The number thirteen might be unlucky for some, but the thirteen-member Wolverine wrestling team at Friday Harbor High School have high hopes of making it to state at the Tacoma Dome again this year for the 2015-2016 season. The squad sent three of their teammates James Guard (120), Sara Rist (155) and Haley Pyle (145) to the 2014-2015 championships.
“We’re taking quality over quantity this year,” said head coach Taine Pyle. “It takes a special type of kid to be a wrestler, can you imagine stepping onto a mat to wrestle in front of a whole school?”
Coach Pyle, now in his third year as wrestling coach, is accompanied by Time Hoke and longtime wrestling coach Neil MacDiarmid.
The team’s thirteen wrestlers include four that are new to competing in wrestling, though they certainly aren’t new to athletics.
New to the team is Jocelyn Roberts (138), sophomore, who helped the Anacortes swim team place third overall in state championships this year, placing in the top ten in her event. Wade Swirtz (145), sophomore, played quarterback in the 2015 football season, as well as Caleb Delazerda (170), who played offensive line and outside linebacker in the 2015 football season. Also new to the team is Isaac Brumsickle (160), whose brother Tate Brumsickle placed first in his weight division in Iron Sharpens Iron 2011 tournament and played on the team throughout his high school career.
Team members Dakota Gabler-Brown (195), Angela Hoke (145), Jesse Payne (120), Hunter Rustad (180), Thomas Synoground (145) and Ben Ware (138) all have at least one year of wrestling under their belts.
This year’s team doesn’t have a heavyweight, and the team is generally pared down compared to the 22 wrestlers on the 2013 team and 19 on the 2014 team.
The team will play four tournaments this year. See page 15 for the latest scores.