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WRESTLING PREVIEW | Nass hopeful that varsity voids can be filled
It would be an ominous statistic for some programs.
But even without any returning boys wrestlers who placed at state last year, South Kitsap coach Chad Nass likes the composition of his team.
“We feel like we’ve got a good nucleus coming back and a lot of young kids coming in,” he said. “It’s a really good, young sophomore class.”
Some notable upperclassmen returning seniors include Tristan Hartmann (195 pounds), Adam Lutovsky (145) and Joel Sherman. Hartmann returns to the program after being sidelined last season because of an injury. His older brother, Conner, won the Class 4A state title in 2011 at 189 pounds and now wrestles at Duke University. Both Hartmann and Sherman were state wrestlers in 2012.
“They’re ready to go in there and hopefully go out with a bang,” Nass said.
Those are not the only seniors he is excited about. Led by Damien Medeiros, who was second at 285 pounds, four seniors placed at state last year. Because of that talent, Nass said some quality wrestlers were relegated to junior varsity.
“Some of our seniors have been behind guys, so they’re kind of under the radar,” he said. “It’s good to see them finally have their moment.”
They will face plenty of competition for those varsity spots. Buoyed by the addition of freshmen competing at the high school, Nass said the Wolves had 80 wrestlers tryout.
“It’s been wonderful,” he said. “It makes for long practice days, but you don’t mind it because it will pay off in the end. Their season will be longer and they will get more matches against a lot of competition.”
South has lacked depth in its lower weight classes in recent years, but Nass said that won’t be an issue this season. He expects sophomores Isaac Santos (106), Deion Anderson (113), Angelo Trujillo (120) and Brandon Forster (126) to fill those areas of the depth chart.
“Last year we didn’t have depth at the lower levels,” said Nass, noting that both of his wrestlers at 106 last season weighed about 90 pounds and had no wrestling experience. “Now we have depth.”
Those wrestlers and others will look to gain experience in a schedule that is similar to last season. They already have competed in the Auburn Invitational and are scheduled to participate in the Olympic Dream Duals and Hammerhead Tournament — both in Silverdale — later this month. South also will travel Jan. 3-4 to the Pacific Coast Tournament at Hudson’s Bay High School in Vancouver.
The Wolves also will face the other six teams in 4A Narrows, including Jan. 30 against Yelm. Last season, the Tornados defeated South 47-15. It ended South’s 189 dual-league match winning streak. The last school in the league to defeat the Wolves during the regular season was North Thurston in December 1992.
On the girls side, senior Amberlee Brasch returns. Brasch became the first female in South history to place at state when she pinned Kelso’s Mykal Bacon to finish fifth in 2012. Brasch also advanced to state last season, but did not place.
Saturday Olympic Dream Duals
Tuesday Gig Harbor
Dec. 20-21 Hammerhead Tournament
Jan. 3-4 Pacific Coast Tournament
Jan. 7 Central Kitsap
Jan. 9 Bellarmine Prep
Jan. 16 at Olympia
Jan. 18 Matman Classic
Jan. 25 South Kitsap Invitational
Jan. 30 Yelm
Coach: Chad Nass, 10th year
Key returners: Joseph Barnum (152) sr., Amberlee Brasch (137) sr., Donald Firman (182) sr., Ridge Gilbertson (160) jr., Kyle Kennedy (220) sr., Adam Lutovsky (145) sr., Liam O’Brien (285) sr., Ryan Rea (132) jr., Joel Sherman (138) sr., Jake Stanley (170) sr.
Key newcomers: Deion Anderson (113) so., Brandon Forster (126), so., Tristan Hartmann (195), sr., Isaac Santos (106) so., Angelo Trujillo (120) so.
Key departures: Michael Beard (182) graduated, Bryce Broome (170) graduated, Ben deLacy (145) graduated, Adam Gascoyne (152) graduated, Sean Lutovsky (132) graduated, Damien Medeiros (285) graduated, Sam Skinner (160) graduated, Illya Tsveytkov (195) graduated.