Sports

Area's top wrestlers converge on Decatur

By COLE COSGROVE

Associate editor

For Jefferson’s Nick Vincent, today’s regional wrestling tournament at Decatur seemed like a long-shot when he was out for eight weeks earlier this season with two fractured ribs.

After battling injuries his sophomore and junior seasons, Vincent didn’t want to spend his senior year on the sidelines.

“It really freaked me out,” Vincent said. “I was scared this would be the ending to my last real chance of doing something.”

Vincent made the most of his shortened season by winning the 171-pound title at the SPSL meet.

He’s aiming just as high today.

“I’m hoping to come out first if I can,” Vincent said.

Lofty goals are nothing new to Vincent, who is enrolled in Jefferson’s International Baccalaureate program. He scored a 1440 on his SAT test and was accepted into the University of Southern California’s school of business.

“On the mat, he uses his intelligence to his advantage, for sure,” Jefferson coach Brett Lucas said. “He’s just a great student. If other people on the team need help, he’ll help them with their homework. But you’d never guess it if you met him.”

Vincent agreed that he takes a cerebral approach to the physical sport.

“I learn from match to match,” Vincent said. “I watch other people and analyze what’s going on. When I watch myself, I breakdown specific things I can improve.”

Another wrestler who takes a measured approach is Decatur junior Kyle Bressler, who is looking to wrestle for a championship tonight in his home gym.

Bressler is a defending regional champion. He finished fifth at state last season and is out to a 29-0 record this season.

“At this point, we’re just taking it one match at a time,” Decatur coach and Kyle’s father Mike Bressler said.

The top four wrestlers at regionals advance to next weekend’s state tournament. Wrestling starts at 10 a.m. today. The finals are expected to be at 6 p.m.

Other participants competing for a state berth include Decatur’s Hoan Do at 125, Jefferson’s David Markey at 119 and Jefferson’s Galen Hensley at 152. All three finished second at the league tournament.

Decatur’s Dustin English at 119, Ryan Cossano at 145 and Joe Isaac at 215 each took third at the league meet and could challenge for one of the top four places.

Other locals who qualified for regionals include Federal Way’s Ludevic Mea at 130 pounds, Jefferson’s Adam Summers at 189 pounds and Decatur’s Jesse Chester at 152 pounds.

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