Lake wrestling returns with a winDefending state champs start strong BY DAVE JEDLICKA | CONTRIBUTING WRITER The Lake Stevens Vikings started out the new season the same way they finished last year winning. On Friday, Nov. 30 they participated in a double dual meet with Kamiak and Mariner, winning both easily.
First they dispatched Kamiak by a score of 61-12, with the only losses coming at 171 and 215 lbs. In the following match against one of the best teams in WesCo’s South division, Mariner, the Vikings completely dominated, outscoring them 68-0.
Departed from the Lake team are standouts Kelly Kubec and Mitch Tipton, but this year’s team appears to be no less talented overall and looks on paper to be capable of reaching the top podium step again this February.
Leading the team are Captains Josh Monson and Josh Eacrett, both placers at last year’s Mat Classic state championship. Also expected to do well is returning state champion Zach Zweifel who has finally put on a growth spurt and will be wrestling at 112 lbs.
Freshman Josh Villani, a youth wrestling super stud, will compete at 119 lbs. Josh Heinzer, who became the odd man out at 103 lbs. last year, is now one of the top-rated wrestlers at that weight in the state.
George King, another returning state placer, provides a strong presence at 152 lbs. Many other members of the team are hoping to have success this season. Coach Brent Barnes is attempting to capture a record 18th consecutive district championship and bring another strong contender, if not a favorite, to the Tacoma Dome in February.
On Tuesday, Dec. 4, a new tradition continued as the defending 4A champion Vikings took on the six-time defending 3A champion, Sedro-Woolley Cubs.
The first two years of this crowd-packed event came down to the final match or two, but this one was over by the ninth match when George King pinned his opponent giving the Vikings a mathematical lock on the dual. Since the match was taking place earlier in the season than in the past couple of years, there wasn’t as much hype leading up to the contest, but over 1400 fans packed the Viking gymnasium to witness the battle between champions.
Lake Stevens jumped out to a huge lead winning 103 lbs. by default, 112 lbs. with Zach Zweifel pinning Cody Forst of SW, 119 lbs. saw Josh Villani give up a quick takedown but then immediately reverse Trent Morgan and pin him, 125 lbs. had Sean Anderson outscore Tyler Howell 18-6, and 130 lbs. as Branden Austin pinned Trevor Eaton. This put the Vikings up by a 28-0 margin.
Sedro-Woolley’s Shane Hunt beat Alex Pellegrini at 135 lbs., 6-1. Josh Monson put on a similar performance against the Cub’s Kevin O’Neil as Kelly Kubec did last year, taking the Sedro three times second place state finisher to the mat repeatedly winning the match 12-6.
Last year’s Sedro freshman phenom, Derek Garcia battled senior Josh Eacrett to a tough 6-2 win at 145 lbs. Additionally, Vikings Justin Grow won at 189 lbs. and Zach Teuber captured the 285 lb. match.
The Vikings will continue their season with a trip to Coeur D’Alene, ID for the challenging Tri-State Tournament at North Idaho College on Dec. 13 and 14.
Lake Stevens finished second last year to rivals Sedro-Woolley and are hoping that the momentum from this early dual will propel them to a victory in Idaho.