Sports

Gators looking for 'pure oats' and a lot of wins

By CASEY OLSON

Sports editor

The Decatur Gator wrestling program and its coach Mike Bressler have a saying, “we are working for the pure oats, not the oats that have already been through the horse.”

The 2003-04 edition of the Decatur wrestling team looks like they might be able to get those pure oats. The Gators return several experienced wrestlers, including 189-pound state champion Kyle Bressler, who lost only one match last season. Also back is Dustin English, who finished up in eighth-place at the Mat Classic at 125 pounds.

“We have a team of kids who work hard, listen and learn,” Bressler said. “I’m looking forward to watching them develop.”

The Gators will be solid lineup at the lower weights. Returning from last year will be Scott McKnight (103 pounds), Jason Williams (125), Travis Hoeft (130), Myles Peckman (135), Leabua Younger (145) and Michael Davidson (160). Decatur also returns its two big guys from a season ago in 215-pound junior Taylor McCluskey and senior heavyweight Chris Corey.

“If our wrestlers stay focused and continue to work hard, good things will come their way,” Bressler said. “They’ll get the pure oats.”

The Gators continue their South Puget Sound League South Division dual-meet schedule tonight in University Place against Curtis.

Jefferson

Two coaches are better than one at Thomas Jefferson. Shawn Gaspaire and Jess Workman were hired earlier Bthis year to be the co-head coaches for the Raider program.

“They are two great coaches,” said TJ athletic director Mike Grady. “They are doing a great job.”

Gaspaire and Workman take over a team that finished up 3-5 in the South Puget Sound League South Division and returns several wrestlers.

“We are biased,” said Gaspaire. “We think we should get six to state and place top-four in our district.”

Leading the returners will be senior Adam Summers and junior Michael Markey. Summers wrestled at the regional tournament last season.

“The rest is top secret,” Gaspaire said.

The Raiders will be counting on some freshman for the first time in school history. The Federal Way schools now include ninth-graders.

“Our team strengths will be conditioning and heart,” Gaspaire said.

Jefferson wrestles its first home match today against Spanaway Lake.

Federal Way

“Things are looking up for the Eagle wrestling team this year,” Federal Way High School coach Randy Kemman said. “We hope to be more competitive this year than last.”

The Eagles can’t go much lower. Federal Way finished up at the bottom of the South Puget Sound League South Division with an 0-8 record.

Kemman will be counting on three seniors to provide leadership for Federal Way. Ludovic Mea, Steven Ottenad and Roque Martinez have been outstanding in the early season, Kemman said. Mea finished up in sixth place at last year’s Mat Classic at 135 pounds and Ottenad (215 pounds) and Martinez (275) will hold down the two heavy weights for the Eagles.

The Eagles’ sophomore class will also provide points for Federal Way.

“Our sophomores from last year have been down a rough road and have the experience to be more competitive in the SPSL,” Kemman said.

Those sophomores include Dustin Holland (125), Cory Garritone (130), Nick Harteau (140) and Robie Borden (152). Newcomers Landon Steiger (160) and Thomas Montolongo (171) will also provide points.

“The kids are working very hard,” Kemman said.

The Eagles travel to Rogers tonight to take on the Rams, who are a favorite to win the South.

Beamer

Brett Lucas got just about what he expected at the first wrestling practice at Todd Beamer High School.

“We are real thin,” Lucas said.

The Titans have 30 wrestlers currently on its roster, but a large number of them have minimal wrestling experience.

“This group is working very hard and we have some outstanding athletes,” Lucas said.

Beamer will be counting on several freshman to score points in the rugged South Puget Sound League South Division. Leading that group will be 130-pounder Cole Bixenman and 135-pounder Peter Daugherty. Also a big point-scorer will be junior Stephen Graddon at 152 pounds.

The Titans opened their season Thursday against Spanaway Lake, who finished second at last year’s Mat Classic as a team. They travel to Bethel Wednesday.

Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565, sports@fedwaymirror.com

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