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KHS: 5 State wrestlers return
KINGSTON — Jack Welker got his first taste of State competition during the 2010-11 wrestling season.
The heavyweight wrestler from Kingston High School won one of three of his matches at the 2011 Mat Classic XXIII by pinning Evan Earnest in the consolation finals in 1 minute 51 seconds.
Needless to say, Welker is ready for more. The senior has lost about 25 pounds to become more competitive for both football and wrestling, and he plans to lose another 10. His goal, of course, is to win State.
“I’m going to win it all … That’s the plan,” he said Monday during practice.
Along with Welker, five wrestlers from Kingston are returning after a trip to State last season. They include Sam English, Walker Larson, Benny McMullen, Bobby Reece III and Ivy Rodolf.
Bobby is the 2010-11 Division 2A 140-pound State champion. He defeated Andrew White in a 3-0 decision and was one of two to take a State title back to the North Kitsap School District; North’s Jake Velarde won the 119-pound title.
English was unable to compete at State after a shoulder injury. And Larson was an alternate for State but did not compete.
Along with the five mentioned above, Coach Bobby Reece also expects Tucker Burns, Aaron Dixon, Josh Dixon, Cody Jennings, Trevor King, Jason Lowe and Brian Mason to compete at State this season.
“This is a senior class that has invested more than any senior class that I have coached,” Reece said.
Like every year, expectations for the team are high.
While he wants his seniors and State returners to strive for State, Reece expects those wrestlers to help the less-experienced grow.
As of Monday, the team had a turnout of about 43 students. Reece wants all those wrestlers to be able to compete to their fullest in order to take team wins during the season. That means sacrificing for the team, not just themselves, he said.
“If that can do that, we will have plenty of numbers to overcome any opponent … The sky will be the limit.”
During the 2011 Mat Classic, Kingston took 19th as a team with 31 points. Deer Park placed first with 147.5 points. Individually, along with Bobby’s State finish and Welker’s loss out, McMullen was eliminated in two matches, Freddy Rodolf (who graduated) lost 7-4 after a 3-2 win, Ivy Rodolf lost in two, and Kiana Witt (who graduated) took second after losing to Lauren Richardson (6-3) in the championship match.
Kingston’s first wrestling meet is the NK Takedown Dec. 1 at 4 p.m. at North Kitsap.
Reece said the meet against Centralia in January will be a real test.
“I use the term ‘Champions act like champions all the time,’ ” Reece said. “If our kids do that like they’re supposed to, they will have a great opportunity to do something special at the end of the season.”