Falcon grapplers face tough reality at recent tournament

South Whidbey’s wrestling team took a step backward over the holiday break, according to Falcon head coach Jim Thompson.

The Falcons struggled in the Brian Hill Tournament on Dec. 27 at Eastside Catholic High School, finishing 13th overall out of 19 teams. Thompson said the Falcons were not prepared physically or mentally, for which he took the blame. He said the team is going to ramp up the intensity during practice as it prepares for their ultimate goal of reaching the class 1A state wrestling championships in February.

“We’re not running tough enough practices right now,” Thompson said. “That’s up to me and (assistant coach) Paul (Newman) and it’s gonna happen. We’re gonna get after these guys. They’re gonna find out, if you can’t take it, get the hell out of my room.”

Falcon senior Hunter Newman suffered his first loss of the season after being pinned by Fife’s David Knight in the third period of the 145-pound championship bout.

Newman was joined on the podium by sophomore Aryeh Rohde (fifth, 132 pounds) and sophomore Alex Turner (fifth, 170 pounds).

Following the Sky Valley Invitational Jan. 7, South Whidbey faces Granite Falls at 6 p.m. on Jan. 11 at Erickson Gymnasium. It is the lone home match of the season for the Falcons and will be the last for the senior wrestlers.

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