A sturdy dose of drive and talent never hurts. But in the sport of wrestling, there’s just no substitute for experience.
The Wolverines experience made its presence known as a trio of veterans delivered a series of strong performances in Friday Harbor’s home-opener, Dec. 7, in Hall Gym.
With La Conner and Tacoma Baptist in the Hall, seniors Tate Brumsickle (152) and Marquis Napier (145) each pinned their opponent in the first round of their respective opening matches, and junior Sam Ibold (182) needed only the blink of an eye to do the same. In addition to those three, the Wolverines welcome back to the roster veterans Aidan Anderson (160), a junior, and sophomores Landon Rishel and Zander Crichton (132).
A total of nine newcomers join six veterans in rounding out the 2012-13 wrestling team roster. With that, the Wolverines will have one more competitor to throw into the mix than they did a year ago, with a total of 15 athletes on this year’s squad.
The team will rely on its upperclassmen to carry the leadership load without the likes of heavyweight Willy Dunn, anchor of the team the past four years, and Michael Davis, both lost to graduation.
The cast of newcomers includes two females competitors, sophomore Ashley Dietz and Kaylen Meeker (120), an all-leaguer in volleyball and softball, and making a debut on the wrestling squad this senior season.
With its home opener now in the rear-view mirror, Friday Harbor hits the road for the next nine of its 13-match regular-season schedule. The team has eight matches in January, of which three of the final four are at home. Post-season competition begins in early February.
The Wolverines are coached by Neil MacDiarmid, now in his sixth year at the helm, and first-year assistant coach David Wolf. They have also benefitted by a bit of early season guidance from both Davis and former Friday Harbor wrestling standout Maverick Blake.
— Scott Rasmussen