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For Wolves, the wrestling season starts in the post-season
There’s no more questions about “the streak” now that the regular season has ended.
And that’s just fine with Chad Nass.
“Everything prior to the postseason is kind of practice,” South Kitsap’s wrestling coach said. “It will be nice to kind of get out there ... we can kind of work toward our goals.”
After winning their 160th consecutive dual league match with a 39-26 victory Jan. 28 at Central Kitsap to conclude the regular season, the Wolves compete at 5 p.m. today and 10 a.m. Saturday in sub-regionals at Foss High School.
South has 26 wrestlers competing in the event. The top five in each weight class advance to next Saturday’s regionals at Olympia High School.
The Wolves sent 14 competitors to regionals last year, but Nass feels they can do even better this season despite a less-experienced team.
“If we could get 18 or more, that would be a great sub-regional tournament,” he said. “If we wrestle to our capability, we could potentially get that many. We would have to have a lot of things go in our favor, but it’s feasible.”
Nass said that’s partially because the Narrows League has improved this season. Even rebuilding teams, such as Shelton, have wrestlers including Damion Shehan (152 pounds) and Jordan Frost (189), who are expected to contend for Mat Classic berths.
Seniors Adam Ferguson (130), Simon Kipperberg (119) and Joel Miner (112) and sophomore Terrill Wilson (112), who competed last year in Kansas, all advanced to state last season.
Nass said that while he’s confident in their prospects, it is important to advance to the championship round this weekend. That’s because the Wolves have a better draw against tougher competition, which will enhance their chance of advancing to Mat Classic. The top three placers from each weight class at regionals move on to state.
So he’s reminding everyone to pace themselves. The Wolves gained some experience with that in their come-from-behind win against Central. They won four of their final five matches to earn the victory. It was only the second match this season that South trailed in at any point.
“It’s kind of like a marathon race,” he said. “You don’t want to start out fast and slow way down. You want to make a big surge and finish strong.”
Nass also said the Wolves enter sub-regionals healthy for the first time in awhile. He said his team “had the flu bug going around,” but that’s passed.
Another wrestler, Spencer Ricketson (130), missed half of the season because of torn meniscus in his right knee. Nass thinks he has the potential to surprise at sub-regionals along with Charlie Murray (215) and JC Parker (189). Nass noted that Parker won a 7-4 decision in December against Bellarmine Prep’s Chad Kebba, who finished 7-3 in league matches.
“He’s so competitive,” Nass said. “He’s right in the mix with those guys.”
Nass also likes the progress several of his sophomores, including Kris Fenton (135) and Michael Neiner (171) among others, have made in addition to the rest of the program.
“I feel like we’re wrestling our best right now,” he said. “Hopefully we keep it going.”