McLean High is participating at this weekend’s annual NOVA Classic event at Fairfax High School. Highlander head coach Kenneth Jackson is enthusiastic about his team’s chances of competing well at the Classic and throughout the winter season as well.
“We are very excited about the season this year,” said Jackson. “We have 19 returning wrestlers this year, seven of which were varsity starters last year. We have a strong core of dedicated wrestlers.”
Those wrestlers include junior Austin Miller (125-weight class), senior Andy Chung (130), sophomore Forest Stieg (145), and senior Paval Hovhannisyan (160).
Coach Jackson commented on each of the four core team members.
“Austin has worked hard this off season and is ready to go up against the best,” said Jackson. “Andy is ready to redeem himself and show everyone in the area he is here to take on all his competitors. Forest Stieg is in his second season as a varsity starter and has shown great promise and we are excited to see how he performs against the best in the area. Paval Hovhannisyan did not wrestle last year due to injuries but is back and ready and will work hard to make it to the top.”
This past weekend, McLean competed at the Granby Kickoff Classic at Granby High in Norfolk.
“I think it is important for us to get out of the area and wrestle schools from the south,” said Jackson. “We had several holes for these matches but showed great heart. Not all of our top guys were able to make it.”
Miller was McLean’s top wrestler at the Granby Kickoff, going 4-0 and winning all his matches by pins. Highlander wrestlers who finished 3-1 were Hovhannisyan, sophomore Adilet Uspeev (135 division), junior John Polzer (171) and senior Gi Yoon (189).
Now, McLean is set and ready for the NOVA Classic.
“The NOVA classic is a great tournament for us to start the year off with,” said Jackson. “This gives us a look at where we fall in the Northern Region and gives us a good look at our competition. I know our boys will come out wrestling hard. The Highlanders are ready to show off our talent.”