The Borderite wrestlers placed second in the team standings at the Northwest 2A sub-regional tournament hosted by Squalicum high school last weekend (February 5-6). Burlington Edison was first, Lynden third, followed by Squalicum.
All the county 2A schools were represented along with Mount Vernon and Anacortes. Each school was allowed to enter two wrestlers per weight, with 14 weight classes; there were teams with full rosters of 28. The tournament was composed of 16-man brackets for each weight division. The gym was full of athletes and fans. The Borderites competed with 21 wrestlers, including Nick Barnes, Justin Belding, Eddie Fontes, Sheldon Hicks, Todd Freeman and Michael Macauley.
At the end of the two-day competition, 15 Borderites stood on the trophy platform, including Riley Lewis, 103, 8th; Tanner Foster, 135, 8th; Anthony Zavala, 140, 8th; Hootie Galindo, 145, 7th; Jacob Martinez, 160, 7th; and Caleb Johnson, 171, 8th.
Only the top five wrestlers in each weight class advance to the next level. Nine Borderite wrestlers will do just that at the 2A Regional Tournament being held at Cedarcrest high school on Saturday, February 13. The nine with hopes of state medals are Shaypher Hendricks, 119, 2nd; Tony Jordan, 125, 2nd; Kelton Nix, 125, 3rd ; Jamal Mallak, 130, 2nd; Camden Nix, 140, 2nd; AJ Pieczynski, 152, 3rd; Shaffer Hicks, 189, 2nd; and Joel Garza, 285, 5th.
Among those nine is Jeremy Holdaas, who was the champion at 215. Holdaas was the state runner up last year and is the favorite pick on all the blogs by many coaches and fans to win the state title this year.
Coach Craig Foster expressed satisfaction with his team’s performance. “District is always a tough one, and we’re glad to move on to the next level,” he said. Foster is confident that the team will do well at regionals and he expects all nine wrestlers to qualify for the state tournament, Mat Classic XXII, at the Tacoma Dome on February 19-20, where all high schools in the state, both boys and girls, compete in what is known as the ‘Big Show.’
Without hesitation, coach Foster said, “These guys have worked hard all year, probably harder than anyone in the state, including morning runs for the last two months. They’re ready.”
Photo by Kathryn Davidson-Nix