By Anders Blomgren
For The Beachcomber
Vashon wrestlers are now three weeks deep into their season and have pulled off an extraordinary amount of victories, the majority of them by pin.
The Pirates practice most of the time outside on the football field before finishing in the wrestling room. It’s a great way to mix it up, share facilities, and still take advantage of the sunshine. Athletes do not take practice time, and time together — working hard and having fun — for granted after being shut down for a year plus.
On Wednesday, May 19, Pirate grapplers traveled to South Whidbey to take on South Whidbey and Granite Falls. Out of the 26 total matches, Vashon dominated, recording 17 wins, all by pins. First career wins (and pins) were recorded by freshmen Taj Holloway, Michael Ryland, Oli Nielsen, Colin McIntyre, and Chase Bradrick. The future looks bright for this Pirate crew.
Saturday, May 22, was the Rainier tournament, and Vashon brought a crew and took home some hardware. While there was no official team score, the Pirates placed top three of seven teams, and probably second. Certainly not first, as Forks ran away with it.
James Ryland was the Pirates’ lone champ as he pinned his way through the bracket. Kaitlyn Bonaventura technically tied for first in the boys’ 113 pound round robin. Second-place finishes went to Sean Ryland, Colin McIntyre, and Jordon Rutschow and 3rd place to George Murphy, Ethan McIntyre, Alec Macomber-Straight, and Zander Rutschow. Fourth place went to Ben Doggwin, Bradrick, and Aidan Green. It was so great to go on a road trip with the team and have fun in the stands between matches and the drive home — true bonding experiences.
The Life Christian and South Whidbey dual event was next up, and the Pirates held their own against the scrappy opponents, winning 16 of the total 24 matches, all by pin. Freshman Jonah Hendon notched his first high school career win with a pin and Danny Baldinger collected his first pin of the season. Ivy Merkl and Josiah Brenner have been working their tails off in the room, improving at a rapid rate.
Well, what’s next you may ask? The team’s First Home Dual in over a year is on Wednesday, June 2. Wrestling starts at 5:30 p.m. and you’ll be able to see McMurray Mustangs in action as well. Also, of major note, this match will take place outside on the football field. Fans are allowed and encouraged to come. This is the first-ever outdoor wrestling match in Vashon Wrestling History!
The team also hosts the “League” Tournament at 2 p.m., on Wednesday, June 16, and hopefully, that will be outside, as well.
Come out and support these wrestlers who are working so hard and are already getting so much better!
Anders Blongren is a Vashon Island High School wrestling coach.