Sports

WRHS BOYS WRESTLING: Hornets stack up well for 2010-11

The switch to Class 2A could bode well for the White River High wrestling team, which finished sixth among 3A schools in February’s state tournament.

For the Hornets, who were 3A state champions in 1995 and had five top five finishes between 2001 and 2005 – including a pair of runner-up placings – it’s all about the competition.

“Our schedule is still stacked,” coach Joe Klein said. “Wrestling is one of those unique sports. Whatever your classification is you seek out the best competition.”

The Hornets go after the best right out of the gate, hosting their annual White River Classic Saturday. The tournament attracts some of the top teams in the state, all classifications, for a preseason showdown. This year’s lineup includes 3A defending state champion Yelm and runner-up Enumclaw, 1A state champion Orting and 3A No. 12 Sunnyside to name a few. Competition begins at 9:30 a.m.

“It’s an early season test to see where everyone’s at,” Klein said.

The Hornets lost state runners-up Alec Williams and Chase Myers to graduation, along with state place winner Robert Kautzman and Austin Bethel, but a full roster returns.

State participants Brandon Short, who finished fifth, junior Richard Geddes, who was eighth, and Austin Shirey and Caden Pugmire are back.

Noah Geehan, Tony Tyler, Jeff Kisner and heavyweight Dave Meagher also return.

Sophomore Carl Klein has been working hard and so has a number of freshmen who coach Klein is expecting to contribute.

“They have to do something before they can get their name in the paper,” he laughed.

With relatively low numbers, 35, on the mat for the Hornets, Klein anticipates a number of wrestlers will have to step up to get the team on the board, meaning a Top 10 state finish.

“It’s solid,” he said about the 2A competition, which includes the likes of Centralia, Chehalis and Deer Park.

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