As the Enumclaw High wrestling team prepares to defend its 3A state wrestling title, the Hornets are standing on familiar ground.
The Hornets added another regional title to their vast collection Saturday night, edging Yelm 206.5 to 194. Decatur finished third with 163.5 and Bonney Lake was fourth with 137.5.
Just as important, the Hornets qualified nine wrestlers into Friday and Saturday’s state tournament at the Tacoma Dome.
“We’re going back with exactly what we had,” coach Lee Reichert said. “We’re as good as anybody.
“We’ve got the kids to do it and we’re excited about the challenge.
“The kids have worked real hard and the expectations are higher,” Reichert said. “All the ducks are in a line. We just have to stay healthy and I think we can bring home a state championship. It’s wide open.”
Yelm is expected to give the Hornets a run for their money, as will Kelso, Bonney Lake, Timberline, Decatur, Sedro Woolley, University and Sunnyside.
Tyke Reid kicked off the championship finals for the Hornets with a big win at 120 pounds. The junior finally bested Bonney Lake nemesis Andrew Cunningham 8-2 for the crown. Reid jumped to the lead with a quick takedown and 3-point nearfall for a 6-0 first-period lead.
Enumclaw fans had to wait until 195 pounds before celebrating again when TJ Cormier dominated and pinned Jeffery Leuth of Yelm in 1 minute, 40 seconds.
Cormier’s victory was followed by Colten Malek’s crazy, 1-point loss at 220 pounds. Malek trailed Timberline’s Stone Hart but found himself tied with Hart at three as time was ticking away after the Blazer was tagged with a pushing violation. As time expired, Malek tossed Hart to the mat and was charged with unnecessary roughness which gave Hart a point and the 4-3 victory.
Hornet 138-pounder Lucas Somera finished third to make the Hornets’ state team.
Jayden Fend, 126, Justin Mitchell, 152, and Garrett Grau, 285, finished fourth for their spot on the state roster.
Fifth-place finishers for EHS were Ryan Anderson, 160, and Chris Williams, 220, taking the final slots into state.
Cole Snider, 138, Falani Gill, 145, and Kelyn Wallin, came in sixth and will serve as alternates.