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100 and counting
South Kitsap wrestling coach Ron Hudiburg couldnt help but smile Thursday night as he stood in the Bremerton High School gymnasium.
His Wolves had just set the mark of 100 consecutive Narrows League dual wins in a remarkable streak that began in December 1992 when all the kids he put on the Knights mat for a 72-6 victory were still in elementary school.
The road to 100 was easy in the mid-1990s when South dominated the then-smaller Narrows League. But with the addition of the former Olympic League schools and more talented wrestlers popping up at other schools, it hasnt been easy keeping the streak alive.
The last three years weve had some close ones that were one point or hinged on just one match and we had to go out and get the job done, Hudiburg said, noting that Capital, Peninsula and Central Kitsap came close to ending the streak. Its all who you put on that mat that day. Theres so many intangibles injuries, illness, grades you just never know. Its hard to keep the same 14 kids on the mat all the time.
To keep the pressure off the team, Hudiburg said hes downplayed the run to 100 this season.
We havent talked about it much, he said. In years past we always wrote down the number in the room but we havent done that this year. We just didnt do it. I think Ill put No. 100 up there because thats kinda neat.
The Wolves understand what the win represents. Devon Spencer, a 215-pounder who won the sportsmanship award and his match against Bremertons Berry Sykes with a last-minute pin, credited not just this years team, but all his predecessors in the maroon singlets.
To me its something to show how hard weve worked throughout the years and how hard everyone else before us has worked, said Spencer, a crowd favorite. Weve all worked hard for this.
Bremerton got the first win of the night when 140-pound Dustin Heistand pinned Doug Sacrison in 3 minutes, 10 seconds. But then South took over and reeled up seven pinfalls, three wins by forfeit and three decisions.
Considering who we were wrestling, I knew we were going to lose, Bremerton coach Jeff Barton said. To be No. 100 I wish was anybody else but us. I didnt want to be 100 but thats how it goes sometimes.
South is really tough this year, theyve always had some good kids but up and down the lineup they look tough all-around. They didnt have any weak kids out there at all.
The Wolves streak will be seriously tested when they wrestle at Olympic on Jan. 11 and when Central Kitsap goes to Port Orchard on Jan. 28.