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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Season preview of wrestling

GSL outlook

U-Hi coach Don Owen believes all four GSL 3A teams, U-Hi, NC, Shadle and Mt. Spokane, could be among the top 10 in state. “Mt. Spokane is going to be the best it has been in a long time,” he said. “NC has most of its kids back, Shadle has almost all its kids back and we have a good share of our kids back.” Figuring out how to get more than two wrestlers per weight into a regional is the rub. … Mead and CV will dominate among six 4A teams. … A fifth Owen joins the area coaching ranks. Tommy Owen (U-Hi, 2001, a four-time state finalist with three titles) takes over at CV and will butt heads with uncles Don (U-Hi) and Tim (Ferris). His dad, John, is at West Valley and cousin Corey heads Lake City in Coeur d’Alene.

Wrestlers to watch

Sixteen state-placers return. Mead has state champs Jordan Rogers (2009) and Jeremy Golden (last year), plus sixth-place Tyler McLean, coach Phil McLean’s son. … CV’s Jarod Maynes is seeking his fourth state medal and the Bears added transfer Brenton Beard, fifth at State 2A with Riverside. … Besides Dustin Johnson and Jake Laden, Titans placers are Tyler Clark (third), Brandon Byers (fourth) and Brandon Matlock (eighth). … NC, third at state in 3A, has runners- up Jared Berlinger and Anthony Whitmarsh; Shadle Park has Darren Bunke (fifth) and Dylan Lemery (seventh); Mt. Spokane has Austin Pea (eighth) and Ferris has Russell Stinson (seventh).

What coaches say

“We feel we have two kids who can make the finals of every tournament and the best freshman in the state who will only get better with experience,” - Tommy Owen, CV. … “I see our season as being very competitive. We may be a better tournament team,” - Phil McLean, Mead. …”We are hoping to possibly knock off some of the tougher teams. We should have a great tournament team,” - Luke Leifer, NC. … “We return six regional wrestlers and three state wrestlers. This is the first group of seniors my coaching staff has had for four years,” - Shawn Howard, Shadle.

GNL outlook

The Deer Park Stags are three-time defending State 2A champions and the GNL got tougher with the arrival of perennial 3A power East Valley. DP teammates Jake Konzal and Cole Harris, finalists at 103, will be in different weights this year and are among eight of the team’s state veterans. EV’s Knights have three state vets, including sixth-place Jaren Novakovich. “I feel we may have to grow into the GNL and 2A region,” EV coach Craig Hanson said. “If everyone does their part, we will be a solid team in postseason.” Cheney returns most of its team.

Wrestlers to watch

Besides the 1-2 finish of Harris and Konzal, Deer Park veterans back include former state champions and second-placers Billy Rhoads and Shawn Burton and Dylan Miller (third). … Cheney returns Duncan Rhoades and Logan Huckins (both fifth).

What coaches say

“We are ‘dualing’ U-Hi on Dec. 30, last year’s 4A state champs vs. last year’s 2A state champs. It should be exciting,” – Matt Jorgensen, Deer Park. … “We have four guys with state experience in the practice room and a few guys who were close. We only lost two varsity wrestlers from last year’s team.” – Wade Schlotter, Cheney. … “Numbers are good, enthusiasm is great and we are better than last year.” – John Owen, WV.

Northeast A outlook

It was a down year for 1A wrestlers last season, a big year for the area’s Class B. Lakeside (Nine Mile Falls) will be tested with the addition of Riverside and Colville. State 2B-1B champ Reardan returns eight state placers, five of them finalists.

What coaches say

“We only graduated a few kids and every athlete who was at the state tournament for us last year is back.” – Troy Hughes, Lakeside. … “We hope to give everyone a run for the league title. Being the new guys, we have to work hard to make that happen.” – Randy Miller, Riverside.

IEL 5A outlook

This should be an interesting year. Coeur d’Alene’s Vikings won the State 5A last year and return seven state placers, three of them finalists. Post Falls brings back five, including defending champion James Ost. Lewiston brings back six, including two-time titlist Casey George. “Coeur d’Alene and Post Falls are both odds-on favorites to win the state team title this year,” Lewiston coach Dan Maurer said. “(The Vikings) would be the first from the north to repeat since Sandpoint approximately 10 years ago.” The three schools all return quality state- and national-level athletes and Maurer expects four wrestlers from each weight to advance to state this year.

Wrestlers to watch

Vikings state placers from last season include runners-up Kenny Staub, Colin Comack and Johnny Peregrina, plus AJ Konda (fourth), Caleb Davis (fifth), Garrett Demers and Matt Howard (both sixth). … Post Falls placers are Ost, Nathan McLeod and Austin Wilson (both third), Tyler Booth (fourth) and Tyler Mahal (sixth). … Lewiston 2010 placers were George and Josh Carlton (both third), Zane Madruga (fourth) and Ryan Rigney (fifth).

What coaches say

“We have depth at the upper weights and inexperience in the lower weights. We should be a strong team if we stay healthy,” - Jeff Moffat, CdA. … “We have a good combination of young and experienced wrestlers and also some good upperclassmen who are leaders. We feel we have a great opportunity to bring home a trophy at the state tournament.” – Pete Reardon, Post Falls. … “Duals will be close and we should have some spectacular head-to-head matches. Lewiston is in a ‘reload’ position. – Dan Maurer, Lewiston. … “Since I took this program over in 2008, this is the oldest and most experienced team I have coached here. We are looking to compete closer than in the past,” - Corey Owen, Lake City.

IEL 4A, IML 3A outlook

Sandpoint’s Garret Belgarde was a state finalist last year, one of two state placers from North Idaho (Moscow’s Brad Bruce, who finished sixth, was the other). In 3A, Bonners Ferry returns champs Blaine Invernon and Trevor Hampton among three state placers. Kellogg has three placing returnees and Priest River two.

Greater Spokane 3. North Central7. Ferris
Predicted finish4. Central Valley8. Lewis and Clark
1. University5. Shadle Park9. Rogers
2. Mead6. Mt. Spokane10. Gonzaga Prep
Great Northern 2. East Valley5. West Valley
Predicted finish3. Cheney6. Medical Lake
1. Deer Park4. Clarkston7. Pullman
Northeast A 1. Lakeside4. Chewelah
Predicted finish2. Riverside5. Freeman
3. Colville6. Newport
Inland Empire 5A 1. Coeur d’Alene3. Lewiston
Predicted finish2. Post Falls4. Lake City
Inland Empire 4A 1. Sandpoint3. Moscow
Predicted finish2. Lakeland
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