By Anders Blomgren
For the Beachcomber
Vashon’s wrestlers are now three weeks deep into their season and have had an extraordinary number of wins, the majority of them pin.
Pirates train most of the time outside on the football field before ending up in the wrestling hall. It’s a great way to mix things up, to share facilities while soaking up the sun. Athletes don’t take the time to train, and the time spent together – working hard and having fun – goes without saying after being shut down for over a year.
On Wednesday, May 19, the grappling pirates traveled to South Whidbey to take on South Whidbey and Granite Falls. Of the 26 games in total, Vashon dominated, registering 17 wins, all by pins. The first career wins (and pins) came from freshmen Taj Holloway, Michael Ryland, Oli Nielsen, Colin McIntyre and Chase Bradrick. The future looks bright for this pirate crew.
Saturday May 22 was the Rainier Tournament, and Vashon brought a crew and took some equipment. Although there was no official team score, the Pirates placed in the top three of the seven teams and possibly second. Certainly not the first, because Forks runs away with it.
James Ryland was the only champion of the Pirates as he made his way through the medium. Kaitlyn Bonaventura is technically tied for first in the boys’ 113-pound round robin. Second places went to Sean Ryland, Colin McIntyre and Jordon Rutschow and third place went to George Murphy, Ethan McIntyre, Alec Macomber-Straight and Zander Rutschow. Fourth place went to Ben Doggwin, Bradrick and Aidan Green. It was so great going on a trip with the team and having fun in the stands between games and back home – real bonding experiences.
The Life Christian and South Whidbey double event was next, and the Pirates held their own against disjointed opponents, winning 16 of 24 games overall, all pinned down. Freshman Jonah Hendon notched his first career high school victory with a pin and Danny Baldinger won his first pin of the season. Ivy Merkl and Josiah Brenner worked hard in the gym, improving at a rapid pace.
Well what is the next step you will ask? The team’s first home duel in over a year will take place on Wednesday, June 2. The fight begins at 5:30 p.m. and you can also see McMurray Mustangs in action. In addition, it should be noted that this match will take place outside on the football field. Fans are permitted and encouraged to come. This is the very first outdoor wrestling match in Vashon wrestling history!
The team is also hosting the “League” tournament at 2 pm on Wednesday June 16, and hopefully it will take place away from home as well.
Come support these wrestlers who work so hard and who are already doing much better!
Anders Blongren is a wrestling trainer at Vashon Island High School.