Yelm district honors YHS state champion wrestlers


By Dylan Reubenking

Yelm High School wrestlers Madisyn Erickson and Jonah Smith were honored during Yelm Community Schools’ board meeting on Thursday, March 28, after winning the state title in their respective divisions at the Mat Classic in February.

Erickson (120-pound division) and Smith (285-pound division) received certificates in front of the school board and attendees, and Superintendent Chris Woods congratulated each for their toughness and grit during the state championships.

“What’s important to know about these two is that it is tough to make it to state in wrestling because it’s a long season and your body has a hard time making it through the entire season healthy,” Woods said. “Jonah ended up being the last match going in the Tacoma Dome and coach [Gaylord] Strand’s last match after coaching all these years. A big congratulations to you. That is a huge accomplishment.”

Smith earned dominant victories in the first two rounds of the tournament before defeating Lincoln’s Bradley Amsden, 5-4, in decision, to advance to the state title match. The sophomore knocked off Ferndale’s Wyatt Strait, 9-2, in decision, to claim his first state title.

Erickson, a senior, clinched her second-straight state crown by going 47-0 during the season. She advanced to the state championship match with three pin victories before outlasting Auburn’s Mary Rush in the deciding match, 10-5, in decision.

Woods noted Erickson’s toughness after she dislocated a finger during the state title match.

“You’ve got to be tough to be a wrestler. You’ve got to be really tough to dislocate your finger, go back out there and win state for the second year in a row,” he said. “A big congratulations to you too, Madisyn.”