With expectations high to start the 2011-12 high school wrestling season, things have not gone exactly to plan for Mount View High School, thanks, in large part, to the dreaded injury bug.

The Mustangs sport a 7-6 record, not including a scheduled meet at Brewer Jan. 11, but have stumbled a bit of late, according to veteran Mustang coach Hamilton Richards, due to injuries and wrestlers “not wrestling up to potential.”

Since their fifth-place performance at the Penobscot Valley Holiday Tournament Dec. 29 in Howland, Mount View has had 11 wrestlers out “on and off” over the past three weeks due to varying injuries and ailments, which has made competing in meets a challenge, said the coach.

Richards said four of his grapplers are performing well, including Tyler Stevenson (15-3 record) in the 220-pound weight class, James Blanchette (10-4) at 106, Mark Dolloff (12-7) at 138 and Roger Flannery (9-6) at 132. Stevenson and Flannery are brothers.

The top seven team finishers from the PVHS tournament were: Ellsworth, 155.5; Bucksport, 124; Erskine Academy of South China, 108; Brewer, 103; Mount View, 85; Morse of Bath, 80.5; and Madison, 79.

Blanchette and Dolloff finished second in their respective divisions, while Stevenson was fourth.

Scores from recent Mount View dual-meets include: Lincoln Academy of Newcastle 48, Mount View 36; Mount View 48, Maine Central Institute of Pittsfield 30; Mount View 53, Oak Hill of Sabattus 12; and Cony of Augusta 70, Mount View 12.

Moving forward, coach Richards feels if he can get his student-athletes healthy and competing to their potential, they will be tough to beat once the postseason begins.

“We’ve got some talent but I really need to get the team healthy before I can predict how things are going to go,” he said. “We have a critical round-robin match up against Western [Class] C powers Dirigo [of Dixfield], Madison, Winslow and Monmouth [Academy] on [Martin Luther King Jr.] Day and the rest of our season is mostly Class A [opponents]. Great for experience, a little rougher in terms of picking up team wins. If I can get the kids healthy and they start wrestling closer to potential, I think we are really poised for a top three or four finish at the C West regional.”

Village NetMedia Associate Sports Director Mark Haskell can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by email at mhaskell@villagesoup.com.