Skyline High School wrestlers grapple with perfection

January 22, 2013

Boden Longmore, Skyline High School freshman, keeps Ballard’s Kristjan Sigmar in trouble throughout their 152-pound match Jan. 17, collecting 16 points to win by technical fall. By Lillian O’Rorke

Boden Longmore, Skyline High School freshman, keeps Ballard’s Kristjan Sigmar in trouble throughout their 152-pound match Jan. 17, collecting 16 points to win by technical fall. By Lillian O’Rorke

Despite never having a full roster, the Skyline High School wrestling team secured a perfect dual meet record Jan. 17, when it defeated the Ballard Beavers, 45-18, to clinch a 10-0 season.

“Throughout the season, we’ve been giving up anywhere from 6 to 30 points because of forfeits,” coach Gus Kiss said. “It’s adversity, and they persevered. They wrestled well through it.”

That night, the two teams wrestled as many matches as they gave up. The Skyline Spartans forfeited both the 182 and 285 weight classes, giving up 12 points to Ballard.

The Beavers’ take would have been twice that if not for the double-forfeits at 170 and 195. Skyline also gained 18 points when Ballard forfeited the three lightest weight classes.

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Illness decimates Liberty High School wrestlers

January 22, 2013

Connor Small (top), Liberty High School sophomore, controls Hazen junior Malik Haythorne during their 152-pound match Jan. 15, taking an 8-1 victory. Small would also win his match Jan. 17 against Bellevue by a technical fall. By Greg Farrar

Connor Small (top), Liberty High School sophomore, controls Hazen junior Malik Haythorne during their 152-pound match Jan. 15, taking an 8-1 victory. Small would also win his match Jan. 17 against Bellevue by a technical fall. By Greg Farrar

As the nation struggles through a particularly aggressive flu season, many Liberty High School wrestlers know only too well the ailments that accompany the illness.

The flu knocked out nearly the entire team last week, when the Patriots dropped matches to Hazen and Bellevue, Liberty coach Manny Brown said.

“With injuries and sickness, I think I had maybe six wrestlers that are at full strength,” he said. “But the other teams have illnesses too.”

Despite going into the matches with a short-handed squad, Brown said the remaining Patriot wrestlers stood tough through adversity.

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Maywood Middle School hosts youth wrestling camp

January 8, 2013

Maywood Middle School is offering a youth wrestling camp for grades 1 through 5 from Jan. 9 to Feb. 13 on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

The classes run from 6:15-7:30 p.m. on each day the class is offered. The cost for classes is $60 per participant.

Call Wright Noel at 837-4717, ext. 106, with questions.

Liberty High School’s first female wrestler defies odds

January 1, 2013

Joanna Moreira, Liberty High School sophomore (right), wrestles her opponent at the Auburn Mountainview Girls Tour in December. By Laurel Bluhm

Just a day before competing in last year’s Mat Classic, Liberty High School wrestler Joanna Moreira stood high up in the rafters of the Tacoma Dome and stared down at the 12 perfectly placed mats laid across the floor.

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Skyline High School wrestlers win Sammamish Plateau faceoff

December 11, 2012

In a match Dec. 6 where there were just as many pins as decision wins and even more forfeits, the Skyline High School Spartans beat the Eastlake Wolves, 40-30.

“We brought some intensity. Eastlake stepped up,” Skyline coach Gus Kiss said. “Our kids still had to step up and we did.”

The Spartans gave up 24 points in forfeits at 170, 180 and the top two heavyweights, but received one forfeit at 106.

Skyline racked up three pins, all within the first period of the match. In the 113 weight class, Nathan Swanson won in 1 minute, 32 seconds. At 120, Kody Nguyen pinned his opponent in 31 seconds.

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Skyline High School wrestling struggles to fill top of roster

November 27, 2012

With 32 athletes already signed up and several returning state qualifiers, the Skyline High School wrestling team is hopeful as it continues to hunt for a heavyweight competitor to complete the lineup.

“We are strongly optimistic. We have a good bunch of returning young men and we have some good athletes that are turning out,” coach Gus Kiss said.

The Skyline Spartans finished 7-3 last year in KingCo dual meets and qualified four wrestlers for the State Mat Classic, including Kara Alden. The team’s only female went on to become the team’s top finisher after taking sixth place in the 145-pound girls division. She returns this year as a junior.

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Liberty High School wrestlers adjust to home away from home

November 27, 2012

Joanna Moreira, Liberty High School freshman (top) wrestles Garfield junior Amanda Triandafilou in the 132-pound women’s match in an exhibition match last January at Issaquah High School. By Greg Farrar

The uniform will say Liberty, but for the 2012-2013 wrestling season, the Patriot wrestlers will have to call Maywood Middle School home due to construction going on at Liberty High School.

It’s been an adjustment for the squad, Liberty coach Manny Brown said. The team practices at Maywood but must wait to use the wrestling mats until the middle school team is done.

“Since Liberty is in construction mode, we will have all of our home matches over at Maywood Middle School,” he said. “It’s worked out well for us, but we still miss being home at Liberty High School.”

Despite the inconvenience, Brown said the team is excited and eager to build upon its fourth-place finish at last year’s KingCo 3A Conference championships.

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Issaquah wrestling team sees return of 17 lettermen

November 27, 2012

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.

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Skyline High School sophomore wrestles her way to state

June 5, 2012

Skyline High School sophomore Kara Alden wrestles Dec. 1, 2011, in a match against a wrestler from Issaquah High School. By Debbie Alden

For Skyline High School sophomore Kara Alden, it’s not that she’s a girl participating in a sport dominated by guys or that she’s the only female on a male wrestling team. Rather, it’s the fact that her desire to compete and her passion for the sport have allowed her to succeed despite a lack of experience and physical disadvantages.

“Wrestling guys is harder as a girl since we don’t have as much muscle mass as they do,” Kara said. “You have to have really perfected technique to do well against a guy.”

On a daily basis and throughout the season, she faces adversity in the form of her male opponents. At practice and during dual meets, her options are often limited to wrestling just guys, unless it’s the postseason.

But for Kara, the option to wrestle both guys and girls presents a unique catch-22. Facing girls means a higher probability of winning. Wrestling guys, however, is where she can gain the most experience and learn technical moves she wouldn’t otherwise be afforded.

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Liberty wrestler Hamilton Noel finishes sixth at Mat Classic

February 21, 2012

When the last chapter closed on the 2012 Mat Classic, all it said about Hamilton Noel’s performance was that the Liberty High School senior finished sixth in the 160-pound division at the Class 3A Tournament.

Not a word about his heart, of which he displayed plenty in the Tacoma Dome. Not a comma about his tears, of which there were also a few. Not a period about how he stepped on the mat weakened by an unspecified ailment that made him look almost nothing like the Noel that dominated at Regionals.

At the end, the fact that Mercer Island’s Blake Johnson, the wrestler who won 160-pound state title was the same Noel defeated at the regional finals seven days earlier, seemed to do nothing but add insult to an already injured warrior.

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