Yelm wrestlers pinned their way to a toppleless 8-0 season, emerging league champions after their 72-12 match against Timberline on Wednesday, June 3.
Coach Gaylord Strand said he’s proud of what the grapplers have accomplished, given the circumstances.
“The best thing we got from this year was being able to give our seniors the best that we could, given the short season,” Strand said. “We got to know the wrestlers on a more personal level because there were fewer wrestlers on the team.”
The team only saw a fraction of the athletes that usually turn out for the sport in part because of the strict COVID-19-related guidelines that were set up this year, which required wrestlers to be tested for the virus twice a week and wear masks while competing.
Yet the slim pickings led to some great opportunities, Strand said.
“The one-on-one coaching was special, especially with all the volunteer assistants helping out,” Strand said. “There was no shortage of help when needed.”
He said for the underclassmen, there was a lot of learning and preparation for next year, with only five months until the 2021-22 season begins.
Season at the Glance
- YHS vs. Capital High School: 49-15
- YHS vs. North Thurston High School: 44-30
- YHS vs. River Ridge High School: 39-26
- YHS vs. Bethel High School: 42-21
- YHS vs. Rainier High School: 51-3
- YHS vs. North Thurston High School: 45-33
- YHS vs. Curtis High School: 36-25
- YHS vs. Timberline: 72-12
- Aidan Rosenberg had seven wins, two losses and six forfeits.
- Jabari Schouweiler had six wins, zero losses and six forfeits.
- Gage Nelson had six wins, zero losses and five forfeits
- Jonathan Matthews had five wins, three losses and five forfeits.
- Kristopher Simas had four wins, zero losses and four forfeits.
- Slade Edwards had three wins, zero losses and one forfeit.
- Kyle Creegan had three wins, two losses and two forfeits.
- AJ Gouley had two wins, two losses and one forfeit.
- Gary Myers had two wins, five losses and two forfeits.
- Isiah Martinez had one win, three losses and zero forfeits.
In addition, Rainier High School wrestlers have been hard at work, having fought all season to do their best despite setbacks due to team shortages following a school COVID-19 exposure, which forced many athletes to quarantine.
Their last contest of the season was Wednesday, June 9, at Forks High School, but the results came in after the Nisqually Valley News’ press deadline.
“It has been a crazy up and down season with the COVID testing and quarantines keeping kids out for part of the season,” Coach Chris Holterman said. “We are improving. The kids seem to be enjoying themselves and having fun and that is the most important thing.”
Holterman said those who have been able to compete found competitive matches at the mixers hosted throughout the league, though the events did not end with team results.
“And we hosted the Sergeant Justin Norton Memorial (tournament) at the end of May and had four wrestlers earn medals, so that was exciting,” he said.
Sergeant Justin Norton Memorial
- Zach Coleman, a sophomore at 113 pounds, earned second place.
- Jacob Warner, a freshman at 170 pounds, earned second place.
- Adrian Hambly, a sophomore at 152 pounds, earned third place.
- Kayleb Jackson, a senior at 220 pounds, earned third place.
- Rainier placed fourth as a team.