Sports

WRESTLING: Unbeaten Decatur and Enumclaw will clash for SPSL 3A championship

Decatur senior Nick Karis is the top-ranked 170-pounder and finished second at last year
Decatur senior Nick Karis is the top-ranked 170-pounder and finished second at last year's Mat Classic state wrestling tournament. The unbeaten Gators battle the unbeaten Enumclaw Hornets at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 17 for the SPSL 3A title.
— image credit: Casey Olson/The Mirror

The biggest wrestling dual meet in recent Federal Way memory will take place tonight (Jan. 17) inside the gym at Decatur High School.

The third-ranked Gators will battle the second-ranked and defending Class 3A state champion Enumclaw Hornets at 7:30 p.m. It's a winner-take-all battle for the South Puget Sound League 3A Division championship.

Both schools enter the match with unbeaten records. In fact, the Hornets have never lost a dual meet during their tenure in the SPSL 3A.

"It should be a good one," said longtime Decatur head coach Mike Bressler.

Decatur has bolted out to a perfect 4-0 start in the SPSL 3A and have also won three tournament titles. The Gators finished third at the All-SPSL Championships over the Christmas break and were 10th at the massive Tri-State Tournament in Idaho, which included the best wrestling teams on the West Coast.

Enumclaw is also 4-0 in the SPSL 3A and have one of the best wrestling resume's in the history of Washington. The Hornets have won four of the last five Class 3A wrestling state team championships and sport dozens of individual champs.

It's rarified air that Bressler and the Gators are hoping to emulate in the near future. Decatur has never won a state wrestling championship.

The Gators are led by seniors Kyle Gleed (285 pounds), Nick Karis (170) and Rowland Gaydosh (195), along with juniors Spencer Smith (182) and Trysten Dawson (113).

Currently, both Gleed and Karis are the top-ranked Class 3A wrestlers in their weight classes, according to washingtonwrestlingreport.net. If things hold form, Karis will be battling Enumclaw's Falani Gill tonight. Falani is the fourth-ranked 170-pounder.

But the Karis-Gill match is only the start in a night of impressive bouts.  Other solid matches should come between Smith and Enumclaw's Wyley Stewart at 182 and Dawson and Hunter Haney at 113 pounds.

Smith is ranked fourth and Stewart is right behind at sixth and Dawson is the third-ranked at 113, while Haney is fifth.

The 160-pound match should also feature a pair of Mat Classic qualifiers from a season ago in Decatur's Brandon Zimmerman and Enumclaw's Ryan Anderson.

Following tonight's SPSL 3A match with Enumclaw, the Gators will travel to Emerald Ridge for the Jaguar Invite Saturday before starting their postseason run at the Sub-district Tournament, which will be held Feb. 1-2 at Auburn Mountainview.

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