Inland Empire League
In predicted order of region finish
1995-96 record: 10-0
Coach: Dan Taylor
Years coaching: 5
Top returners: Jared Lawrence, junior, 119 pounds; Cody Crawford, jr., 125; Zach Vaughan, senior, 130; Brandon Larson, sr., 130; Mike McCabe, jr., 135; Shawn Garner, sr., 140-145; Pat Larson, sr., 152; Brian Omodt, sr., 160; A.J. Chubb, sr., 160-171; Joe Tuinstra, jr., 171; Jarad Vasquez, sr., heavyweight.
Newcomers: Jake Macdonald, freshman, 103; Bob Stafford, fr., 119; Damian Kins, fr., 130; Josh Harvey, jr., 135; Sterling Neville, jr., 145.
Coach’s comment: “We’ve got our solid core, but we’ve got some kids underneath, too. If they take care of each other the team will take care of itself. We’re going to know that we’ve given our best at the end of the year.”
Outlook: State champs until they’re knocked off. Four-peat? Mark it down, engrave the state title trophy. Two years ago, Sandpoint sent 10 to state and all 10 placed. The Bulldogs hope to send 15 or more this year and Taylor figures the number of wrestlers scoring points at state and even placing will reach double figures.
Post Falls Trojans
1995-96 record: 2-12-1
Coach: Dennis Amende
Years coaching: 7
Top returners: Al Mack, jr., 103 pounds; Chris Booth, sr., 125; Nick McLean, jr., 160; Bryan Roberts, sr., 171; Justin Meacham, jr., 189; Matt Smith, jr., hwt.
Newcomers: Mark Valente, jr., 130; Luke Smith, so., 140; Jeff Hughes, so., 145; Sean Tracy, jr., 152; Clint Dobson, so., 152.
Coach’s comment: “We’ll be better than we were last year, but we still have a long way to go. At this point in the kids’ careers, it’s the best young squad I’ve had. They expect to be better this year. If the kids progress as I anticipate, they’ll be real good at the end.”
Outlook: Bright. Whether it’s enough to catch Sandpoint in the chase for the regional championship (a smaller tournament than state where points aren’t as spread out) remains to be seen. The Trojans have had a lock on third for some time, but will challenge the Lewiston Bengals for runners-up honors. Mack will bid to become a two-time state champion.
1995-96 record: 11-5
Coach: Dave Harrington
Years coaching: 12
Top returners: Jason Herbert, jr., 103; Scott Hoogland, jr., 112; Derek Johnson, sr., 135; Doug Jackson, sr., 140-145; Charlie Evers, sr., 152; Laki Ah Hi, sr., hwt.
Newcomers: Willie Wicks, so., 125; Scott Wimer, so., 130-135; Devid Steen, so., 160-171; Mike Frei, jr., 189.
Coach’s comment: “The majority of the lineup is new to varsity so we have to find a new chemistry, a new identity. And the other thing you always worry about is keeping kids eligible.”
Outlook: Fair to bright. Don’t let Harrington fool you. His team will challenge for a high placing at regionals. The future is even brighter. He has 20 freshmen and has solid turnouts in the junior high. “The freshmen and eighth-graders are maybe the most gifted kids I’ve ever had,” Harrington said.
Coeur d’Alene Vikings
1995-96 record: 1-17
Coach: Pat Corbett
Years coaching: 3, 2nd at CdA
Top returners: Andy Vredenberg, so., 125; Al Ramirez, jr., 135; Dusty Gatten, sr., 171; Nick Primmer, sr., 189; Max Peebles, sr., hwt.
Newcomers: David Rude, so., 112; Mike Schauble, jr., 130; Russell Isaacson, sr., 145; Aurel Balinsky, fr., 152; Brandon Cox, sr., 160.
Coach’s comment: “I’m the most optimistic since (the split). We should win some duals, should challenge some of the schools on any given night. We’ve got some athletes, they just need experience.”
Outlook: Same situation as Lake City. CdA and LC could flip-flop and they should stage an interesting dual. The Vikings are especially strong in the upper weights and have a logjam between 125 and 140. Peebles, Gatten, Primmer and Ramirez will challenge for state medals.
Lake City Timberwolves
1995-96 record: 1-13-1
Coach: Pat Whitcomb
Years coaching: 6, 3rd at LC
Top returners: Sean Haler, jr., 119; Mike Herrick, jr., 125; Brian Landers, jr., 130; Nick Geren, sr., 135; Cody Persling, jr., 145; Braxton Brandenburg, so., 152; Conner Duff, jr., 152; Todd Jost, sr., 152.
Newcomers: Ryan Adams, so., 112; Ty Miller, jr., 145-152; Brian Ross, sr., 160; Ben Orsua, jr., 160; Andy Spink, jr., 171; Brian Kelso, jr., 189.
Coach’s comment: “We’re finally going to be average. We’re certainly not a state championship team, but we’ll earn what we deserve through hard work. It didn’t matter how hard we worked the past two years. We’ll win some dual meets that we couldn’t in the past.”
Outlook: Work in progress. Solid junior and freshman classes mean the future isn’t too far away for the Timberwolves - much like the football program. The turnout has doubled since the first season (1994). Good things are around the corner, but a handful of T-Wolves hope to experience good things by season’s end.
, DataTimes MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story: WRESTLERS TO WATCH Al Mack, junior, 103 pounds, Post Falls Scott Hoogland, junior, 112, Lewiston Jared Lawrence, junior, 119, Sandpoint Brandon Larson, senior, 130, Sandpoint Pat Larson, senior, 152, Sandpoint Laki Ah Hi, senior, heavyweight, Lewiston
This sidebar appeared with the story: WRESTLERS TO WATCH Al Mack, junior, 103 pounds, Post Falls Scott Hoogland, junior, 112, Lewiston Jared Lawrence, junior, 119, Sandpoint Brandon Larson, senior, 130, Sandpoint Pat Larson, senior, 152, Sandpoint Laki Ah Hi, senior, heavyweight, Lewiston