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CK grapplers muscled around
Cougars fall to Rogers 32-14 after 17 days away from the mat.
Shorthanded and perhaps rusty after an unexpected 17-day break from competitive action, the Central Kitsap grapplers fell to Rogers of Puyallup 32-14 at home Tuesday.
It was the team’s third loss this season and first in league play.
Usual starters Trevor Stanburg (119 pounds), Cameron Anthony (140) and Michael Crowley (171) missed action for various reasons, forcing coach Mike Harter to shuffle his lineup.
“Rogers is good. Not to take anything away from what they did, but most of our varsity lineup is not in right now,” Harter said following the match. “We’ve got to step up. We can’t wrestle poorly like that no matter what our situation is.”
Harter moved five wrestlers into weight classes in which they don’t normally wrestle, including Ian Sprecher (to 130) and Chase Huntley (to 171).
“We just had guys not where they’d normally be,” Harter said.
Howie McDonald (189), who pinned Rogers’ JD Forks in 30 seconds to improve to 5-2 this season, and Adam Benitez (119), who nearly upset his opponent, provided bright spots for the Cougars.
“He didn’t win his match, but he never quit,” Harter said of Benitez. “He took advantage of every opportunity he got in the match. I was very proud of him.”
And McDonald, who has wrestled at 215 much of the year, looked strong as ever.
“He went out there and just went after the guy and took it to him,” Harter said.
The Cougars hadn’t wrestled competitively since Dec. 13 when they split four matches at the Olympic Dream Duals. While Harter said the team was able to practice after Christmas, the schedule was hampered by December’s snowfall.
“That storm kills things, but everybody is in the same boat we are,” Harter said. “You get into a rhythm of competition ... now our guys have to get back into that.”
As for the lineup itself, Harter said he hopes to have it back to normal in time for Matman Classic Jan. 17.
Until then, Harter said, the team simply needs to show up everyday ready to compete.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do, we’ve got a long ways to go. We have a lot of young guys, they’ve got a lot to learn,” he said. “We have guys who are learning that wrestling hard means you never quit, win or lose. And that’s a hard lesson to learn.”
But the learning curve is to be expected, Harter added, and the team is continually progressing.
“I’m really happy with the team, these guys pull together real well, we have a great group of parents that are very supportive,” Harter said. “Win or lose, this is a fun team to have.”
The Cougars are in action for Battle of the Bay Wednesday before hosting Gig Harbor at 7 p.m. Thursday.
103 - Trey Carter (R) forfeit; 112 - Tyler Carlyle (R) d. Joey Troyer 6-0; 119 - Khrys Ross (R) p. Adam Benitez, 3:22; 125 - Travis Eickmeyer (CK) d. Darin Yantzer, 7-2; 130 - Brian Bitney (R) p. Ian Sprecher, 1:24; 135 - David Wetmore (R) d. Thomas Gillespie, 5-3; 140 - Jared Bradley (R) p. Matt Kunish, 3:13; 145 - Karl Koemmpel (CK) d. Ryan Butler, 15-9; 152 - Kyle Giovannini (R) d. Connor Worthington, 9-4; 160 - Brett McDonald (CK) d. Tim Lockey 6-3; 171 - Michael McAlister (R) d. Chase Huntley, 12-4; 189 - Howie McDonald (CK) p. JD Forks, :30; 215 - Ryan Rude (R) p. Dennis Trueax, 5:30; 285 - Allan Thompson (R) p. Morgan Yarber, 5:53.