When Dave Wiles was deployed to Afghanistan, Beallsville High School athletic director Jordan Stephens didn't have to go far to find someone to replace him as the Blue Devils' wrestling coach.
In fact, he simply had to look on Wiles' staff.
Ted Bier was ready, willing and able to assume the duties as the Blue Devils' mat boss. And when Beallsville enters WesBanco Arena on Thursday night for the annual Ron Mauck OVAC Tournament, Bier will be filled with plenty of optimism about what his team could accomplish.
"We'll try to place three, for sure,'' he said.
Beallsville have a small, but determined squad. Bier has 11 wrestlers on the roster, but what he lacks in quantity is made up in quality.
"I'm looking for (Bruce) Sefert to win at 145 (pounds) and my son, Preston, to place again this year,'' Bier said. "And Jeremy Brown, at 106, there's no reason why he can't place.
"We don't really have the numbers and the experienced wrestlers to place as a team, but we ought to be able to compete for places individually."
Sefert, a senior, enters the tournament with a 15-2 record. He's wrestled at 152 for most of the season, but will drop down to 145 for OVACs.
"He lost to (University's Ryan) Lopez at Union Local and he's ranked pretty high and he'll be wrestling at 152 at OVACs."
As for Preston Bier, he was eighth last season at OVACs. He's 9-6 this year.
"He's in that weight class where anything can happen," Ted Bier said. "It's a real even weight class."
Brown, a senior, is 10-6.
"He definitely has an opportunity to place in every event he goes to," Ted Bier said.
At 113, Beallsville is represented by Zach Raines, a junior who is 8-10.
"He's another real good kid," Ted Bier said. "He's right there on the edge, but can't seem to get over it."
Zac Daugherty carries a 9-6 mark into this week's event.
"He's a real good wrestler," Ted Bier said of the junior. "He's another guy who's right on the borderline of placing and can't seem to get over the hump."
Luke Craig, a sophomore, will move to down to 138 from his usual spot at 145. He is 1-8.
Levi Phillips will compete at 152 after wrestling at 160 for the bulk of the season. He's 5-5.
"He's a real experienced wrestler," Ted Bier said of the sophomore. "He has the experience, he just hasn't hit that maturity level yet."
Senior Cole Beckett will fill the 182-pound slot for the injured Mark Shaffer. Beckett is currently 6-10.
Freshman Cody Potts (2-12) will compete at 220, while David Taylor (6-6) rounds out the lineup at heavyweight.
"He's a real good kid and might be one that surprises some people," Ted Bier said of Taylor. "He went to a meet the other day against Monroe Central and went in as an underdog and pinned a kid."
Ted Bier hopes his kids take that same positive attitude into Wheeling this week.
"They're a fun group," he said.