Chriswell, Kipperberg share spotlight again

Because of their exploits on the wrestling mat, Brent Chriswell and Josiah Kipperberg will always have a connection.

Like Jake Beitinger and Adam Bennett or Willie Bloomquist and Jason Ellison or Benji Olson and Tony Coats before them, they are now linked as a successful duo.

From now on, when one named is mentioned, the other will usually follow close behind. Not that either one would mind.

Chriswell and Kipperberg wrapped up their senior wrestling seasons in February with state championships in each of their respective weight classes, becoming the first pair from South to win titles in the same year. Three months later, both were named as high-school All-Americans by Wrestling USA Magazine.

And now, the duo will share the Port Orchard Independent’s 2006 South Kitsap Male Athlete of the Year honors.

Chriswell and Kipperberg were chosen out of a solid group of male athletes that included:

• Kyle Pease, the Narrows League Bridge Division Offensive MVP in football and second team all-division in baseball;

• Josh Monagle, a first-team all-division and third-team all-state selection in basketball;

• Cade Mossman, the Bridge Division MVP in soccer; and,

• Kyle Saltsgaver, the NL Bridge Division Defensive MVP in football.

“It’s really kind of funny because (Chriswell and Kipperberg) really have different ways of approaching things,” South coach Chad Nass said. “But both approaches are, obviously, very successful. And that makes it pretty neat.”

Between the two of them, Chriswell and Kipperberg compiled a 70-2 match record and led the Wolves to a top 10 finish as a team at Mat Classic XVIII

In addition, Chriswell was one of 96 All-Americans named in Wrestling USA Magazine in May, while Kipperberg was an honorable mention All-American. They are the first-ever South Kitsap wrestlers to receive such an honor.

Throughout its storied wrestling history, South Kitsap has never had two such dominant wrestlers at the same time. In three years at South, Chriswell was 105-4, with 90 of those wins by pin, while Kipperberg posted a 90-17 mark with 47 pins.

Chriswell went undefeated in his senior season, racking up a mark of 36-0 with 31 pins on his way to the 189-pound title, while Kipperberg was almost as good, going 34-2 in winning the 112-pound title at Mat Classic.

Chriswell became the first South wrestler to win two titles in a career and was also the first to wrestle in three state title matches. He finished second as a sophomore.

“I kind of thought of it as just another win but when you really look at it, there’s not many people that have that,” Chriswell said. “It would have been better to have three, though, but what can you do?”

Chriswell capped off his perfect senior season with a 9-7 win over Mariner's Mohammed Mustafa to capture his second straight Class 4A state wrestling title, while Kipperberg needed overtime to defeat University’s Brian Owen 4-2 to get his.

With their high-school careers now complete, the pair will go off in decidedly different directions. Chriswell is headed to West Layafette, Ind. and Purdue University, while Kipperberg has yet to decide on his college future.

But regardless, there places in South’s wrestling history are firmly entrenched.

“I know we’ll always look back and think that’s a pretty awesome duo right there,” Nass said. “They’re pretty tough to beat.”

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