`Cats looking for repeat performance

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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

and Davis.

"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.

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