LMS winter teams roll

Though it doesn’t seem like winter outside, a couple groups of Langley Middle School athletes are still playing their winter games indoors.

With a week to go in the second half of the school’s winter athletic season, LMS Cougar teams are excelling in the Cascade League this season. Having dropped out of a grouping that LMS — which supports feeder athletic programs for a 2A high school — against 4A middle schools, the Cougars have been able to put together top-notch records in several sports this year.

Starting Feb. 2, the school’s girls basketball and wrestling teams started competing. Since that date, the wrestlers have won 10 dual meets, while the seventh-grade girls basketball team has gone 8-0. The eighth-grade girls team is 4-4.

Competing most recently at the middle school were the wrestlers, who dominated a Lakewood team 60-18 Monday afternoon. Winners for the Cougars included Mitchell Rueth, Caleb Nerison, James Schorr, Aaron Mannie, Brett Warwick, Levi Sawyers, Jordan Broyles, Justin LaClair, Trevor Romero, Kyle Hoch and Richard Rangel. Team coach Jim Thompson said having so many winners on his 21-member team is a boost to the athletes after spending several years getting beat up by big-school teams.

“We’re now the bad boys on the block,” he said.

One of the biggest of the small bad boys is Schorr, who has lost just one bout during the past two years. Thompson said that loss came on an injury default when Schorr, an eighth grader, started bleeding during a bout last season.

Representative of the team’s toughness on Monday was Aaron Mannie, who after being thrown and tied up in the opening seconds of his 100-pound bout fought back to take his showdown against Jordan Stauffer to a 14-14 tie in the third round. Mannie was awarded the victory in the closing seconds of the bout when Stauffer was called for his fourth penalty in the match, an illegal hold.

The team will close its season Thursday at the Cascade League finals at Granite Falls.

For the girls basketball teams, the end of the season comes even sooner. Both teams will play their final game of 2004 on Wednesday at Langley Middle School. After beating teams from Kings, Sultan, Granite Falls, Darrington and Lakewood this season, the eighth-grade girls will face down Coupeville Middle School for the second time.

The eighth-graders play at 3:45 p.m. Wednesday. The seventh-grade game begins at 4:45 p.m..

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