Wolves get off to quick start in Auburn Invite

If there was any rust to be knocked off, the South Kitsap wrestling team wasted little time in doing just that Saturday.

The Wolves sent six individuals into the finals of the Auburn Invitational and came away with five titles in finishing second as a team to get the 2004-2005 season under way.

“We knocked the cobwebs off,” SK co-head coach xxxx Dyess said. “We had a good day.”

South placed second to Auburn in the team standings. Auburn scored 189 points to South’s 157.5 while Auburn Riverside was third at 113.5.

South got individual titles from Josiah Kipperberg, Brandon Kelly, Kyle Coppinger, Brent Chriswell and Kyle Saltsgaver, while Garrett Lyman placed second.

The Wolves’ Rodger Nutall placed third in his weight class while Brady Winslow and Mike Landin each finished fourth.

“The things we didn’t work on in practice, they showed,” Dyess said. “But we wouldn’t go back and change anything. It was a good day. We feel very good about it. It was a good start to the year.”

It was a very good day for the three Wolves who qualified for the state tournament last year, as all three — Kelly, Coppinger and Chriswell — won their weight classes.

“It was all right, but I know I can improve on stuff,” Kelly said. “It was an OK day.”

Kelly took the title in the 135-pound division with a 16-6 win over Beau Tirschbacher of Anacortes, dominating the match from start to finish.

“I think we can build on this,” Kelly said. “Once we get in a lot of tournaments and matches, we’ll start improving a lot.”

Saltsgaver was equally dominant in pinning Brian Bonner of Anacortes three minutes into his 215-pound match. Saltsgaver, just a junior, looked leaner and quicker than he did last year.

“I felt really good – I felt in shape,” Saltsgaver said. “I’m going to go home, eat a lot and then work it back off.”

Chriswell, who placed second at state last year at 160 pounds, had no trouble winning the 171-pound class, pinning Jason Healy of Auburn 1:05 into his match.

Chriswell seemed to toy with his opponent a bit before taking him down for the easy pin.

Coppinger defeated Jason Redding of Auburn-Riverside 9-4 to take the 140-pound title, but the match wasn’t as close as the score as Coppinger had his man close to a pin for the entire third period.

“For Kyle, that’s a good one, a good one to build on,” Dyess said. “It’s a good stepping stone for where he needs to go.”

Kipperberg got the finals off to a good start for the Wolves, pinning Matt Sencebaugh of Auburn to win the 103-pound class.

The Wolves faced Bellarmine Prep last Tuesday and will send its junior varsity team to the Olympic Tournament Friday before facing off against Peninsula Dec. xx.

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