Team Trojans pin down another mat title

Wrestling’s an individual sport, but Olympic High has discovered that you can accomplish a lot as a team, too.

The Trojans won their third straight tournament on Saturday, Jan. 5, taking top honors in the Panther Classic at Snohomish High School. Olympic previously won tournament titles at Shelton and Kennedy high schools.

In previous years, the Trojans usually had three or four elite wrestlers scoring most of their tournament points, Olympic coach Darryl Smith said.

That’s not the case this year.

Olympic had three finalists and two individual champions — seniors Nathan Reese (112) and Luke Switzer (160) — at Snohomish, but 10 Trojans placed fourth or higher as they amassed 170 points. Cascade was second with 158.5 points.

Central Kitsap had two champions, including the tournament’s outstanding wrestler in Jason Mendez at 130, and placed sixth in the 12-team tournament with 125 points.

“All year long, no one or two guys have carried all the weight,” Olympic High coach Darryl Smith said. “Different kids have risen to the occasion at each event.”

Reese’s win at 112 was a prime example. He’s the No. 2 Trojan at that weight behind Gy Beck, who placed fourth at Snohomish. Cory Brower, a junior varsity wrestler, placed fourth, one spot ahead of varsity teammate Mike Anglada, at 152.

The 189 finals matched Central Kitsap’s Tyler Moyer and Olympic’s Darrin Jones. Moyer, a sophomore, prevailed 3-2 in one of the tournament’s best matches.

“Tyler got him this time, but I was impressed with Jones,” CK coach Jim Northcutt said. “Last year he wrestled at 171. I don’t remember him being that good, but he’s a real monster now.”

Olympic’s Alex Jaime (103) and Ryan Wheeler (119) placed third. Beck, Brower, Clyde Switzer (171), Austin Hicks (215) and Josh Allbee (275) were all fourth.

“I was impressed with Olympic,” Northcutt said. “They really took it to us over there (at Snohomish). My kids were passive; their kids were aggressive. They don’t really have any superstars, but they’re just solid all the way through.”

Central’s Mendez beat state runner-up Jimmy James of Arlington and another tough wrestler from Cascade en route to winning his title.

“Jason was really on his game,” Northcutt said. “That weight was loaded. That’s why they voted him outstanding wrestler.”

Central’s Chad Eickmeyer (135) also reached the finals, but lost 5-1 to Sumner’s Jeremy LaRence.

Olympic returned to the mat on Tuesday, Jan. 8, taking on South Kitsap in a highly-anticipated Narrows League Bridge Division showdown in Port Orchard. South was working on a 91-match winning streak against Narrows opponents.

Central Kitsap was at Gig Harbor on Tuesday and hosts South Kitsap on Thursday, Jan. 10. Olympic hosts Central on Tuesday, Jan. 15.

Decatur Tournament — Klahowya’s Ryan Fitts (112) and Rory Lee (189) led the Eagles at the tough Decatur Tournament on Saturday, Jan. 5, placing fourth.

CK Matman Tournament on tap

The Central Kitsap Matman Tournament is Saturday, Jan. 12. Olympic will be going for its fourth straight title this season, but Enumclaw is the heavy favorite in the 12-team tournament.

Other entrants include defending champion South Kitsap, Bremerton, Snohomish, Auburn Riverside, Burlington Edison, Tahoma, Sumner, Newport, Bethel and Kelso.

The tournament will be a homecoming of sorts for Doug Pecha, who left CK last year to become the head coach at Tahoma.

Enumclaw placed second at the Pacific Coast Championships in Vancouver, Wash., earlier this year.

“I don’t see anybody touching Enumclaw,” CK coach Jim Northcutt said. “But there’s going to be some great wrestling. Seven or eight weights are stacked.”

The tournament begins at 10 a.m. and likely will run a little longer than past years. Northcutt estimated championship matches would start around 7 p.m.

Switzer signs with Jamestown Jimmies

Olympic High senior captain Luke Switzer has signed a national letter of intent to wrestle for Jamestown College in Jamestown, N.D.

Switzer, 14-5, won the 160-pound title at the Panthers Classic in Snohomish over the weekend. He plans to study pre-medicine or pre-dental. He will wrestle at 165 or 174 next year for the Jimmies, an NAIA school in the Dakota Athletic Conference.

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