White River’s Claire DiCugno returns for another season on the mat. In this photo from last year’s state meet, she handles an opponent on the way to a second-place finish. File photo by Kevin Hanson

White River’s Claire DiCugno returns for another season on the mat. In this photo from last year’s state meet, she handles an opponent on the way to a second-place finish. File photo by Kevin Hanson

WR preview: bowling and boys, girls wrestling

Last year, girls wrestling took second in state. Will they rise to the top this season?

BOYS WRESTLING

A successful swarm of Hornets have returned to the mat, looking for continued team and individual success.

The White River boys placed second in the Class 2A state meet a season ago, having taken more wrestlers to the Tacoma Dome than any team in the state. Many of those are back in the fold including returning state champions Nate Belcourt, Gabe Hawthorne and Weston Lyver; all are seniors.

Among the top returning state veterans are senior Ethan Barr; juniors Cyrus Wheeler, Ben Milligan, Andrew Onjang and Klein Carter; and sophomores Brendan McBride, Gage Sabin and Julian Sandoval. Among that group, Wheeler was a sixth-place finisher at last season’s state meet and Milligan was seventh.

The Hornets, under coach Ruben Navejas, kicked off the 2019-20 season by hosting the White River Class on Saturday. Things turn up a notch tonight (Wednesday) when the Hornets host Foss and Fife in South Puget Sound League 2A action. The coming weekend brings a trip south for the Friday/Saturday Rose City Championships in Portland.

GIRLS WRESTLING

The White River girls wrestling program will look to keep the momentum building, coming off a season in which the Rivergirls placed second at the state tournament.

In Washington, girls teams compete in a single field, meaning athletes from the state’s smallest schools take the mat against competitors from the largest programs.

White River had quite a presence at last year’s Mat Classic, most notably in the form of state champion Payton Stroud. She was lost to graduation and the collegiate ranks, but coach Jason Jackson still has plenty of returning talent.

The No. 1 returnee is junior Claire DiCugno who battled her way to the state finals last year and claimed second-place honors.

Other state tourney veterans are Alex Hernandez, a fifth-place finisher last season, and Jalia Williams, who took seventh. Also returning with state experience are sophomores Maria Hawthorne and Allaina Cox.

The White River squad opened the season last weekend by traveling to the Jump On In tournament. The team begins in earnest Thursday night, hosting its only South Puget Sound League meet at 5:30 p.m.

GIRLS BOWLING

It’s year three for the bowling program at White River High and coach Peggy Jacobsen is working with a mostly-new roster.

The Hornet program is headed by sophomore Morgan Smith. A part of the varsity five a season ago, she advanced to the state tournament. Other returnees from last year are fellow sophomores Madeline Firle and Mallory Whipple. The rest of the squad includes junior Wendy Jo LaTurner; sophomores Hailee Bennett, Isabelle Bucci, Abbey Goetz, Brianna Horner and Lily Phillips; and freshmen Elizabeth Fisher and Kaelyn LaLonde.

The bowling program took a big hit due to graduation, losing Dakota Farrer, Peyton Wallen and Rylee Goetz. Farrer was a two-time qualifier for the state tourney and placed 31st in the large field to conclude her Hornet career.

Bowlers get rolling earlier than other winter sports and the Hornet squad already logged a pair of double-dual competitions. Next, the Hornets challenge Washington and Steilacoom at 3 p.m. tomorrow (Thursday) at Pacific Lanes in Tacoma.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@courierherald.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.courierherald.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 500 words or less.

More in Sports

It's been a while since local schools have been able to practice sports. Pictured is Coach Mark Gunderson working on technique with one of his players during an Aug. 28, 2019 practice. Photo by Kevin Hanson
At EHS and White River, football to begin Feb. 10, other sports to follow

Golf looks to be the only fall sport not starting next month.

Free image
Start of high school sports delayed again

Winter sports are scheduled to begin with practices on Feb. 1.

The Mercer Island boys basketball celebrates their 61-36 victory over Interlake in the 3A KingCo championship game on Feb. 11, 2020, at Sammamish High School. File photo
WIAA pushes back return to play for prep sports

Season 2 now begins Feb. 1 and seasons have been shortened to seven weeks each.

Kanaskat-Palmer State Park is one of several local parks you can visit for free on Nov. 11 and 27. Photo courtesy Washington State Parks
State Parks announces last two ‘free days’ for 2020

Nov. 11 and 27 will be the last time you can visit a state park for free.

A new paved trail, provided by the city of Enumclaw, extends to a point just shy of the city limits. Here, a trail user and canine companion turn and head back toward Battersby Avenue. Photo by Kevin Hanson
Flat, smooth and short: two trails completed on Enumclaw’s north side

A quick tour of the new trail along Battersby Avenue.

Margaret Petellin
Enumclaw’s Petellin takes swim talents to Luther College

As a Hornet, Petellin was a four-year letter winner in swimming and track and field.

The Enumclaw pool won’t be filled for several months more, as extra repairs need to be done first.  Photo by Ray Miller-Still
Cold water thrown on pool’s grand-reopening

Plans to open the pool early November have been scrapped as more repairs appear necessary.

Screenshot
White River High taking nominations for Year 2 Hall of Fame inductees

Here’s what you need to know to nominate a sports legend from your time at WRHS.

In this file photo from March 2020, the Federal Way High School boys basketball team reacts in the final minutes of the state quarterfinals game against Mt. Si High School. File photo
New guidelines released for return of prep sports in WA

The new plan places counties and sports in three-tier systems. No signs of a quicker return to play.

File Photo/Kent Reporter
Emerald Downs increases horse racing purses

Betting up 67% over last year

The trailhead for Ranger Falls/Green Lake is clearly marked, three miles from the end of Carbon River Road; the trail to the falls is mostly uphill but provides great natural scenery; and, finally, the roaring falls is the ultimate payoff. Photos by Kevin Hanson
Ranger Falls: three easy miles, then it’s all uphill

This is the ninth in a series of articles about local hikes.

Foothills Trail: a popular destination now, even more planned for future
Foothills Trail: a popular destination now, even more planned for future

This is the ninth in a series of articles about local hikes.