GSL wrestling preview

Blake Beard returns for Central Valley to defend his state title. (Jesse Tinsley)
Blake Beard returns for Central Valley to defend his state title. (Jesse Tinsley)

The league may, overall, lack the power of a 4A Mead of recent years or defending State 3A champ University, but this much is sure – the GSL will be well represented at state. It may come in the form of several individual champions. CV, fourth last year, will challenge powerhouse Lake Stevens, the defending 4A state champ. U-Hi will have several top guns but probably won’t have the depth to challenge preseason favorite Sunnyside. … As far as league duals, CV is clearly the favorite. “CV definitely has a leg up on everybody,” U-Hi coach Don Owen said about his brother’s team. “I don’t think anybody can wrestle with them.” … “Don will sandbag like a bugger,” CV coach John Owen said. “U-Hi will be good.” But John Owen admits he likes what he sees. “Since I’ve been coaching in high school, this is the most excited I’ve been,” he said. “I don’t want to put a target on our back but I’m pleased with the summer and preseason work.” … Mt. Spokane, North Central and Mead will be in the mix, too. Mt. Spokane won the title at the Deer Park Invite on Saturday. … “This is one of the strongest groups we’ve ever had,” NC coach Luke Leifer said. “We have a number of kids that have a legitimate shot at a state title. This is the best group of incoming freshmen we’ve ever had.” … Three-time state champ Chandler Rogers, who was all but a lock to become Mead’s first four-time state champ, moved to Oklahoma this summer. Panthers coach Phil McLean lacks the returning headliner but he doesn’t lack depth. “We have 15 seniors and 21 juniors so we have good numbers of upperclassmen who have had some experience, and they are maturing as athletes,” McLean said. “They will be in the mix by the end of the year.”

Wrestlers to watch

4A: CV brings back two state champs, Colton Orrino and Blake Beard, and Bryson Beard, who took third. Younger brother Braedon Orrino, a freshman, was a national schoolboy champion. … Mason Ju was a state placer last year.

3A: U-Hi brings back state champ Tate Orndorff and state runners-up Cam Sorensen and Austin Stannard. … NC returns state champ Izaec Quintanilla and placers Bryson Pierce and Cody Kiourkas. Freshmen Clai Quintanilla and Bryan Wais were second and third respectively at schoolboy nationals this summer. … Kiegen Schauer and Tom Harvey of Mt. Spokane were state runners-up last season and Christian Nibarger was a placer.

Predicted order of finish7. Ferris
1. Central Valley4. North Central8. Shadle Park
2. Mt. Spokane5. Mead9. Rogers
3. University6. Lewis and Clark10. Gonzaga Prep

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