Wrestling: Wolves pinning state-title hopes on Hartmann this season

2010-11 Wrestling Schedule

Date Meet Location

Saturday Auburn Invitational Auburn High School

Thursday Mount Tahoma, Stadium Mount Tahoma High School

Dec. 11 Olympic Dream Duals Kitsap County Fairgrounds

Dec. 16 Shelton, Olympia South Kitsap High School

Dec. 17-18 Hammerhead Tournament Kitsap County Fairgrounds

Dec. 29-30 Pacific Coast Tourney Hudson’s Bay High School

Jan. 8 Hall of Fame Duals Moses Lake High School

Jan. 13 Bellarmine, Gig Harbor Bellarmine Prep

Jan. 15 Matman Classic Central Kitsap High School

Jan. 20 Yelm, Timberline Central Kitsap High School

Jan. 22 South Kitsap Invite South Kitsap High School

Jan. 25 Central Kitsap Central Kitsap High School

Feb. 4-5 Narrows League Tourney Foss High School

Feb. 11-12 Regional Tournament TBA

Feb. 18-19 Mat Classic XXIII Tacoma Dome

Coach: Chad Nass, seventh season.

Key returners: Cody Barich, 140 or 145, sr.; Colin Bryant, 112, jr.; Kris Fenton, 152, sr.; Conner Hartmann, 189, sr.; Eddie Meisner, 215, jr.; Michael Neiner, 171, sr.; Jake Villars, 215, jr.; and Terrill Wilson, 119 or 125, sr.

Top newcomers: Kolby Fenton, 103, so.; Adam Gascoyne, 160, so.; and Austin Kanouse, 285, so.

Key departures: Tom Decker, 285, graduated; Craig Dyess, 160, graduated; Taylor Lyman, 145, graduated; Chris Nenninger, 160, graduated; Guy Powell, 189, graduated; Spencer Ricketson, 130, graduated; and Hakeem Smith, 152, graduated.

It seems like an annual tradition at South Kitsap.

Sure, there is the matter of winning 170 consecutive Narrows League dual matches since 1992. But the Wolves almost always seem to feature a contender for a state championship.

That distinction belongs to belongs to senior Conner Hartmann this year. After being sick prevented him from placing at state in 2009, Hartmann returned and lost a 5-2 decision against Auburn’s Dylan Rutledge in the Class 4A 171-pound championship match during Mat Classic XXII in February at the Tacoma Dome.

He was the highest placer from South since 215-pound Matt Foxworthy finished in the same place in 2008. Brent Chriswell (189) and Josiah Kipperberg (112) were the Wolves’ last state champions, in 2006.

Hartmann dominated his first two opponents at state, pinning Lake Washington’s Yaroslov Petrechko in 1 minute, 59 seconds, and then earning a 11-0 decision versus Wenatchee’s Brian Nygard. He then pinned Kadyn Del Toro of Curtis in 3:06 to set up a title match against Rutledge, a fellow junior. The two competed against each other earlier in the season in the Pacific Coast Tournament in Vancouver, Wash. Rutledge won that match, 11-3.

In the rematch, the two were tied, 2-all, entering the third round. But Hartmann was called for stalling and Rutledge, who placed third at 171 at state in 2009, later scored a two-point takedown.

“I need to quit taking unnecessary risks,” Hartmann said. “I just need to focus on what I’ve got and not what he’s going to do.”

Whether the two meet this season remains to be determined. Rutledge was listed at 205 pounds during football season, while South coach Chad Nass said Hartmann, who had a 35-3 record in 2009-10, will wrestle in the 189-pound class this year.

Michael Neiner will assume Hartmann’s spot at 171. Neiner held that position before he suffered a season-ending torn left hamstring on Dec. 5, 2009 during the Auburn Invitational. Neiner placed eighth at state at 171 in 2009.

“We missed him dearly last year,” Nass said. “Having him back is really big.”

Hartmann said he is happy to have his practice partner back.

“That’s going to be a big advantage,” he said. “We really push each other.”

Senior Cody Barich also returns after placing sixth at 135. Similar to Hartmann, Barich won his first two matches. He won decisions against a pair of Tahoma competitors — Michael Milat and Jordan Higa — 12-7 and 5-4, respectively.

Barich then was pinned by Ferris’ Brandon Riehle, who won the state championship, in 3:47. He then lost 5-2 against University’s Kevin Harder and 5-2 versus Davis’ Nick Sauceda in the fifth- and sixth-place match.

“He’s a really tough kid,” Nass said of Barich. “I think his goals are set a lot higher this year.”

Another senior, Terrill Wilson, returns after placing seventh at state. He won his opening match at 119, 6-4, against Moses Lake’s Andrew Valdez. Wilson then lost 10-3 against Rogers’ Joey Palmer in the quarterfinals. He later earned a 9-5 victory versus Shorewood’s Brandon Leach to place.

Two other seniors — Kris Fenton (140) and Greg Morrison (135) — are back after making their first state appearance, where neither placed.

“If they had won their last match, they would have been state placers,” Nass said. “I know they have high goals for this year.”

The Wolves graduated several seniors and Nass said they will be youthful in several classes. He said one exception is 215, where juniors Eddie Meisner and Jake Villars are battling for the varsity spot.

“I look for those two to have breakout years,” Nass said.

South should find that out early. The team participates in several tournaments, including Saturday’s season opener at Auburn High School, in addition to a pair of events at the Kitsap Fairgrounds this month. The Wolves also will compete in the Dec. 29-30 Pacific Coast Tournament and the Jan. 8 Hall of Fame Duals in Moses Lake before returning to Kitsap County for the Matman Classic at Central Kitsap High School and the South Kitsap Invitational.

“We’re busy every weekend,” Nass said. “We’re trying to see as much of the state as we can.”

And as much top-level competition as possible. Nass notes that traditional state powers such as Auburn, Lake Stevens, Mead, Moses Lake and Rogers will participate in the Hall of Fame Duals.

“That will give us a good chance to measure up,” Nass said. “Nothing is going to come easy on that day.”

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