Narrows win streak reaches 100

South Kitsap wrestling coach Ron Hudiburg couldn’t help but smile Thursday night as he stood in the Bremerton High School gymnasium.

His Wolves had just set the mark of 100 consecutive Narrows League dual wins in a remarkable streak that began in December 1992, when all the kids he put on the Knights’ mat for a 72-6 victory were still in elementary school.

The road to 100 was easy in the mid-1990s, when South dominated the then-smaller Narrows League.

But with the addition of the former Olympic League schools and more talented wrestlers popping up in other programs, it hasn’t been easy keeping the streak alive.

“The last three years, we’ve had some close ones that were one point or hinged on just one match, and we had to go out and get the job done,” Hudiburg said, noting that Capital, Peninsula and Central Kitsap came close to ending the streak. “It’s all who you put on that mat that day. There’s so many intangibles — injuries, illness, grades — you just never know. It’s hard to keep the same 14 kids on the mat all the time.”

To keep the pressure off the team, Hudiburg said he’s downplayed the run to 100 this season.

“We haven’t talked about it much,” he said. “In years past, we always wrote down the number in the room, but we haven’t done that this year. We just didn’t do it. I think I’ll put No. 100 up there because that’s kinda neat.”

The Wolves understand what the win represents. Devon Spencer, a 215-pounder who won the sportsmanship award and his match against Bremerton’s Berry Sykes with a last-minute pin, credited not just this year’s team, but all his predecessors in the maroon singlets.

“To me it’s something to show how hard we’ve worked throughout the years and how hard everyone else before us has worked,” said Spencer, a crowd favorite. “We’ve all worked hard for this.”

Bremerton got the first win of the night when 140-pound Dustin Heistand pinned Doug Sacrison in 3 minutes, 10 seconds. But then South took over and reeled up seven pinfalls, three wins by forfeit and three decisions.

“Considering who we were wrestling, I knew we were going to lose,” Bremerton coach Jeff Barton said. “To be No. 100, I wish was anybody else but us. I didn’t want to be 100, but that’s how it goes sometimes.

“South is really tough this year,” he continued. “They’ve always had some good kids, but up and down the lineup they look tough all-around. They didn’t have any weak kids out there at all.”

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