Ferguson destined for success on the mat

The center circle South Kitsap’s wrestling-mat room traditionally has been reserved for seniors — and some of the best in school history.

Josiah Kipperberg won the state championship at 112 pounds as a senior in 2006 while occupying the space. South coach Chad Nass said that spot traditionally has been reserved for seniors, but Adam Ferguson, a 125-pound junior, has taken it this year.

“Throughout the years, our leaders on the team in terms of work ethic have tended to work on the center circle in the mat room,” he said.

Ferguson isn’t just one to lead his team in the repetitive line-running in practice; he also is one of the Wolves’ most consistent wrestlers.

“He’s a great competitor — never count him out of any match,” Nass said. “He’s got a lot of qualities that make a good wrestler. He tenacious from the time the whistle blows, he’s got a big heart and he always keeps battling.”

Ferguson said he once played baseball, but decided to become a wrestler as a seventh-grader at Cedar Heights Junior High because of his brother Luke, who was a state alternate at 145 pounds and graduated from South last year.

“My brother started wrestling first,” Ferguson said. “I was watching him and thought, ‘I can do this, too.’ ”

While Nass said Ferguson has continued the “nice little lineage here,” he doesn’t attend South as his brother and father, Sam, did. He instead decided to attend Burley Christian School in Port Orchard. The school doesn’t offer athletic programs, which allows Ferguson to wrestle for the Wolves.

Ferguson said he likes that the school is quieter and also allows him to work toward a possible career in missionary work. He said he will go “wherever God leads me.”

While that mission waits, his quest for success on the mat continues. Ferguson has lost seven matches this season — Nass estimated he had won 20 before Saturday’s SK Invitational — but the coach said the losses are understandable.

The competition extends to practice where Ferguson often finds himself pitted against Simon Kipperberg (112), Josiah’s younger brother, and Kyle Fenton (130).

“It’s always good to have him to drill with,” Fenton said. “He’s always going 100 percent.”

Nass said he knew “we had a good wrestler coming up” because of Ferguson’s success at Cedar Heights, but didn’t expect him to compete at the varsity level last year. But Ferguson ended up as the Wolves’ top wrestler at 119.

“He was probably our most improved wrestler from the beginning of the year to the end of the year,” he said.

And now?

“He’s gone against some of the best competition in the state,” Nass said. “If anyone’s overlooking him, they’re making a big mistake.”

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