The numbers are going up for the Yuma High School wrestling team.

Head coach Rory Lynch and his staff will have 22 wrestlers at their disposal when the Indians open the 2017-18 season Saturday at the Akron Invitational.

That roughly doubles the size of the team from last season. It means the Indians will field at wrestlers at nearly every weight at the varsity level, and it means there is a lot of competition going on in the weight room.

“If we keep 22 people in this room, we’re just going to get better and better,” Lynch said late last week. “It’s going to help a ton.

“Right now it looks like we’ll cover every weight class but one,” he continued.

The open weight would be 220. Lynch said the team is bunched up a bit in the lower and middle weights, but still should be able to fill 13 of the 14 weight classes.

Lynch said there does not seem to be any one factor that resulted in the uptick of participation, though an 11-member freshman class certainly helps. In fact, only five of the wrestlers are upperclassmen.

The 2017-18 Yuma High School wrestling team is pictured above prior to practice, earlier this week: Front row (l-r) — Manny Tena, Jaden Hansen, Gianni Trejo, Brandon Blacker, Josh Daugherty, Braden Smith, Blaze Brophy, Charles Perrin, and Alec Holtorf; back row (l-r) — Kyler Goeglein, Alex Covarrubias, Xavier Smith, Edgar Apodaca, Louden Blach, Luis Bueno, Will Marshall, Brandon Baquera, Josue Rochoa and Joey Ross. Not pictured are Edgar Bustillos and Fernando Rascon. (Pioneer Photo)

“We’ve just talked a lot about the hard work, how much fun it is, and the camaraderie,” he said.

“Everybody is working really hard. We’re still getting our legs under us, but we’re pushing real hard with technique.”

Senior Gianni Trejo is the only returning state qualifier, having done so as a freshman and again last season. He missed most of his sophomore season to injury. Trejo will be at 138.

Wrestling at 106 this season will be sophomore Alec Holtorf, with freshman Charles Perrin also competing at that weight.

Weighing in at 113 is freshman Josh Daugherty. Freshman Blaze Brophy is at 120. Also competing at 120 are freshmen Braden Smith, Fernando Rascon and Will Marshall. Freshman Joey Ross is at 126. Freshman Louden Blach is at 132.

After Trejo at 138 is junior Xavier Smith at 145, with freshman Brandon Blacker also competing at that weight. Junior Jaden Hansen is at 152. Sophomore Alex Covarrubias is at 160, along with sophomore Brandon Baquera. Competing at 170 are sophomores Manny Tena and Edgar Apodaca.

Senior Edgar Bustillos is out for wrestling this year, and will be at 182, along with junior Luis Bueno and freshman Kyler Goeglein. Sophomore Cayden Lynch is out for wrestling this season as well, and is locked in at 195. Rounding out the roster at heavyweight is freshman Josue Rochoa.

Lynch said five of the students are new to wrestling, adding they are coming along quickly.

“We are heave with freshmen and sophomores and they are all working hard, knowing they may be competing against upper classmen,” Lynch said. “We are looking for some opportunites for our JV wrestlers, and are going to send some wrestlers to Brush for their JV tourney on December 9.”

It should shape up to be a fun season for the Indians. It begins with a busy December as the wrestlers have three tournaments, two triangulars and one dual before taking a break for the holidays.

“We will hit the ground running, won’t we,” Lynch asked rhetorically. “That second full week of December will be exciting with the two triangulars and a tournament. Our practices this week will need to be efficient and productive to get us ready for December.