Mon., Jan. 23, 2017
Bill Pierce’s prep almanac: Moses Lake wrestling set standard for excellence
Moses Lake has had from its inception one of the premiere high school wrestling programs in the state of Washington.
The program, founded in 1952 by Ed Beardsley, was what other schools strived to emulate as they began their own wrestling programs. Most Spokane schools didn’t have wrestling until the late 1950s or early 1960s.
The Chiefs finished a narrow second to Pullman in 1957, and took another second-place finish the following year. In 1959 Moses Lake won its first state championship. After that, in a span of 10 years, the Chiefs took eight state titles, including five in a row from 1964 through 1968. Seven of the championships came before schools were split into classifications for wrestling.
While other schools excelled in football or basketball, wrestling has been the dominant sport at Moses Lake High over the past six decades.
Ron Siebel coached the team for 28 years, retiring in 2005. During his tenure the school won 9 state titles, and finished second 7 times. His league dual meet record during that time was 227-7-2, overall, 408-32-2. In 1987, under his sponsorship, a separate wrestling room was constructed at the school as a place where wrestlers could work out without competing for gym space with basketball. It became known as the “Seibadome.” One wall lists the names of over 200 individuals who have placed at state, along with team accomplishments.
The WIAA and Central Washington Sports Hall of Fames have recognized the Moses Lake wrestling program for the school’s long tradition of success in the sport.
The Chiefs have 16 state championships and 14 second-place finishes to date. In recent years they’ve battled another school with a strong wrestling tradition, Lake Stevens, for the top spot. The two schools have traded off being one-two at state for the past three years.