Panther wrestlers tally first winning season in school’s young history

By registering a pair of South Puget Sound League 3A victories last week, the Bonney Lake High wrestling squad did just what it set out to do – record the first winning league record in school history by finishing the regular campaign 5-3 in dual-match action.

Sean O’Riley works over his Franklin Pierce opponent as the season draws to a close.

By registering a pair of South Puget Sound League 3A victories last week, the Bonney Lake High wrestling squad did just what it set out to do – record the first winning league record in school history by finishing the regular campaign 5-3 in dual-match action.

“We have this inspirational saying that is printed on the back of our warm-up jackets, ‘Acta Non Verba,’ which literally translated from Latin means ‘Deeds Not Words,’” said Anthony Clarke, the only wrestling coach the Panthers have ever had.

After beating Franklin Pierce 41-28 Jan. 28, “we were really excited when we traveled to Peninsula the next day, because we knew a win we would transcend mediocrity and consequently earn some respectability around the school,” Clarke said. “That was really important to this hard-working group of kids. You could tell by how pumped up they were to accomplish what we have been talking about all year.”

After senior Josh Peart recorded a four-point major decision and the Panthers’ 145-pounder lost a narrow 4-3 decision, Bonney Lake went on a roll.

Senior standout Addison Tracy (30-0) did what a good team captain should do, stomping on the motivational accelerator. In his 152-pound challenge, Tracy took care of business, pinning his foe 38 seconds into the match.

Bonney Lake then left Peninsula in its rear view mirror, claiming four of the next five bouts, including pins by an improving David Vance (171), the very active Sam Mebarki (189) and a dominating Jared Dorsey at 215 pounds, who pinned his opponent’s shoulders to the cushion in 58 seconds.

Team points also came from Robbie Slick (1:03 fall at 119 pounds), big decisions by senior Pat Bendon and Gordi St. Peter and junior Nick Bendon pinning his 135 pound challenger with one second left in the first round.

“It was important for us to put one on Peninsula, not only to finish the season with a winning record, but they beat us out by five points (190-185) to take first in our Panther Invitational in early December and we wanted to let them to know that we had gained a bit of ground since then,” Clake said.

The Panthers will be taking a bus load of anxious grapplers to the subdistrict tournament Friday and Saturday at Auburn Mountainview High School. Wrestling action will begin at 4 p.m. Friday starting with the 103-pounders. Several BLHS grapplers are expected to be seeded high, including Tracy, who is currently ranked the No. 1 152-pounder in the state and will be rewarded with the first seed in his weight classification at subdistricts.

The seeding meeting that will send wrestlers into the subdistrict tournament takes place today, Wednesday.

More in Sports

Local athletes score well in Special Olympic tournaments

The local three-member team earned a silver medal at the state bowling tournament, competing against teams from all across the state at Kenmore Lanes.

Spartan swimmers qualify for league, district meets

Sumner High coach Maari Bennett was nothing but positive following the Spartans’ Jan. 4 swim and dive meet.

Fall will bring change for White River, SPSL 2A

Under the changes, the league will split into three divisions — Mountain, Sound, and another yet to be named. However, football will still be split into the two divisions the league is currently divided into.

Former Hornet Keenan Fagan an NAIA All-American

The former Hornet, who just completed his junior season at Rocky Mountain College, was named an NAIA first-team defensive back when All-America squads were announced by the American Football Coaches Association.

Girls climb in wrestling rankings, two on national list

Check out which female wrestlers from the Enumclaw, White River and Sumner-Bonney Lake school districts are ranking high in their leagues.

EHS students advance to state robotics competition

The Robo Knights – consisting of Nathan Erickson, Hailey Henken, Chloe Nemish, Billy Staley and Jacob Woodley – will represent EHS Feb. 11 at the ShoWare Center in Kent.

Panther rosters are packed with plenty of experience

Familiar faces are back on the mat, looking to continue Bonney Lake’s near-decade tradition of wrestling excellence.

Winter season in full swing at Enumclaw High

The Hornets have participated in a pair of four-team gymnastics meets so far. They will compete again Wednesday hosting Federal Way, Kennedy Catholic and Mount Rainier at PEAK Gymnastics in Enumclaw.

White River wrestlers top foes

The White River High gymnasium was the place to be Dec. 6, as some of the state’s top wrestling teams – and a handful of highly-ranked individuals – gathered for a night of competition.

Panther pair sign with college programs

A pair of Bonney Lake High School seniors formalized their athletic futures during a Nov. 22 signing ceremony at the school.

Spartans: More victories in the works

Last year’s Sumner High girls basketball team didn’t experience the thrill of victory all that often, winning just five of 20 games, but a flock of returning players should help turn the tide.

WR: Girls still loaded with talent, boys replacing key players

The White River Hornet girls team never seem to need an overhaul, just some annual tinkering with quality, familiar parts.