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`Cats looking for repeat performance
Mount Si wrestling coach Bruce Caldwell knows his team is in the
hot seat to repeat last year's performance. And, as in the past two years, he
has the talent to do just that, take another KingCo and Sea-King Championship.
Caldwell, now in his thirteenth year, along with assistant
Mike Johnston, are banking on their experience to dominate the league
once again. Last season, Mount Si won the KingCo tournament and the
Sea-King tournament on their way to state. 18 wrestlers went to the Sea-King
tournament with one, Blake Moore taking first. At Sea-King they beat
league rivals, Liberty, with 193 1/2 team points to the Patriots, 176. The
rivalry between the two schools will be tested in the teams first regular season meet.
"We go back and forth. They beat us and got the dual meet
championship the last two years, but we came back and took the tournament
championship the last couple of years," said Caldwell. "We have to be ready
for them this year, we are both in contention for dual meet and
tournament championships this year," he added.
The Wildcats will bank on a team full of returning wrestlers to beat
Liberty and the rest of KingCo this year.
Leading the effort at the lightest of weights will be newcomer
Jason Rothgeb, a freshman. Rothgeb wrestled for Snoqualmie
Middle School last year with some great successes. In the 112 pound class,
veteran Jordan Prior will take to the mat. Prior took second in the 103 pound class
at the KingCo tournament last year. Kyle Cunningham will likely be in the
119-pound class varsity spot for the `Cats. Cunningham took sixth at
Sea-King last year and fourth in the KingCo tournament. The 125-pound class
will have Nick Martindale likely at varsity if he can get down to weight but
several newcomers could be challenging including freshman Aaron
Barquist. The 130-pound class could have several veterans vying for the varsity
spot including Eddie Roberts and Jon Emerson. Roberts took fifth in
the 135-pound class last year in the KingCo tournament. The
135-pound class will have Tyler Austin, Jeff Stone or Chris Ippolito challenging for
the varsity position.
The middleweight classes will again have the most depth this
year and in any given week, there could be a different person wrestling
varsity based on that week's challenge matches.
The 145-pound class will see two veterans working for a spot.
Chad Mills, who took second in the KingCo tournament last year in the
130-pound class, as well as second in the Sea-King tournament, will be the top
prospect. Kyle Jacobsen, who took seventh in the KingCo tournament in the
140-pound class, could also be tough for Mills to get by. Hiram Tame and
Craig Fanger will be challenging each other for the starting spot at 152
pounds. Tame took seventh in the Sea-King tournament last year in the
140-pound class and second at the KingCo tournament. Leading the way in the
160-pound class will be David Crotts who took sixth in the KingCo
tournament after bowing out to injury. Along with Crotts will be senior Bobby
Taylor, who has always been tough and took sixth at 140-pounds last year in
the KingCo tournament.
171-pounds will see Jed McDaniels leading the
pack. McDaniels took fourth in the KingCo tournament last year. Nick
Ippolito and Daniel Corlett will also be challenging McDaniels for the varsity
Brad "Grumpy" Davis will lead the helm in the 189-pound class
with challenger, Nick Ippolito and Tim Renfro nipping at his heels.
Another pair of wrestlers that might be nipping at his heels are younger brothers
Curt and Kyle, both freshman this year. Three brothers on the team at the
same time has not happened in quite a few years. It is also likely that the
Davis household has a large living room where unscheduled practices can
occur. The elder Davis took fourth in the SeaKing tournament last year
and third in the KingCo tournament.
Rounding out the last two spots are veterans Dylan Seubert at 215
pounds, and Brad Connor at the unlimited spot. Seubert took fifth in the 215
pound class last year at Sea-King and Connor took third in the unlimited class at
Sea-King. Both will be formidable at their respective weight classes with the
only concern being the lack of heavier wrestlers to back them up.
Tyler Burnard, a junior, is likely the only other wrestler able to move into
these weight classes.
Leadership has always been important to the Wildcat wrestling
team and this year three of the wrestlers have stepped forward, Mills, Tame
"They put in their time, they have been here for four years, and are
successful for four years," said coach Caldwell. They are focused,
they know what we need to do and they are hard workers. They are intense for
the sport of wrestling and I think they are in the right place," he added.
The Wildcats will host the David Szczepanik takedown
tournament Dec. 2 to start the season, then will have an exhibition match on Dec.
5. Their first meet is at Liberty on Dec. 7, with the first home meet being
with Mercer Island on Dec. 11.