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Strong start for Pirate grapplers
The first day of December saw the first action of the season for the Vashon High School wrestlers. Vashon grapplers, 27 in all, competed against nine much larger schools (both 3A and 4A) in the Auburn Invitational Tournament at Auburn High School.
The varsity squad finished a respectable fifth place out of 10 teams, and the JV wrestlers wound up in an impressive fourth place. The Pirates’ lone varsity champion of the day was junior Shane Armstrong in the 182-pound weight class.
Preston Morris (junior, 195 pounds), Joe Coller (sophomore, 220 pounds) and A.J. Sawyer (senior, 285 pounds) all took second. Freshman Chase Wickman was a strong third at 106 pounds; Shane Williams (freshman, 120 pounds), Louis Jovanovich (junior, 285 pounds) and Max Frederickson (senior, 170 pounds) all came in fourth.
The first round of the day was brutal, with the squad losing nine of its 11 opening matches. The second round saw a reversal of fortune as there were eight wins against only four losses.
Vashon wrestlers faced very tough competition from perennial powerhouse teams from Bethel, Auburn, Auburn-Riverside, South Kitsap, Kelso, Kennedy Catholic, Tahoma, Kentlake and Mount Rainier.
The 12 JV wrestlers representing Vashon were outstanding, with seven of them placing in the top four. Elan Peterson (senior, 138 pounds) won his bracket. Codi Williams (junior, 138 pounds) and Baxter Call (junior, 160 pounds) both took second; Aaron Bomber (senior, 138 pounds) and Logan Nelson (freshman, 170 pounds) took third; Fletcher Call (freshman, 152 pounds) and Hunter Stanley (freshman, 132 pounds) came in fourth.
Coaches Anders and Per-Lars Blomgren were both pleased with the young team’s strong first outing.
Currently, the Pirates are ranked fifth in the state 1A classification, based on their performance last season, by Washington Wrestling Report. Individual Pirates that are ranked include Shane Armstrong, Preston Morris and Louis Jovanovich.
The grapplers’ first home match will be Thursday, Dec. 6, in the VHS gym. Junior Varsity action against the always tough Elma team will begin at 6 p.m., followed by varsity matches at 7 p.m.
— Cheryl Pruett is the mother of two Pirate wrestlers.