An always-on-the-rise WSU wrestling program will again benefit from a summertime golf tournament in Enumclaw.
The Washington State University club sport has been guided since 2017 by coach Phil Burnett, who happens to be a Plateau resident. This marks the second year Burnett has put together the fundraising event.
Golfers will be teeing off on Saturday, Aug. 6, at Enumclaw Golf Course. Play gets under way at 9 a.m. with a scramble format.
SO YOU WANT TO GET INVOLVED?
Participants can register individually or as a team of four and the cost is $100 each (for the first 90 who pre-pay). After 90 have signed up, the cost jumps to $125. Make checks payable to “WSU Wrestling” and mail to: c/o Coach Phil Burnett, 25277 S.E. 356th St., Auburn, 98092. The entry fee includes an invitation to a “thank you” luncheon following the golf outing, hosted by Burnett.
Those interested in boosting Cougar wrestling also can to provide a sponsorship. To sponsor a hole ($500), send a business logo and a check to Burnett. Individual sponsorships are welcome, too.
In addition to sponsoring a hole with a name, donors will be included in the invitational promotional flyer, Cougar wrestling travel sign and team website. Sponsorship checks are to be made payable to “WSU Wrestling Development Fund,” also mailed to Burnett.
A BIT OF WSU WRESTLING HISTORY
Wrestling at WSU is self-funded and conducted at the “club sport” level, not as a varsity sport. But that doesn’t mean the program isn’t growing in status. Burnett notes that wrestling has moved, within the WSU framework, from a “Tier 1 club” level to “varsity club” status. The only other WSU club with that designation is rowing.
That climb is reflected by a jump in participation. “The program is growing big-time,” Burnett said, adding that he expects a men’s team of 40-plus when turnouts begin in October, along with a women’s squad of perhaps 13 or 14.
According to the WSU wrestling website, “we are the premiere club team in the nation and our status has improved exponentially over the past 10 years. We are a varsity sport club which puts us at a much higher standing than other clubs at WSU. We travel across the country and are consistently invited to compete against the top scholarship programs in the NCWA (National Collegiate Wrestling Association).”
WSU competes in a conference that includes Big Bend Community College, Central Washington University, Eastern Washington University, Grays Harbor College, Linfield University, Pacific Lutheran University, the University of Oregon, the University of Washington and Western Washington University.
A stated goal has been to become a sanctioned Pac-12 team, but everything has been upended by recent defections from the conference by USC and UCLA and subsequent talks of perhaps adding new institutions.
Among those who shine brightest in Cougar wrestling history is Enumclaw High School graduate Hunter Haney, who was an All-American in 2017. In addition, he was named an Academic All-American the same year and now serves as an assistant coach. The program also is enhanced by Enumclaw High grads Tyson Russell, an incoming sophomore, and Cade Carter, who will be a Coug freshman in the fall. Russell capped his WSU freshman season by qualifying for the NCWA championships in Texas; Carter finished his EHS career by placing second at Mat Classic, the state championships.