By Tate Thomson
The Wolverines wrestling team is ready to hit the mats. The team lost three graduating seniors from last season. This year, the team gained four new members. The 2017-2018 team consists of eight boys and one girl. It’s common for 1A/2B schools to have male majority wrestling teams; other teams have similar numbers. According to James Guard, Wolverines wrestler and assistant to the coaches, the team is “excited to learn and grow.” Both Guard and assistant coach Neil MacDiarmid are worried about a dwindling team.
When asked why kids would leave the team, they replied in unison: “injury.” In fact, one senior was unable to finish last season, due to injury. Being the intense physical sport that it is, wrestling is not forgiving to injury, and even a minor one can decommission a wrestler, sometimes for half or most of the season. Other than physical setbacks, MacDiarmid is hopeful that kids will stick with it.
According to MacDiarmid, wrestling requires great discipline and dedication, and this year’s Wolverines team has been working on both since practice started. It’s not just technique and endurance the wrestlers have to prepare for, they also partake in assessments that are submitted to the Washington Interscholastic Activities Association. These include hydration testing, weight checks, and skinfold measurements, which is used to calculate body fat percentages. These assessments determine what weight class each wrestler will fall under, but they also regulate healthy weight management practices. Nutrition and proper hydration can be compromised when there’s pressure to pass assessments, said MacDiarmid.
The Wolverines go up against Concrete, a league rival, on Wednesday, Dec. 6 to start off the season. The first tournament, “As Iron Sharpens Iron,” will be that following Saturday, Dec. 9. However, the Wolverines won’t wrestle at home in Friday Harbor until Thursday, Dec. 14 when they battle Sedro-Woolley. Their season consists of seven matches total. MacDiarmid and Guard agreed that Concrete and Darrington are the teams to beat this year. As past years have shown, the three teams are equally competitive for dominating the league.