The regular season concluded for both the Yelm boys and girls wrestling teams as the seniors were celebrated on Thursday, Jan. 26, with a “retro night” theme.
Both teams took on members of the River Ridge Hawks wrestling team.
After some junior varsity competition, the girls wrestling seniors were accompanied by their families and recognized on the mats. The girls wrestling team features nine seniors, which include Alayna Preston, Cammy Erickson, Michaela Marsh, Karoline Eggemann, Emily Kiehn, Emma Bacon, Vanessa Alberts, Emily Burton Crow and Amailee Niz.
Erickson, and her sister Madisyn, each picked up pins for their team on senior night.
For the boys, seniors Noah Swanson, Vila Lom, Andrew Davis, Daniel Snyder, William Carreto, Roman Gray and Dallin Rosenberg were all honored during their pre-match ceremony. The seniors celebrated with their families and coaches before they took to the mat.
“Senior night went great. We had a lot of fun with the retro clothing and the old music,” Coach Gaylord Strand said. “I was disappointed for my seniors because some of them didn’t get to wrestle, due to forfeits. It’s always fun to wrestle in front of the home crowd in your last regular season match of your career and I felt bad they had to miss out on that.”
Five Tornados picked up forfeit wins during the meet.
For the Tornados who saw action on the mat, five picked up victories. Davis, 126, beat his opponent with a pin, much like freshman AJ Erickson, 138, who also pinned his opponent. Sophomore Lake Harris, 145, won his match 6-0 by decision, and Snyder, 152, won due to technical fall. Kaleb Holman, 160, won by decision, defeating his opponent 10-6.
Following senior night, the Tornados will bring 22 wrestlers to districts on Saturday, Feb. 4, at Capital High School.
Strand told the Nisqually Valley News they’re bringing Lom, Davis, Erickson, Harris, Snyder, Holman, Carreto, Gray, Tate Oberhansley, Wesley Thompson, Walter Waldrop, Evan Smith, Braxton Atkin, Auto O’Neal, Ashton Carreto, Roman Rosenberg, Devin Le Duc, Ezekiel Erhlick, Genesis Finch, Julian Flores, Jonah Smith and Chris Hauss.
“We look pretty strong as we head into districts,” Strand said. “We’re looking to take first at districts and we won’t be as strong as we have been in the past but I do believe we can take it.”
Strand said he anticipates strong postseason showings from several Tornados, which include a talented freshman trio. Thompson, Erickson and Smith have all shined during their first high school season with the wrestling team. Strand said he looks forward to watching their postseason debuts.
He said Davis, Harris, Snyder and Carreto should all have strong showings at the district tournament too. Davis, despite not wrestling the last two seasons, has 18 wins on the season. Sophomore Harris has 24 wins on the season, while Carreto has 19. Snyder has 19 wins on the season and Strand noted the senior missed placing at state in 2022 by one match.
Oberhansley went to state last year and Strand hopes he can make it back there this year.
Lom has also shown great improvement since last year, the coach said.
“For anybody who wants to watch wrestling, you’ll have the opportunity the next two weekends. We’ll wrestle districts at Capital High School and regionals at North Thurston,” Strand said. “The boys love seeing the support, and if you enjoy wrestling, you’ll have two opportunities to watch it locally.”