Wildcat wrestling on its way into postseason

Mount Si's wrestling team is headed to the postseason on a strong note after good results last week in the final regular season matches of the year.

Last Thursday, January 28, the Wildcats traveled to Liberty to take on Issaquah and Skyline. The results against the Eagles were not reported to the Valley Record by press time, but the Wildcats held their own against the Spartans despite a 45-33 defeat to the Kingco 4A team.

The matchup was full of pins and forfeits; Ben Larson (135), Trey Botten (140) and Zach Storm (189) were the Wildcats who won their matches by pins over Spartans opponents. Josh Mitchell (285) and Lee Amador (160) won their contests by forfeit. The match of the night was at 125, where Mount Si's Bruce Stuart gave Skyline's Colin Ehret a battle which came down to the bitter end, before Ehret took the contest in an 11-10 decision.

The Wildcats headed into that dual meet at Liberty last Thursday coming off a split in their lone dual meet at home last Monday, January 25. The Wildcats blasted Sammamish 64-18 but fell to the Patriots 44-28. In the Sammamish match, winners included Andrew Sypher (119), Trey Botten (140) and Conor Klupar (145). The feature bout against the Totems was at 112, where Mackenzie Will took on Sammamish's A.J. Leitch. Will, Mount Si's first female wrestler, dominated from the start against Leitch and took a major decision 19-7. Will was pinned by Liberty's Dan Velasquez later on in the evening, but there was plenty of praise for the senior following the conclusion of action.

"Mackenzie looked awesome. She came out hard. A couple of coaches on the sidelines, a couple of the adults were saying that, ‘she’s out there wrestling tough as nails’. That’s a great way to describe her," Botten said. Fellow senior teammate Andrew Sypher thinks that a lot may be in store for Will. "She’s excelling really well and I expect her possibly to place at state if she keeps it up," Sypher said. As for Will, she's taking it all in stride. "I just went out there and gave it all I had," she said.

Larson and Botten were among the winners against the Patriots. Last Monday's dual was Senior Night for the Wildcats, as they honored their seniors, Will, Amador, Sypher, Larson and Botten. Wildcat coach Tony Schlotfeldt will miss them. "I feel fortunate to have them around this year coming into (it) as a new coach at the high school level. They’ve just really helped out," Schlotfeldt said. Sypher will also miss being a part of the team. "It has been awesome. I’ve loved wrestling here at Mount Si and it is sad to leave Mount Si my senior year. It’s depressing," Sypher said.

The Wildcats are in the Kingco tournament this weekend, and Schlotfeldt thinks the team could contend. "I think we're looking in pretty good shape. We’re competing well at tournaments, we’re getting a lot of them, a majority of them are placing and I feel that the tournaments we’ve gone to have prepared us well for postseason," Schlotfeldt said. Sypher's goal? "I'm going to state," he said.

With the program on the rise, and new doors opened for local girls in the sport because of Will's success recently, Sypher has this message for the Valley. "Continue to support it. It's growing. It’s going to get better year after year. S(chlotfeldt) is building a great program. Expect a strong team in the future,” he said.

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