Classic will provide early test for White River squad

White River High wrestlers look forward to kicking off the season Thursday with South Puget Sound League 3A rival Sumner, but it’s Saturday’s White River Classic that will let the Hornets know where they stand or what they have to work on early in the season.

Jeremy Gurule is one of the veterans who returns to the Hornets’ team.

White River High wrestlers look forward to kicking off the season Thursday with South Puget Sound League 3A rival Sumner, but it’s Saturday’s White River Classic that will let the Hornets know where they stand or what they have to work on early in the season.

“It’s as tough as I’ve ever seen it,” second-year coach Joe Klein said of the tournament which White River has hosted for coming up on two decades. The buzz this time is the state’s defending Class 3A champion Enumclaw and runner-up Yelm will be among the participants, as will some of the perennially tougher teams in the state like Sunnyside and Auburn Riverside.

White River suffered a blow with graduation, but Klein isn’t worried.

“We are young,” Klein said. “We are relatively inexperienced. We’ll be as good as they (the wreslters) want to be.” And he said he and his coaching staff of Bob and Brandon Walker are there to do whatever they can to make the Hornets as tough as they choose.

Leading the way early will be senior Jeremy Gurule, who placed seventh at 130 pounds at state last season, and junior Alec Williams, who was a state participant. Heavyweight Chase Myers was an alternate to the state tournament.

Others in the preseason who could figure into the Hornets’ winning formula are Michael P. Madden, Michael J. Madden, Dave Meagher, Gino Russell and Joey Anderson.

Klein said he has a handful of seniors in the wrestling room on Day 2, but of the nearly 60 athletes on the mat, a large number are freshmen and sophomores. White River’s winning wrestling tradition – the team was state runner-up three times straight and captured the 1995 title – always brings a crowd.

“I’m excited. We have an energetic bunch of kids,” Klein said. “We’ll be competitive.”

Competition is the name of the game in the always-tough South Puget Sound League 3A.

White River finished 13th at Mat Classic, the state 3A tournament, after one of its top wrestlers fractured his leg and the defending state champion suffered a loss. Fellow SPSL 3A member Enumclaw won the state title and seven of the eight SPSL 3A schools finished in the top 20. The league has been realigned, so Auburn and Auburn Riverside have disappeared, but Lakes, Peninsula and Clover Park come in and the Hornets will also include nonleague matches with Capital, North Thurston, Yelm and Timberline.

In addition to Enumclaw and White River, Sumner, Capital, North Thurston, Auburn Mountainview, Bonney Lake and Lakes all finished among the state’s top 21 teams.

“Enumclaw obviously is the team to beat in the state, no doubt,” Klein said. “But people (in our league) have to bring their A game every day.”

Reach Brenda Sexton at bsexton@courierherald.com or 360-802-8206.

More in Sports

Area football teams add to victory column

Enumclaw remains undefeated, but all four schools saw wins last weekend.

Handful of area teams add wins, still sitting undefeated

Enumclaw football and golf, White River soccer and golf, and Bonney Lake and Sumner soccer lead their leagues.

Enumclaw’s Cole Snider caps rodeo season with bareback title

From amateur to champion, Snider’s story of success is much more than just the competition.

Futures Academy aims to teach lessons for a lifetime

The soccer program, put on by the Mount Rainier Futbol Club, is meant for elementary-aged athletes.

WR runners tackle Ragnar Relay

The relay consisted of nearly 16 miles per runner.

Prep football: EHS remains undefeated with win over Rams

White River and Sumner also had good games, but Bonney Lake fell to Lincoln.

Bonney Lake on a roll, starts perfect

The 2018 team hasn’t missed a beat, scoring goals early and often while limiting the opposition to almost nothing.

EHS tennis starting out strong

Kyle Dunning is helping his team to victory early this season.

The season just started, but swimmers are already qualifying for the postseason.

The Enumclaw High swim and dive team opened the season in impressive… Continue reading

Hornets sting Sumner Spartans

The nonleague volleyball game ended with Enumclaw on top.

Prep football roundup: Enumclaw improves to 3-0, others sit at 2-1

The Sumner Spartans fell to their Puyallup opponents 37-7.

Participation in sports, other activities, hits an all-time high in state | WIAA

Survey results, released Aug. 24, show that Washington high schools reported 175,783 students participated during the last school year, ranking 15th in the country.