Sports

Decatur wrestles to win

The Decatur wrestling team started off this season like it ended last season: another dual match win. The Gators won all 16 of their matches last season, including an 8-0 South Puget Sound League record.

This time it was a 42-17 victory over Emerald Ridge

“It’s one I was worried about,” Decatur coach Mike Bressler said. “They’ve got some quality kids. They had a good game plan and tried to keep the matches close.”

The Gators earned wins from Jon Joseph at 112 pounds, Dustin English at 119, Brandon Bell at 140, Erik Honda at 145, Nick McCluskey at 152, Jason Bressler at 160, Kyle Bressler at 171, Dan Esbenshade at 189 and Joe Isaac at 215.

“He came out swinging,” Jason Bressler said about his opponent. “Guys who come out crazy like that die after a few minutes. You just let him do their thing then take care of business.”

After both teams forfeited at 103 pounds, Decatur jumped out to an early lead with wins by Joseph and English. But Emerald Ridge won the next three matches to take an 11-7 lead in the team scores.

But Bell’s pin 3:12 seconds into his match gave Decatur a lead it wouldn’t relinquish.

“It kind of set the tempo,” Bell said.

The Gators reeled off six straight wins, including pins by Jason Bressler and Esbenshade.

Esbenshade pinned his opponent after taking injury time to bandage a bleeding head wound.

“I just feel like Rambo out there because I got this stuff on my head,” Esbenshade said. “He’s a good wrestler.

“We’re going to be real good. We got a few guys chugging to get down to where they need to be, but even if they don’t, we’ve got a great lineup.”

For Decatur sophomores English and Kyle Bressler, the wins were their first in dual meet action at the high school level.

“I was nervous because I was wrestling a senior and I figured he had more experience than me,” English said. “But I just had to do what I needed to win. It’s good to be part of the team, training with the older guys.”

The Gators look ahead to a big match next week against Spanaway Lake. Both teams were in the race for the league title last year and both return wrestlers with state experience

“We need to get some of our guys down to weight before we’re at full strength,” said Mike Bressler.

The match is at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Spanaway Lake.

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