Sports

Wrestlers ready to rumble

Senior Rogen “Rodge” Lopez, top, will lead a talented and experienced group of Vashon wrestlers who will vie for district, regional, and state honors this year. Lopez placed third at state in 2008, and was the state champion in 2007. - Alison Katica photo
Senior Rogen “Rodge” Lopez, top, will lead a talented and experienced group of Vashon wrestlers who will vie for district, regional, and state honors this year. Lopez placed third at state in 2008, and was the state champion in 2007.
— image credit: Alison Katica photo

By CARL BLOMGREN

For The Beachcomber

Last week I tried calling the wrestling room at Vashon High School, but was unable to get through.

The message was something about the coaches being unable to answer the phone because they were reviewing films from last year.

Unable to answer the phone — ha! — until they heard I was calling on behalf of The Beachcomber and I wanted information about the forthcoming wrestling season.

Then the coach picked up the phone, and words began to flow: “Hello, hello ... did I hear you wish to talk about the forthcoming wrestling season? You’re in luck, as I have a second to talk,” he said.

“Just remember: we’ve been fourth in the state the last two years and we aim to do as well this season. We have three returning state champs: Sylvie Shiosaki (2008 girls’ champ) Sam Chapman (2008) and Rogan Lopez (2007).

“Placers from last year include Eddie Protzeller (6th), Geran Webb (8th), Tim Jovanovich (State participant), and Mad Dog Wolczko (5th in girls’ State),” the coach added. “Now, you must admit that is a strong lineup, along with their teammates who are challenging themselves and each other in the wrestling room. We can’t promise you anything other than all our troops will be in great shape to wrestle three rounds, if need be.”

“It sounds like you’ll be ready to wrestle. Good luck,” I responded.

The coach then got a little feisty.

“Listen, Mr. Beachcomber, we’re planning to win with — or without — your ‘good luck,’” he said. “Tell your readers one thing we can guarantee: It will be action-packed, so if it’s excitement they’re looking for, we’ll see them in the gym at 7 p.m. this Friday, Dec. 5, when we introduce Rainier High School to Vashon wrestling.”

“Click.” End of conversation.

— Carl Blomgren is an avid wrestling fan and the father of Vashon High School wrestling coaches Anders and Per-Lars Blomgren.

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