The 2018-19 Lakeland boys’ wrestling season gets underway at 10 a.m. tomorrow in Antigo.

The Thunderbirds will compete in an invitational including wrestlers from Antigo, Ashland, Athens, Bayfield, Cameron, Crivitiz, Elcho, Manawa, Marathon, Menominee Indian, Rosholt, Three Lakes, and Waupaca.

For Lakeland head coach Adam Bremer, it doesn’t matter where his opponents come from.

“We go and compete,” Bremer said. “If we start worrying about who’s on the stripe across from us, we’re worrying about all the wrong things.”

Still, it will be tough for Lakeland not to pay a bit of particular attention to the hosts, as the Thunderbirds will bring a long awaited attempt at revenge to the Red Robins.

“Antigo was a really tough team last year. It was a team that really had our number,” Bremer said. “We didn’t match up well with them so they whooped us pretty good last year.”

If the T-Birds offer any payback, they will definitely be looking toward Xavier Burgess to deliver it.

The senior was 5-0 last year wrestling at 170 pounds and won Lakeland’s regional.

Bremer expects nothing less this year.

“Xavier Burgess is a returning senior that is poised to have a strong final season,” Bremer said.

Helping Burgess lead the team this year are juniors Jason Hilgart and Harry Nemcek.

Hilgart wrestled at both 142 and 152 pounds and was 4-1 last year. Nemcek was 3-2 at 113 pounds.

Both wrestlers bring winning records to a team that has some experience with victory.

“We have several returning sectional qualifiers and all conference wrestlers that will impact the success of this season,” Bremer said.

One of those wrestlers is Henry Evenhouse. Evenhouse turned his season around last year at the conference meet and took third after going 1-3 in duals.

The T-Birds, however, as a team, are not looking to turn anything around, but rather stay a course that led three wrestlers to the state meet in Madison last year.

Graduated seniors Jack Scandin, Deejay Nordrum, and Tate Olson paved a path to the big meet that Bremer hopes will be followed this year, but Bremer says that will only happen if his wrestlers maintain the self-reliant attitude established last season.

“We want to focus on our conditioning, our technique, the things that we have,” he said. “We’re going to focus on what we can control and then do the best job we can executing it when it comes to match time.”

Matches at the invitational being at 10 a.m. in Antigo tomorrow.

Jacob Friede may be reached at jacob@lakelandtimes.com or sports@lakelandtimes.com.