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Taking to the mats
Sequim returning grapplers Austin Middleton, on top, and Cody Field give the Wolves a formidable roster.
Sequim Gazette photo by Michael Dashiell
by MICHAEL DASHIELL
The Wolves made plenty of trips to the Tacoma area in the 2009-2010 season but not the one they wanted.
For the first time since the mid-1990s, Sequim is looking to return to the MatClassic state wrestling finals, after getting shut out at districts in February.
Sequim has a mix of experienced and new wrestlers this winter, adding 18 new faces to a roster that boasts 17 returnees, 10 of them district qualifiers.
That has fourth-year coach Len Borchers liking his team’s chances, despite being in a tough league with strong school programs such as Port Angeles, North Mason, Olympic Klahowya and Kingston.
“I’m thinking we’ll be in the middle somewhere,” Borchers says. “We’ll see how the match-ups go. We’re still pretty young. We’ve got a lot of sophomores and juniors.”
Sequim’s competitors in the heavier weight classes might have the best shot at state, with 215-pounder Clay Charley and heavyweight Brian Bearden both qualifying as alternates to state after fourth-place finishes at districts last season.
Other top returning grapplers include Austin Middleton (125 pounds), Winston Babb (130), Derek Fruin and Luke Mooney (135), Cody Field (145), Lopaka Yasumura and Mustang Riggins (152), Kawika Yasumura (160) and Dakota Hinton (171).
Fruin, Middleton, Babb, Mooney, Riggins and Hinton each qualified for districts last season.
“They are about where they were at the end of last season,” Borchers said at a preseason practice, “so that’s good.”
Added to the mix are a number of rookies, including 103-pounder Royhon Agostine and 189-pounder Chris Falkey. In addition, Sequim has three girls on the 2010-2011 roster, led by Amariah Clift, who went 3-2 at regionals and was alternate to state tourney. The trio of female underclassmen has their own coach (Jen Frederick) and is scheduled to compete at three girls-only tourneys this season, in Auburn, Sedro-Woolley and Lakewood.
Sequim has more than 30 athletes battling for their 14 varsity roster spots.
Reach Michael Dashiell at email@example.com.