Greater Spokane League
Outlook: Mt. Spokane is given a slight nod to win its first league championship. University, which has won the last two, has captured four of the last six titles. U-Hi, Central Valley, North Central and Mead figure to have a say in the league race. … Mt. Spokane, which won the season-opening Deer Park Invite last weekend, returns state champ Alec Hoover (120 pounds) and state placers Andrew Hoover (3rd, 126), Alec’s twin brother, Jake Howerton (3rd, 106) and Morgan Ruegsegger (5th, 152). The Wildcats took third in the State 3A tournament, just behind runner-up North Central. Mt. Spokane coach Travis Hughes cites strong senior leadership as an asset. … For the first time in coach Phil McLean’s memory, Mead doesn’t return a state placer. Trevor Senn is the lone state veteran. He was a Cadet All-American last summer. “Mead is young and eager,” McLean said. “Right now we have two seniors in the starting lineup and will be mainly depending on a talented freshmen and sophomore group.” … Central Valley returns a solid core, but what offsets the retirement of coach John Owen is his replacement – Shaun Williams, who coached Hermiston to three straight state titles. CV brings back state champ Bryson Beard (120) and his brother Bridger Beard (4th, 126) along with a handful of other state qualifiers. Williams is pleased with the foundation Owen established. … NC has had a nice two-year run, winning state two years ago and finishing 1.5 points out of a repeat last year. Clai Quintanilla (113) is seeking a third straight state title. Bryan Wais (4th, 160) and Steven Kindya (7th, 120) return. Also back is senior Amanda Gilliam (115), a two-time state placer. Coach Luke Leifer said Gilliam has made the starting lineup. “We’ll be a tough tournament team,” Leifer said. “We have a few superstars that will score big points. For duals we have a few holes.” … Lewis and Clark returns heavyweight Noah Buckley, who placed fourth last year. He’s looking forward to the season because U-Hi’s Tate Orndorff has finally graduated. “If we can fill the four lower weights and stay injury free, we will have the best team in my tenure,” said coach Matt Orndorff, who is in his sixth season. “We are returning 10 starters from last year.” … Cam Sorensen (132), a two-time runner-up and three-time placer, Levi Meinzinger (181), a runner-up last year, and Tyler Rickel (4th, 195), headline U-Hi’s lineup. “Talent-laden upper weights,” coach Don Owen said. “We have a balanced lineup and could be tough in dual meets.” … Rogers returns Markus Robinson (5th, 220) and state qualifier Edward Smith (132). “Numbers are up around 50,” coach Rod Tamura said. “Better depth at more weights since we took over the program (three years ago).” … State placer Bryden Uyehara (6th, 145) returns for Shadle Park.
Great Northern League
Clarkston captured the State 2A title last year. The Bantams are heavy favorites to take the league title and repeat as state champs. They return state champs Spencer Clegg (113) and Dylan Beeler (220) and state placers Dalton Port (3rd, 106), Jake Freeman (4th, 106), Tanner Benton (4th, 126) and Hunter Sisemore (6th, 195). … East Valley brings back three-time state placer Trey Meyer, who was runner-up last year at 152, Logan Sundheim (2nd, 126) and Randy McDonald (7th, 120). “We will be pushing to win a GNL title,” coach Craig Hanson said. … West Valley returns one state placer, Drake Fergson (7th, 152). “Young team this year with only two seniors in the lineup,” coach Mike Bundy said. … Cheney returns two state placers – Devon Waterman (8th, 182) and Michael Ferguson (3rd, 220).
