SVSJ preview: Mount Si High School wrestling team looks to be among the contenders this winter in Kingco 4A

EDITOR’S NOTE: This morning we are wrapping up our winter high school sports preview series by hitting the mat and taking a look at Mount Si High School’s wrestling team.

Mount Si High School’s wrestling team practices last week in their new dedicated practice room at the school. This dedicated room replaced an old, converted weight room which served as the practice facility in the old Mount Si gymnasium, now demolished. (Rhett Workman/SVSJ)

Mount Si High School’s wrestling team is going to make some noise this winter. With a new dedicated facility to call their own at the high school, Mount Si, with a half-dozen state participants – including one champion – back from last season’s team, is slated to be among the top teams in Kingco 4A.

Tony Schlotfeldt returns as coach this season, for his 10th year split across two stints at the helm of the Wildcat team. Junior Tryon Kaess is back to defend his state title from last season and knows that to get back, he has to go the extra mile. “Probably just putting in extra work, even when you don’t want to,” he said. “Don’t make excuses for yourself.”

Schlotfeldt is expecting a lot from his group of top returners, which also include state participants Mark Marum, Braedon Haynie, Brody Belaire, Jaeden Durham and Luke Harper, all with the exception of Durham juniors; Durham is a senior and likely the top senior returner. “Hopefully we get some good leadership from our kids that have made it to state,” he said. “We need to make sure that we just still set goals and work hard and adhere to the process and not lose sight of what the process is and that is hard work.”

There is also a newcomer to watch – Benton Grisso, expected to also compete in the lighter to middle weight divisions, and is expected to be a key contributor. “He’s got a lot of experience in the youth level as a club wrestler,” Schlotfeldt said. “I’m sure he’s going to do really well for us.”

The coach expects both Issaquah and North Creek to be the teams to beat this season in the conference, but with the solid talent Mount Si has back, look for the Wildcats to be right there when all is said and done.

Haynie aims to make it back to state and knows he has things he needs to do to be successful. “I know what I did wrong last year, so I’m just going to focus on what I did wrong and then not just focus on what I’m doing right,” he said.

The regional format has Kingco this year taking on teams from central Washington’s Big 9 conference, including Wenatchee, Eastmont, Moses Lake and Davis from Yakima. To that end, Schlotfeldt has scheduled a couple of Saturday meets over that direction this year – one over winter break at Eastmont’s campus in East Wenatchee and also a return trip to the Best of the West Invitational, a meet over in the Tri-Cities which features a lot of wrestlers from the east side of the state. Belaire likes what facing these opponents can do to help the Wildcats in Kingco competition. “Makes us better. We go wrestle them, they’re tough, they get in our skin, they make us better,” he said. Schlotfeldt added, “Their style of wrestling is fun. They’re real tough in the lighter weights and that’s kind of where our strenghts lie this year so we wanted to make sure we were targeting those areas of strength.”

The team has hired a new assistant coach and also for the first time ever has its own practice facility as part of the new high school. In the old gymnasium, the team was upstairs in what had been for years the weight room, in what was in some years pretty cramped quarters. Now, the dedicated room allows for a lot more things to be done, helping make the program better. “It’s awesome. We can fit two full mats in here now and it’s all wall padded and with wall padding, the amount of drills you can do has just shot out the roof,” Schlotfeldt said, and the padded walls also help improve athlete safety during practices; in the previous digs there was no padding on the walls and only room to fit one large mat.

Mount Si opens its season on Thursday hosting both Newport and Interlake starting at 6:00 p.m., then has another one of these at home January 16 followed by Senior Night, tentatively scheduled for January 28. Home meets are at Mount Si’s main gymnasium in Snoqualmie.

Rhett Workman

About Rhett Workman

Rhett Workman is the editor of the Snoqualmie Valley Sports Journal. Workman is a veteran sports journalist, having covered Snoqualmie Valley sports for nearly a decade with the Snoqualmie Valley Record newspaper before starting up the SVSJ. Workman's coverage has earned the support and respect of Valley coaches, players, parents and fans, and the SVSJ continues the standard of coverage that Workman brought to the Valley Record.
This entry was posted in Previews, Wrestling/Gymnastics. Bookmark the permalink.