ARLINGTON — The Arlington wrestling team had a tough time competing in overall points against Snohomish High School on Wednesday, Jan. 9, but that doesn’t mean that the young team didn’t come away with some success.
Two freshman, Jeremy Nygard at 106 pounds and Riley Oakes at 120 pounds, won two matches on decisions, with Nygard topping Snohomish’s Wyatt Butler 19-4 and Oakes topping Conner Snow 9-4.
The Panthers pinned four Eagles and the final team score was 59-9 for a Snohomish victory.
“We are in a tough 4A division with Snohomish, Lake Stevens, Monroe and Mount Vernon,” said Arlington coach Barry Knott. “But we’ve competed well in tournaments against them.”
Snohomish went on to win the Marysville Premier Tournament on Saturday, Jan. 12, but Arlington took a 10th place team finish and had several athletes place in the top five in their weight classes.
Arlington hosted the Arlington Double Duals against Lakewood and Granite Falls on Monday, Jan. 14, but the results weren’t known as of press time.
“We aren’t going to dominate the double dual meet this year because we are very young,” said Knott. “We’ve been doing really well at tournaments at the varsity level this season. We went to the Monroe Bearcat Invitational and finished third out of 16 teams, with one first-place, three second-place, a fourth-, a fifth- and a sixth-place winner. We sent our JV to the Barry Knott Classic at Nathan Hale High School, and finished eighth out of 14 teams, with a first-place, second-place, two third-place and two fifth-place winners.”
Since the first of the year, the team has had some success.
“At the Everett Classic on Jan. 7, we finished fourth out of 24 teams,” said Knott. “There we had two first-place finishes, a second-place and a third-place finish.”
Overall, the team is looking forward to the postseason.
“We should be very competitive in the postseason this year,” said Knott. “We have enough good kids winning matches to outscore some of these schools with generally strong teams in tournaments.”
For Arlington, this season has been a period of growth for a relatively young team, said Knott.
“Jeremy Nygard is our freshman at 106, and he has only lost two matches all year,” he said. “He was a School Boy National All-American and has been wrestling for years. He’s done really well for us. Boston Jones is another freshman with only a few losses all year. And Riley Oakes will probably wrestle at 113 for us in the postseason. He’s had more than 10 wins.”
Previous state competitors Scotty Bardell, Conner Gonzales and Brice Clariday, all juniors, are going to be key to Arlington’s success as well.
“Those juniors are very strong wrestlers and they will carry the torch for us in the postseason,” said Knott.
The Eagles will face an away meet against Monroe on Thursday, Jan. 17, and a home meet against Mount Vernon on Thursday, Jan. 24, both at 7 p.m.
“If we have a good line-up, we should compete well this week and next,” said Knott. “We’re still a work in progress, but we anticipate a good post-season.”