In Chillicothe, mid November means wrestling season begins.
The Illinois Valley Central wrestling team is looking for another successful postseason.
"So far, the strength of the team seems to be how hard they are willing to work," coach Matt Russell said. "In practice, the team has been working very hard."
The team will be led by returning seniors Bret Hoover, Kyle Walden and Calvin Campbell, making up for the loss of last years' class of Brandon Berchtold, Brendan Butler, Reece Smith, Jesse Hall, Jake Innis and Roman Razo.
"The seniors will have to lead by example and help the younger wrestlers understand what it takes to be a successful high school wrestler," Russell said.
With a small group of seniors, the team will need to make up depth in the underclass, including sophomores Chase Dietrich, Riley Beard, Jordan Ladd and Nick Ransom and junior Derek Meeks.
"The underclass wrestlers will have to step up and help the team achieve their goals," Russell said. "We also have some newcomers that look to contribute at the varsity level."
Those newcomers include freshman Nick Norris, juniors Tyler Brian and Kyle Fouts and senior Kyle Albaugh.
Last year, the squad sent Dietrich, Innis, Walden, Smith, Butler, Hall and Beard to Sectionals and Beard and Butler to State, where Beard finished sixth.
Like any season, the team will need to maintain a level of success throughout the year while making sure the guys remain healthy leading into February.
What will be different this year, however, is that the team plays in the AA division, pitting them against larger schools than they previously faced.
"The goals for the season remain the same," Russell said. "We want to put together a team that will be able to compete for the Regional title. We have moved to AA this year but we still have the same goals.
"We will have to work hard all season to improve and have our younger wrestlers mature to have a chance at achieving these goals."
The team starts the season at 5 p.m. Monday at home against Richwoods and Morton.
The team will then play at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Streator against the host school and Kewanee.