Wallace Hall has taken over the Tiger program in his first year at the school after serving as an assistant football coach during the fall season.
"This is my first year here at Temple and I originally coached at North Clayton High School and also Columbia High School as a football coach. This is my first year coaching wrestling, but so far at Temple the guys have been very respectful, come to practice every day, they work hard. We don't really have any disciplinary problems out of our student-athletes," Hall said.
With only two wrestlers returning from last year's team, Hall's face won't be the only new one in the program. With the youth will come some growing pains, but the first-year coach expects bigger things as the year goes on.
"So far the guys have been working pretty hard. We're pretty young. We only have two returners from previous years, so we're going to be a pretty young team this year. I like what I see. They're committed, they're working hard. They've been working for the last two months and we expect to grow as the season progresses," Hall said.
Chase Vines and Chuck George come into the year as the only wrestlers with varsity experience at Temple and will be expected to lead the young squad.
"Chase Vines is a junior. He's been wrestling pretty much since middle school on up. We expect for him to compete for the conference and maybe, possibly state. He's 152 [pounds]. Then Chuck George, he's a sophomore and this is his second year. He was one of our best defensive linemen as a football player. We expect a lot of things out of him. We also have a transfer from Bremen, Justin Hill. He took a year off, but he does have a lot of experience and is our only senior," Hall said.
And while the team will look for success in other places, it will be expected from George and Vines early and all year.
"So far that's where we are. I do expect for more guys to step up as the season progresses, but right now we're looking at [Vines and George] to be our leaders and to represent our school well," Hall said.
The schedule for Temple has a lot of local teams and locations on it, which was on purpose. As Hall hopes to build the Tiger program, he intends to do so locally and then branch out.
"That was key for us to try to keep things in a short radius, as far as distance to gauge where we are as a team. Hopefully in the future, we can venture out. I think [staying local] will give our guys a chance to develop some of the rivalries with some of the teams around Carroll County and in Douglas County. We're trying to develop a reputation around here, and it's going to start with us competing and showing schools that Temple is a team that's going to compete," Hall said.
The Tigers will participate in this weekend's Screamin' Eagle Tournament at Mt. Zion on Friday and Saturday.