There’s plenty of upside on the Sequim wrestling mats in 2014.
After an 0-11 season and no wrestlers making the 2A state tournament last season, coach Charles Drabek said the team and some wrestlers should improve but not without taking some lumps.
With only three returning seniors and three juniors, Drabek said the young team should soon be a strong competitor with a large crop of freshmen and sophomores.
“We have a lot of guys that are new to the sport but are eager and willing to learn. I feel we just need to be patient with them and let them develop and we should see some results down the road,” Drabek said.
Most of the freshmen wrestlers come with experience in the middle school.
Drabek gives a lot of credit to middle school coaches Rich Hay and Erik Wiker for promoting the sport.
He also hopes new assistant coach Anthony Gowdy, a middle school teacher and former Wolves wrestling standout, can help them in their efforts.
The team is led by captains Royhon Agostine, a senior, and Kevin Ward, a sophomore.
Agostine made districts last year as did outgoing senior Luke Mooney and Kaylee Ditlefsen, a junior.
Drabek said he believes Royhon and Kaylee should make state this year.
“(Royhon) has gone to several camps and has also put in extra time working out with Len Borchers over the summer and has the hunger to make it to the dome,” he said.
Several other wrestlers put in extra time over the summer like Ward, Ty Jones, Nathan Allison, Michael Latimer and Sven Wiker.
Drabek said he thinks Latimer, Ward and Nick Kovach are wrestlers who hold a strong chance to make it past sub-regionals. For the girls, he thinks Sophia Cornell, whom he felt turned a corner in the second half of the season, and Alma Mendoza could do well through the season with Kaylee Ditlefsen.
He also considers a few freshman — Shaun Jones, Grant Pierson, Sven Wiker, Kenny Gale and Curtis Gorr — up-and-comers and ones to watch.
Overall, Drabek said the team is getting along well and gelling nicely.
Reach Matthew Nash at firstname.lastname@example.org.