Issaquah wrestling team sees return of 17 lettermen

November 27, 2012

By John Leggett

Jonathan Norris, Issaquah High School junior, wrestles his opponent in the 285-pound class on the way to winning with a pin, during the Eagles’ match against Woodinville last January. By Greg Farrar

As another Issaquah High School wrestling campaign gets under way, there can be little doubt that if any group of mat men has a head start on the rest of the conference, it would have to be the guys in the purple-and-gold grappling gear.

The Eagles began the season with 32 young men vying for starting spots in the varsity lineup, 17 of which are returning lettermen. The Eagles swing back into wrestling filled with confidence, after forging a 9-1 league mark in 2011-12, as well as wrapping up the KingCo 4A title and taking a half-dozen wrestlers to state a year ago.

One of the six wrestlers representing the IHS banner at the state tourney was 285-pound heavyweight Jonathan Norris, who took sixth in state as a junior.

Eagle wrestling coach Kirk Hyatt said Norris provides an enthralling example of what can happen, if you keep your nose to the grindstone in your training endeavors and never leave anything out on the mat.

On the other end of the spectrum for Issaquah is featherweight freshman Steven Solusod, who has at least been penciled in as the 106-pound selection for the Eagles. The wrestlers have not been assessed or certified yet, though, so little else is certain, according to Hyatt, an Eagle alum in his 17th season as the main mat mentor at IHS.

All starting assignments must eventually be earned, but Hyatt speculated that a gaggle of Issaquah guys have a good shot at being front and center Dec. 11, when Issaquah hosts its initial league match against league foes Bothell and Garfield at the Eagle’s Nest, at 4 p.m.

Some names Hyatt put forth as being almost certain representatives were a tandem of juniors occupying the 113-pound and 120-pound weight classes in Torre Eaton and Louden Ivey, respectively, in addition to perhaps Jordan Hamilton, who excelled in the regional trials last year at 126 pounds.

Meanwhile, potential candidates to fill the voids at 145 and 152 pounds, respectively, could well be sophomore Hunter Hurley and upperclassman Gerdon Helgeson, a podium prince last year as a 152-pound junior.

At 170 pounds, Parker Hamilton is most likely going to be sandwiched between a couple of weights that haven’t been nailed down as yet, among the 160- and 180-pound contenders. Sophomore 195-pounder Reuben Ortiz appears to have the inside track as far as being a good choice to wrestle under the Issaquah standard at that weight.

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