March 12, 2013
When Issaquah High School’s wrestling coach Kirk Hyatt gives his recruitment speech every year, he always tells his athletes the same thing: If you are going to recruit someone, recruit your best friend.
“There are going to be times when you need them, and then there are going to be times when you need them,” Hyatt said.
Seniors Matt Solusod and Jerdon Helgeson know what he is talking about. The two have been wrestling since middle school, and together they have gone from dreading practice to serving as co-captains for Issaquah’s varsity team.
February 19, 2013
The local 4A wrestling programs were well-represented at the 25th annual Mat Classic Feb. 15-16 where 14 area wrestlers battled the state’s top athletes for a chance to medal in high school’s biggest tournament.
After taking second at the Region 3 Tournament the weekend before, Skyline High School wrestlers filled eight of the 14 weight classes at the state championship. By the time the two-day tournament was about over, the excitement of having eight wrestlers make it to the final 16 had taken its toll on Gus Kiss’ vocal cords. By 2 p.m. Saturday, the Skyline coach’s voice was all but gone.
“We’re really proud of the fact that we brought eight kids and one alternate,” he said in an almost whisper. “It’s a culmination of hard work and dedication, and it’s nice to see the end result.”
February 5, 2013
Not only are the Skyline High School Spartans the KingCo 4A champions but seven of their wrestlers are individual district champions as well.
At the KingCo 4A Championships Feb. 2, the Spartans won with 229 team points. Issaquah came in second with 209 points.
“Having eight in the finals and seven champs was something certainly very, very special,” Skyline coach Gus Kiss said.
January 23, 2013
January 22, 2013
The Issaquah High School wrestling squad raised its overall mark to 6-1, when it hosted Roosevelt at the Eagle’s Nest Jan. 17 and knocked the Roughriders out of their saddles with a 39-31 comeback victory.
January 22, 2013
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.
December 4, 2012
Athletes’ triumphs create community pride
Skyline High School’s football and soccer teams just keep bringing home honors to the Issaquah School District. The Issaquah and Liberty high school teams have also added many awards to the virtual district trophy case.
Skyline girls soccer took first in state for the fourth time in five years. And the Dec. 1 state playoff football game gave Skyline the gridiron title again for the fifth time in eight years. Skyline’s 200-medley relay team won the state swim title last month.
Issaquah is a known winner among 4A KingCo teams. The Eagles came in second, to Skyline, for the state girls soccer championship. This year’s football team reached the playoffs. The school’s wrestlers won the district title in 2011 and sent six wrestlers to state.
November 27, 2012
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.
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.
February 14, 2012
Hamilton Noel said he knows what is at stake.
The Liberty High School senior qualified for the state wrestling tournament again by winning the Class 3A Region 1 160-pound title Feb. 11 at Skyline High School.
On Feb. 17 and 18 in the Tacoma Dome, Noel will go for his third, and last, shot at a state crown. He will graduate in June and said he knows time is running out.
In 2010, then-145-pounder Noel lost to Olympic High School’s Brandon Yeik, 13-7, in the state finals.
In 2011, 152-pounder Noel lost to Enumclaw’s Josh Musick, 6-2, in the state finals.
Now at 160, he punched his ticket for the Mat Classic by beating No.2 Mercer Island’s Blake Johnson, in a 3-2 thriller.
“Blake is ranked No. 2,” Noel said. “I’ll probably see him again this year.”