip to states
last season after winning his first Northwest Regional crown and his second
D-9 title at 160. Bontempo (28-3) will be back at 160 to start this season.
 Both Diaz and Bontempo will most likely finish their careers as the two
winningest wrestlers in school history. With a career record of 84-14 that
ranks him third all-time on the school's wins list, Diaz needs just five
wins to reach Ryan Abbott's all-time mark of 89-19-1. Injuries have limited
Bontempo a bit the past two seasons as he is sixth all-time with a career
record of 75-23.
 Both are on course for another good season, according to Barron.
 "There has been no problem getting them motivated," he said, "As long
as they stay confident and be the aggressor, they'll be fine."
 Diaz and Bontempo will have a decent supporting cast around them as
five other regular starters return, including two other district champs.
 Senior David Hoare and younger brother sophomore Chad won D-9 titles as
171 and 145 respectively and qualified for regionals through the now
defunct sub-regional tournament with District 6. David (8-13) and Chad
(10-20) will start this season at 171 and 152 respectively.
 Junior Austin Knox (7-10) also qualified for the sub-regional last year
and will probably start this season at 119. Juniors Todd Snedden (9-19) and
Mike Flock (8-5) are the other returning regulars and they'll start the
season at 140 and 112 respectively.
 Others with some starting experience are senior Kurt Brown (2-4) and
junior Barry Brubaker (0-3). Brown will probably start at 145 while
Brubaker will be at 189.
 Rounding out the Beavers' starting lineup will be their influx of
talented newcomers.
 Highly-touted freshman Nick Stoltz was tabbed as the starting
103-pounder until he fractured a vertebrae in his back. He could be back by
mid-December, but don't look for him to be in the lineup right away.
Starting in Stoltz's place will be sophomore Ben Fordoski, who could also
be bumped up to 112 when Stoltz returns.
 The other newcomers will be through the middleweights where the Beavers
lost three starters. Sophomores Brandon Knox and Kyle Bundy may be seen
anywhere from 125-130 while freshmen Dom Morelli and Dan Heath could work
their way in at 130 or 135.
 Completing the lineup will be either juniors Josh Kichman or Matt
Krishart at heavyweight.
 Depth shouldn't be a problem for Barron, who will be assisted once
again by Denny Noskar and Doug Sopic, as the Beavers sport a 34-man roster.
 "We have a good blend of veterans and young wrestlers," Barron said.
"This is one of those years you really look forward to as a coach."
 But Barron knows the key to their season is how well the young wrestlers do.
do it."
 DuBois gets the season under way Tuesday at home against Altoona. Other
dates to look forward to are home matches with Brookville and Bald Eagle
Area and away matches against Ridgway, Philipsburg-Osceola and State
 The Beavers have also added three new tournaments to their schedule as
they'll be in the prestigious Powerade Tournament at Trinity High School,
the Tool City Tournament at Meadville and the Seneca Valley Tournament in
addition to the Kwik-Fill/PNC Classic in Warren.


Mike Diaz, Jeremy Geer, Kurt Brown, John Kelly, Garrett Bontempo, David Hoare. 

Mike Flock, Austin Knox, J.P. Yonushonis,
Todd Snedden, Jason Bash, Matt Krach, Eric Hazuda, Barry Brubaker, Steve
Null, Josh Kichman, Matt Krishart. 

Ben Fordoski, Ritchie Witherite, Chris Muth, Andy Edinger, Brandon Knox, 
Kyle Bundy, Thurston Mooney, Greg Yonushonis, Cody Stewart, Chad Hoare, 
Dave Heath, Matt Sopic, Lou Panighetti, Robert Harris. 

Nick Stoltz, Dan Heath, Dom Morelli.