Three state participants return to buoy the chances of the South Whidbey High School wrestling team in 2019-20.
Returning are state qualifiers senior Dylan Davis and juniors Caleb McArthur and Drew Aposhyan.
Aposhyan is a two-time state participant and was one spot from reaching the podium last winter.
McArthur is “hungry for a podium stand” and Davis is “looking strong to make a good run a state” this year, according to coach Robbie Bozin.
Davis is ranked seventh in the 285-pound division in the preseason 1A state poll by the Washington Wrestling Report.
The Falcons’ strength is their experience, according to Bozin. Leading the way is a strong senior class, which returns Dayton Birchfield, Aiden Coleman, Nicole Helseth and Davis.
“I’m looking forward to winning more dual matches and getting them all to the Mat Classic (Washington Wrestling State Championships) in Tacoma,” Bozin said.
Key newcomers, according to Bozin, are freshmen Jade Rempa and Brody Nelson, up from the middle school program, and a trio new to the sport, junior Simon Ule and freshmen Hugh Foster and Royce Christopherson.
“(We are) excited to have them in the mat room, learning and competing at the high-school level,” Bozin said.
The goals this year, according to Bozin, are to compete in all weight classes, win more duals than last year, improve as wrestlers both on and off the mat and earn podium finishes for this year’s state qualifiers.
The Falcons (3-3 in dual meets last year) open the season at Granite Falls (5-3) at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5.
South Whidbey competes in the first of five tournaments when it goes to the George Yonlick Tournament hosted by Bellingham High School at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 7.
The Falcons do not host a match until Thursday, Jan. 16, when Friday Harbor and Darrington visit for a 5 p.m. double dual meet.