Sports

Wolves look to keep the wins coming

The streak remains intact.

Even after a so-called rebuilding project in 2006-07, South Kitsap stayed undefeated in dual matches to extend its win streak to 141. The Wolves haven’t lost a match since 1992.

Team success doesn’t come without some talented individual play, though, and the Wolves feature the top-ranked 215-pound Class 4A wrestler in the state. Senior Matt Foxworthy placed third at Mat Classic, but the top two placers both graduated.

“His goals are high and he’s definitely capable of doing it,” said Nass, when asked if Foxworthy can win a championship.

Foxworthy, who hasn’t selected a college yet, said he hopes to “set a positive example” for the young wrestlers in the program. And, of course, win a state championship.

“I definitely would like to be a champion and come back here and coach someday,” he said.

Besides Foxworthy, the Wolves also return two other state qualifiers from last season in juniors Adam Ferguson (125) and Simon Kipperberg (112).

How those wrestlers finish at state along with others will determine whether South can improve on its 16th-place finish at state. Nass, the Wolves’ fourth-year coach, said he likes his team’s chances for improvement based on the team’s returning experience. Other key returners include Kyle Bamonte (senior, 135), Brad Fedderson (senior, 189), Kyle Fenton (junior, 130), Deandre Jackson (junior, 152), Quincy Lyman (senior, 145), Brian Padmos (senior, 145) and Brady Zurn (junior, 152).

“We have a lot of veterans back who are hungry,” Nass said. “They got a taste of it last year, but they didn’t quite meet their goals.”

One aspect that concerns Nass is the team’s lack of depth. Fedderson often has to face Foxworthy in practice because the Wolves don’t have many athletes in their weight classes.

“Sometimes it’s less fun because we’re really good friends,” Fedderson said.

Foxworthy said he wrestles former South heavyweight Matt Miller, who graduated last spring, every day for competition.

But it’s not only the top weight classes where depth is an issue.

“My biggest concern is we don’t have a lot of depth on the top or bottom,” Nass said. “That’s a big concern.”

And that’s where the Wolves’ dual-match streak might be at risk if they have any injuries.

“A big tournament or dual meet where you’re forfeiting points — that could easily swing the tide,” Nass said.

One newcomer that has him excited is sophomore Joel Miner, who wrestles at 103. Miner won his weight class at the Dec. 1 Auburn Invitational.

“He works really hard and is a smart kid,” said Nass, adding that Miner’s older brother, Javan, wrestled for the Wolves before he graduated in 2006. “He watched wrestling when his brother went through it.”

Some of the Wolves’ significant losses include Miller and Kurtis Fenton, who both graduated. Senior Craig Bell moved to Japan.

Despite those losses, Nass feels his team “should be right up there.” The next challenge comes Dec. 19 when they head to Olympia High School for a triple-dual meet against Central Kitsap, Gig Harbor and Olympia.

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