“Hard work beats talent when talent doesn’t work hard.”
It’s the slogan Enumclaw High wrestlers picked for their team T-shirts this season. The other apparel choices tout their three state championships, but in the Hornets’ wrestling room those titles are earned with hard work and, even for the defending 3A champions, 2011-12 is a new season.
“We have a tough row to hoe,” Hall of Fame EHS coach Lee Reichert said. “The kids are working hard. We’re putting the pedal to the metal every day. That’s all you can ask.
“We tell the kids, some teams never win a state championship. We’ve been fortunate to have won three here. Now we’ll just see what else we can accomplish.”
For the Hornets, February marked their third state title in four years and Reichert’s sixth as a head coach. He also has three titles at Kentwood. EHS missed the 2010 crown by less than six points.
The Hornets have been building a wrestling dynasty. It was the second time in history the Hornets posted three individual champions – Lucas Somera, Josh Musick and Kario Wallin. The Hornets did it in 2008 with Joey Pierotti, Jason Gray and Sam Bauer.
While Musick and Wallin graduated, Somera, the former 135-pounder, returns. The youngest Hornet in school history to win a state crown, he was sixth in 2010.
At state, every Hornet won a match and eight of the nine placed.
EHS returns junior Tyke Reid, fourth place at 112 pounds. Travis Reano, a senior, finished fifth at 125 pounds. Colton Malek, a senior, finished sixth at 189 pounds and T.J. Cormier was a state participant
The Hornets will miss Music and Wallin as well as third-place state finisher Hunter File and seventh-place medal winner Marcus Nichols, but there are plenty of Hornets waiting in the wings.
In addition to the aforementioned returning starters, the Hornets planning to put two-time state participant Cole Snider on the mat, along with Garrett Jarez, Jaden Fend, Ryan Anderson, Wyatt Josie, Kellin Wallin and Chris Williams.
The Hornets start the season tonight, Wednesday, at the Graham-Kapowsin jamboree and then head to the White River Tournament Saturday before kicking off league competition Dec. 7 with Bonney Lake, where they will try to keep their 37 SPSL 3A dual-meet win streak alive, trying to better their longest league win-streak of 54.
It will be tough, Reichert said.
“The league is going to be more parallel, more evenly wrestled,” he said.