No league in the Eastern Washington area had as much success, top to bottom, as the Northeast A. It started with Freeman, which broke through for a storybook state title. Colville was runner-up and Deer Park finished fourth. The league produced eight state champs. Five NEA teams are ranked in the preseason top 10. The league is expected to fare well at the state level again this winter. … Colville is the pick to unseat three-time league and district champ Freeman. … Colville returns state champ TJ Baun (106) and Ryley Smith, runner-up at 160. The Indians added two transfers to their depth. “We have a nucleus of wrestlers who have wrestled and competed at a high level and they hope to transition that into success at the state level,” coach Randy Cloke said. … Freeman, a two-time state academic champ, will likely see its 20-match dual streak end. But the Scotties return talent. They bring back placers Sebastian Hyta (2nd, 195), Peyton Smetana (4th, hwt), Noah Vetter (4th, 132) and Hunter Ness (8th, 106). “We don’t have the depth we’ve had the past four years,” coach Chad Ripke said. “But we have quality in the room. We won’t be the dual team that we’ve been, but should be a good tournament team.” … Deer Park returns two-time state champ Trevor Eicher (220) and state placers Seth Hoog (4th, 113), Dean Lockwood (5th, 138) and Tysen Jorgensen (6th, 132). “If our young kids wrestle to their potential, we should be in contention in Tacoma,” coach Matt Jorgensen said. … Lakeside brings back two-time state champ Dalton Young (120), who has yet to lose, state champ Garrett Brown (152) and placer Cole Ahrendt (7th, 132). “With a tough group of returners and a promising freshman class, we are excited to see what this team can do,” coach Brad Perry said. … Justin Newby takes over as coach at Chewelah. The Cougars return twin brothers Matthew and John Crise, both middle weight runners-up last year, along with placer Conner Krouse (5th, 195). … Newport, under second-year coach Steffen Ellison, has a young team. … Medical Lake has a new coach, Josh Edmondson. The Cardinals have no returning state placers. “The success this year will not be measured in the number of matches won but rather in our ability to come together as a team and community, building a strong foundation for our future in the sport,” Edmondson said.
Nine B state placers from the region return led by state champ Justin Chantry of Selkirk (113). The other placers are: Randy Dixon of Springdale (3rd, 106), Reggie Jones of Colfax (2nd, 145), Ian Hunton of Davenport (4th, 182), Cody Hoffman of Selkirk (2nd, 195) and Caleb Cole (3rd, 120), Justis Anderson (2nd, 138), Michael Sims (2nd, 160) and Josey Anderson (2nd, 182) of Reardan, which placed second at state.
5A Inland Empire League
Defending state champ Post Falls returns six state placers including state champs Alius De La Rosa (138) and TJ Wolf (132). The other placers are Jordan Grimm (3rd, 98), Matt McLeod (2nd, 106), Braydon Huber (2nd, 113) and Bradley Noesen (6th, 195). “We definitely have a shot (at a repeat) but we’re not a shoe in,” coach Pete Reardon said. … Coeur d’Alene returns three state placers – Kaleb Maciosek (5th, 106), Dylan Lockwood (4th, 132) and Vince Rey (6th, 182). “If we get the kids into the correct weight classes and stay injury free, we will be a very competitive team,” coach Jeff Moffat said. … Lake City and Lewiston return no state placers.
4A Inland Empire League
The quality of wrestling here improved measurably last season. … It will be a tug of war for the regional title between Lakeland and Sandpoint. … Lakeland returns state champ Larry Johnson (113) and placers Bryan Edelblute (5th, 113), Tyler Siegford (6th, 120) and Jared Walker (3rd, 170). “We are very young, but have a lot of talent down below,” coach Rob Edelblute said. “Many of our kids have been through the club program and wrestle off season.” … Sandpoint brings back state champ Casey Randles (170) and runners-up Tyler Presser (160) and Jacob Williams (195). … Moscow breaks in another new coach, Shane Needham. He inherits a young team. “With this young team, the sky is the limit,” Needham said. “They have a great work ethic and we watch them improve every week.”
The league is young overall with few returning state placers. … Defending league and district champ Kellogg returns Tanner Figueroa (3rd, 120) and Dylan Huber (5th, 152). “We are lacking significant numbers but what we lack in depth we make up for in experience,” coach Scott Miller said. “We expect to be in the hunt to win the district and league titles once again.” … Timberlake brings back state placer Noah Herbert (5th, 98). “We only have one returning state placer but we have 14 wrestlers that have qualified for state in their careers,” coach Kelly Amos said. … Bonners Ferry returns state placer Caleb Gering (6th, 220). … Priest River returns state placer Gregory Fitzmorris (3rd, 182).
St. Maries returns Hayden Humphrey, a state runner-up last year at 126. He will reach 100 career wins this season. “We’re a very young team,” coach Dennis Humphrey said. “We will be very competitive by midseason and look to get a fourth straight district title.”
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