WRESTLING PREVIEW: District loaded with plenty of individual talent

Decatur senior Nick Karis finished second in the Class 3A 160-pound bracket a season ago, losing to Mercer Island
Decatur senior Nick Karis finished second in the Class 3A 160-pound bracket a season ago, losing to Mercer Island's Blake Johnson in the Mat Classic championship match.
— image credit: Casey Olson/The Mirror

Decatur Gators

Coach: Mike Bressler

Last year's record: 5-2 (third in SPSL 3A, eighth at state)

Strong returners: Jr. Trysten Dawson (113); Sr. Drew Dasher (126); Jr. Keoni Aparis (132); Sr. Antonio Lucero (138); Jr. Dennis Good (138); Soph. AJ Sarno (152); Sr. TJ Barndt (160); Jr. Maxwell Henry (160); Sr. Nick Karis (170); Sr. Spencer Smith (182); Sr. Rowland Gaydosh (182/195); Jr. Justin Robinson (220); Sr. Kyle Gleed (285).

Top newcomers: "Several," Bressler said.

Notable: The Gators return basically the entire team that rolled to an eighth-place finish at the Class 3A Mat Classic a season ago, including six wrestlers that qualified.

Leading the list of returners are seniors Nick Karis and Rowland Gaydosh. The duo both lost in their respective Mat Classic championship matches. Karis lost a heart-breaker in the 160-pound final, 5-3, to Mercer Island's Blake Johnson. Gaydosh was pinned in the 171-pound final by Kamaikin's Sisto Santana Pina.

Smith finished up in seventh place in the 183-pound bracket and Dawson was 1-2 at state. Gleed should also contend for the heavyweight state championship after winning the regional championship a season ago.

"We have some hard-working kids," Bressler said.

Beamer Titans

Coach: Brett Lucas

Last year's record: 8-0 (SPSL South champions)

Strong returners: Boys — Jr. Brett Dykman; Jr. Brian Dykman; Sr. Ishaiah Belle; Soph. Jordan Rhodes; Sr. Lance Gibson; Jr. Haftom Tafere. Girls — Soph. Arien Carpio; Soph. Vanessa Dixon; Soph. Kimberly Duncan; Jr. Lulu Kemman.

Top newcomers: Boys — Fr. Malik Messiah; Fr. Sean Van Earwage; Fr. Adrian Avena; Fr. Mitchell Owens. Girls — None listed.

Notable: The Titans lost plenty from the team that cruised to an unbeaten season in the SPSL South Division a season ago. But that doesn't mean Beamer won't contend for another title. Leading the list of returners are twin brothers, Brian and Brett Dykman. Last year, as sophomores, both qualified for the Mat Classic state wrestling meet. Brett finished up in fourth place in the 113-pound bracket.

The Titans also bring back state participants Rhodes and Gibson.

"We have plenty of experience with those four wrestlers," Lucas said.

On the girls' side, Beamer brings back one of the best in the region in sophomore Arien Carpio. Last year, Carpio's only loss of the season came in the 106-pound championship. Carpio, who won the USA National Championship, entered the match with Winlock's Rachel Archer 39-0, before losing 6-2.

Also back on the girls' team is sophomore Vanessa Dixon. After losing in the quarterfinals, Dixon won four-straight matches at state to finish with a third-place medal at 138 pounds.

"We are striving to be the hardest workers on the mat," Lucas said.

Jefferson Raiders

Coach: Harvey Cole (first season)

Last year's record: 3-7

Strong returners: Sr. Jake Polsack (160 pounds); Sr. Michael Burt (220); Soph. Jacob Apodoca (285); Sr. Geoff Lucas (170); Sr. Nik Erickson (152).

Top newcomers: Fr. Matt Roybal; Fr. Justin Madden

Notable: Cole takes over the program from Jess Workman. The Raider wrestling program has had an individual state champion the last three seasons — Kyle McIntosh (2010), Zeke Nistrian (2011) and K.W. Williams (189). But this season, Jefferson has no returning wrestlers who competed at the state tournament. Both Michael Roybal and Williams graduated.

"Our team will be successful because of our senior leadership," Cole said. "The only factor that can affect our team is that we have such a young team."

Federal Way Eagles

Coach: Travis Mango

Last year's record: 4-9

Strong returners: Boys — Sr. Luis Alberto-Bravo (126/132 pounds); Sr. Koby Craig (220); Jr. Steven Crawford (285); Soph. Brandon Henderson (113); Soph. Trenton Shaflik (113/120); Jr. Daniel Song (120/126); Jr. Eduardo Vazquez (145); Soph. Khalil Weston (170). Girls — Sr. Bianca Arizpe (118); Sr. Jacklyn Baules (170); Sr. Jessica Cabanada (170); Jr. Luaipou Lologo (155); Sr. Kimberly Mored (100).

Top newcomers: Boys — Fr. Andrzej Hughes (182/195); Fr. Ben Koler (145); Fr. Anthony Tran (132/138). Girls — Fr. Angela Cabanada (124); Fr. Ana Sanchez (106/112).

Notable: The Federal Way girls program has been one of the biggest and most dominant groups for a few years now and this season should be no different. Senior Bianca Arizpe is looking to become a four-time state placer and should be a strong contender to bring home the program's first-ever state championship. Luaipou Lologo and Kimberly Mored are also hoping to make it back to the state tournament. Lologo finished in eighth place at state

On the boys' side, the Eagles will feature a lot more depth in the lower and middle weight classes, led by returners Luis Alberto-Bravo, Brandon Henderson, Trenton Shaflik, Daniel Song and Eduardo Vazquez.

"We should be about .500 dual wise," Mango said. "We hope to have the girls' team place top-three in state."

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