As Southwestern wrestling nears its 2013-14 curtain call, head coach Brandon Brawner has noticed a couple of interesting developments in the program.

Meanwhile, Shawe Memorial once again will not field a team but the Hilltoppers do have one very committed athlete looking to make his mark on the local mat scene.

Numbers are up in Hanover- the Rebels are averaging about 16 wrestlers at each practice - and that's not the only area in which the Rebels are a lot bigger.

"Southwestern has always been known for filling the lower weights but this year's team will look a bit different," Brawner noted ahead of the season opener Friday at the quad duals at Madison. "We are heavy in the upper weights. We are also very young this year - 10 freshman to be exact. We understand the struggles that come with such a young team."

Brawner said Southwestern should be able to fill all but two or three weight classes this season so opponents will have to beat Southwestern on the mat because the Rebels will leave very few points on the table via forfeit.

The Rebels' top returning mat men are Alex Marion and Austin Spray - two quality grapplers who achieved a great deal last year but fell enough short in the end that they have plenty to prove this year.

"Both have chips on their shoulders after not reaching their goals last year," Brawner said of Marion and Spray.

At the same time, Marion and Spray aren't the only Rebels with something to prove. Brawner said he's excited to see just who will step up and leave their mark on the mat.

"Noah Schuster and Matt Hedges I feel are the most hungry this season and looking to prove something," Brawner noted. " I'm excited to see what freshman step up to the plate and have a good season this year. Several of them had good junior high careers. We'll see who can make the difficult transition to high school."

Southwestern also has two other returning Rebels in Cody Holman and Zach Abbott as well as several newcomers to the varsity in Logan Williams, Ethan Garvey, Stevie Spray, Tori Dennison, Harlan Mikesell, Bryce Phillips, Jacob Perrine, Mitchell Swafford, Jeremiah Butters, John Goldsmith, Zach Liter, Zach McIntosh and Levi Burris.