Falcon wrestlers start season

"ScheduleDec. 2 Meadowdale Away 7 p.m. varsity 6 p.m. JVDec. 4 Jamboree Home 10 a.m. 10 a.m.Dec. 7 Jackson Away 7:30 p.m. 6 p.m.Dec. 9 Nooksack/Mt. Baker Lakewood 7 p.m. 6 p.mDec. 11 Bellevue Christian Tourney Away TBA n/gDec. 11 Snohomish Tourney Away n/g TBADec. 15 Lakewood/Meridian Blaine 7 p.m. 5:30 p.m.Dec. 20 Darrington Away 7 p.m. 6 p.mJan. 6 Lakewood Home 7 p.m. 6 p.m.Jan. 8 Shoreline Tourney Away TBA n/gJan. 8 Marysville Tourney Away n/g TBAJan. 13 Granite Falls Home 7 p.m. 6 p.m.Jan. 15 Arlington Tourney Away n/g TBAJan. 20 Sultan Away 7 p.m. 6 p.m.Jan. 22 Ferndale Tourney Away n/g TBAJan. 29 NCC Prelims Home 10 a.m. n/g Feb. 5 Conference Finals Away 10 a.m. n/gFeb. 12 Bi-District Away TBA n/gFeb. 18/19 State Away TBA n/gLast year, South Whidbey’s high school wrestlers knocked on the door to the state meet when they sent several of their number to the district finals.That was no small feat, as the Falcons were in the toughest district in the state when it comes to wrestling.This year, they are back -- bigger, stronger, and with most of their key grapplers still on board. And they get to compete against wrestlers from schools the same size as South Whidbey.What all this means, said Falcon head wrestling coach Mike Crebbin this week, is that the team could invade the Northwest Bi-District meet in January with wrestlers in nearly every weight class.But for the time being, Crebbin said his is intent on improving his wrestlers’ fitness and getting them ready for the regular season.“The came in in the best shape they’ve been so far,” Crebbin said. “I want them to be able to wrestle their butts off at the beginning.”And they will, in all weight categories. Crebbins said the team is deeper than usual in the middle and heavy weights thanks to some new recruits and natural growth among its veteran wrestlers. Senior Trevor Fleming, who made it into the district finals, will lead the big boys this year as he competes in the 215-pound division. Even bigger will be team rookie Daryl Imburgia, who is coming out as a 245-pound senior.Leaving the ranks of the team’s heaviest competitors is junior Chris Hezel, who will take his wild, exciting brand of wrestling down from last year’s 215 pounds to the 189-pound division.In the heavy middle and middle weights, Crebbin is going to have a lot of bodies. Senior Reuben Baker is back with his best form ever in the 160ish, 170ish divisions. Also set to do some damage in that area are junior Abe Baker, sophomore Brandon Hern, senior Chris Ford, and sophomore Chris Martin.On the lighter side of things, Luke Smith will look to make up for last season, when he sat out most of the year with an injury. The team’s brightest unknown, Bruce Hymas, could also help bring the team to the fore of the Northwest League with his work in the 100-pound plus-change divisions.“Pound for pound, he’s one of the strongest guys out there,” coach Crebbin said.Reuben Baker said he believes his team can go far in its new division. Work ethic and heart, he said, will take the team in force to the bi-district meet.“Everyone really likes working hard this year and it’s kind of scary,” Baker said.“This year, there’s a lot of heart,” said Chris Ford, backing his fellow senior. “”I just think we’re going to go real far this year.”Official meet action is not far off for the team, which promises to overwhelm early opponents by putting more than 20 wrestlers on the mat. The team’s first matchup is a dual meet with Meadowdale on Thursday, Dec. 2."

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