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Arlington looks to reach elite wrestling status
New rules and regulations on Washington wrestling have made the competitions safer and more competitive for all participants. A new weigh-in system will be measuring body fat for the first time, metering down the wrestlers ambitions of cutting large amounts of weight. The days of crash-cutting weight may be over as boys will need to maintain a minimum 7 percent body fat, girls 12 percent to participate in the sport.
Theyve leveled the playing field, said second year coach Doug Byers. All the kids were losing was water weight before. We dont want them yo-yoing up and down. Its not good for the athletes.
The new restrictions mean that Byers is unsure who will be wrestling at exactly what weights for him this year. He returns his entire squad from last years 12-6 conference finish, a team that finished fourth in league.
Were going to have an even larger number of wrestlers this year, said Byers. There will be probably 60 boys and 12-15 girls based on early signups.
While that may make for a logistical headache, getting everybody time in the limited wrestling space available, Byers sees it overall as a huge positive for Arlington.
We will have to work out in shifts. We will rotate groups between circuit training, weights, and actual mat practice.
Byers has been encouraging the growth of Arlington wrestling from the ground up. There are 50 kids participating in youth wrestling, along with roughly 40 at each middle school in town.
Before Haller there was just one team, said Byers. But now the high school is starting to reap the benefits of having greater numbers in the middle schools. Its a numbers sport. Youve got to keep the bodies to have the competition, and this is the deepest weve ever been.
The strength of this years team will be in the upper weight classes, starting at 160 pounds. While Byers cannot say for certain who will wind up where, he made some educated guesses.
Jessy Bosley will likely be the guy at 160, said Byers. Hes been doing a lot of kickboxing and is a very physical wrestler.
Last year Bosley was one of four Eagles who were alternates to regionals last year. Given the success of the wrestlers from the Wesco league at state, it is safe to assume that a regional title could easily turn into an individual state championship.
Team captain Chris Myers will be relied on to repeat his performance of last year when he made state as a sophomore.
Hes a guy that every time he steps on the mat we expect a win, said Byers. Actually we expect him to pin his opponent, not just win.
The 171 pound category looks to be filled by Houston Huber. At 189 should be Jordan Anderson who was also an alternate to regionals last year. Mark Davis will be competing in the heavyweight division
Jordans a tall, lanky kid, said Byers. He uses his leverage well. He wrestled particularly well this past summer. Davis you can tell has been in the weight room.
Arlington will be particularly deep at the 215 pound weight class. Richard Perkins and Danny Pierce are both capable varsity wrestlers competing for the same spot.
The team we took this summer to the North Idaho camp did exceptionally well, said Byers. We beat the Montana state champion in the preliminary rounds. Its an impressive feat and it got me excited for this year.
The Arlington middleweights are traditionally strong and this year appears to be no exception. Dom Mangini should have made State last year but suffered a season ending wrist injury the day of districts. Steven White at 135 was an alternate to region last year. Chris Berg beat out a senior last year when he was a freshman to wrestle at 125. Talented freshman Nathan Short was a middle school State champion.
Weve got some tough small guys too, said Byers. Justin Goheen will compete for a varsity spot at 103, Brad Lander looks like hell be in the 112 spot.
The team will attend the premier wrestling tournament in Oregon in early January, right before the Regional tournament. The Crater Invite at Southern Oregon University will toughen up the wrestlers before their push toward State.
We wanted to go after the best competition, said Byers, rather than go against cupcakes for easy wins.