Handful of veterans will lead Sumner’s inexperienced, but enthusiastic squad

When it comes to wrestling recruitment, the word around Sumner High School these days is that when it finally rained...it poured.

When it comes to wrestling recruitment, the word around Sumner High School these days is that when it finally rained…it poured.

“Believe me, I am not complaining. With any luck we won’t have anywhere near the forfeits we suffered through last season,” said Spartan coach Jeremy Horsley, who announced that nearly 60 hopefuls answered the call, experienced or otherwise.

“We’re going to be pretty green, as about 50 percent of the guys that tried out are freshmen, but they are eager to learn and the competition for the top dog in most of the weight classes will be fierce,” Horsley said. “The wrestle-offs for starters at each weight usually equate to having a better team, because the cream always rises to the top.”

It wasn’t as though Sumner had a bad team last year. The Spartans had five wrestlers advance to the state championships in Tacoma and the crew finished 14th.

The majority of the Spartan mat men who excelled at state have graduated, however, first and foremost being heavyweight Victor Ognoskie, who earned third-place laurels in last year’s big show. Also lost to graduation were Eric Swanson, Jake Grant and Jordan Hidalgo, but there should be enough of a senior presence remaining to furnish a guiding nucleus.

A few of those returning from the 2007 campaign will be Colby Grant, wrestling at 171 pounds, Colin Fielding at 189 and Keiffer Comstock, who will be rejoining the squad this year as a senior at 215 pounds, after a one-season sabatical during which he played hockey.

Meanwhile, the lightest and heaviest weights, 103 and 285, will be filled by a pair of freshmen in Curtis Downing and Dwayne Tyner, respectively. Things are still a bit sketchy at the other lighter weights, but Tyler Wooding will be returning for his senior outing at 125 pounds, where he finished sixth in state last year. A new face at 130 pounds is senior Italian exchange student Raffaele Ghisv, who played professional volleyball in Italy and who Horsley noted, has been “tough as nails in the first week of turnouts, despite never having wrestled before.”

The 135-pound spot is yet to be determined, but Phillip Ramirez may be the man at 140 pounds, with freshman Jared Schliesman being the closest contender at 145. Sophomore Tyler Hidalgo, who wrestled at 119 last year, grew enough during the offseason to have jumped five weight classifications and is being penciled in at 152 pounds.

“I really feel as though we will be more competitive this season without all the forfeits. Those just killed us last year,” Horsley said.

Sumner’s league opener is at 7 p.m. Thursday when the Spartans host White River. Sumner will see the Hornet wrestlers again Saturday at the White River Classic, which is expected to draw a noteworthy field. Just a few of the invitations that went out were to Auburn Mountainview, Enumclaw and Yelm.

“There will be a learning curve for Sumner this year and this will provide a benchmark for our young wrestlers to kind of show them where they are skill-wise and let them know what they still have to be trained on,” Horsley said.

Reach John Leggett at jleggett@courierherald,com or 360-802-8207.

More in News

Former Plateau resident lands role with Marvel T.V. series

McKay Stewart, who spent much of his childhood in Enumclaw and Bonney Lake, will be joining the Marvel universe in a new episode of “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” airing Friday, Jan. 19.

Black Diamond hits the reset button

The new Black Diamond City Council wasted no time on settling in and testing the political waters. On their first meeting of the year, new Councilwomen Melissa Oglesbee and Erin Stout and returning Councilwomen Tamie Deady and Janie Edelman marched through a long list of agenda items, many of which reversed council policies and goals set over the last two years.

Citizen group urges council to start pool planning

With the Sumner High School pool closing at the end of the 2018-2019 swim season, residents are asking the City of Bonney Lake to build a city pool to house the Panther and Spartan swim teams. A presentation on why the council should start planning a pool as quickly as possible is being held Tuesday, Jan. 23.

Bonney Lake releases findings on water meter tests, ends internal audit

Dozens of residents complained to the council last October about what they called impossibly high water bills. After several months performing an internal audit of the water utility system, including testing 43 water meters from homes that received a high water bills, the city holds there is no bug in the system, and residents used the amount of water recorded on their bills. But some residents, and even councilmembers, remain unconvinced.

White River Valley Museum opens “Suffer for Beauty” exhibit

Corsets, bras, and bustles, oh my! The White River Valley Museum is hosting its new event, “Suffer for Beauty,” which is all about the changing ideals of female beauty through the ages. The exhibit runs through June 17.

Teacher, student reconnect at living center after 66 years

A person can change in 66 years. At the very least, they’re going to look pretty different. So when Robert Terrell, 96, and Margaret (Peggy) Burley, 75, ran into each other at Bonney Lake’s Cedar Ridge assisted living facility last August, neither of them realized they had met before — at an elementary school, where he was a fourth-grade teacher, and she was a part of his first ever class.

Library’s art and writing contest returns to Pierce County | Pierce County Library System

Pierce County teens are encouraged to express themselves through writing, painting, drawing and more for the annual Our Own Expressions competition, hosted by the Pierce County Library System.

Sumner School District seeks name ideas for new elementary school

Want to name your new local school? Just fill out a short form by Jan. 26

Judge reproaches Black Diamond mayor, former city council majority

In a summary judgement hearing, King County Superior Court Judge Janet Helson said she was troubled by both the actions of Black Diamond Mayor Carol Benson and former City Council majority Pat Pepper, Brian Weber, and Erika Morgan over the last two years concerning potential Open Public Meetings Act violations.

Most Read