CONYERS - Look up the word young and the proper definition cites being in the early stage of growth or development; having little experience.
Somehow, this year's Salem wrestling squad got left off.
"This year our team is even younger than it was last year," Salem coach Tim Owens said. "We have a lot of first-year wrestlers. It will be a wait-and-see game to find out how they progress over the season."
Despite the inexperience, the young Seminoles are refusing to bite - their work ethic is a direct result of that.
On Tuesday, Salem traveled to Meadowcreek and wrestled a solid meet, topping the home squad and Norcross before falling to East Hall.
"Overall, I was pleased with the way we wrestled," Owens said, "but we still have work to do."
It does not make matters easier without Salem's top grappler, Peter Yates, a three-time state champion and now a wrestler at Virginia Tech.
Other key losses include graduating seniors Sam Ahonen (top eight state finish), Bobby Nance, Jeremy McElyea and Stephen Cross.
Nevertheless, returning to the mat this year for the Seminoles are Jonathan Johnson, Ian Camp, Josh Anderson, Joe Morovich, Jarrett Cain, Charles Mays and Jordan Jackson.
According to Owens, each has a varied amount of varsity experience, from very little to starter.
"They all have good work ethic, which will be key to bringing the young wrestlers along," he said. "Our overall lack of experience is something we will struggle with throughout the season, but all in all I'm pleased so far."
Jason Murdock can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
SideBar: At a glance
Team: Salem wrestling
Coach: Tim Owens
Key returning wrestlers: Jonathan Johnson, Ian Camp, Josh Anderson, Joe Morovich, Jarrett Cain, Charles Mays and Jordan Jackson
Next match: Today at Norcross Dual Tournament