SVSJ preview: CHS wrestling branches out and now has full teams for both the boys and the girls, and success is expected with both teams this season

EDITOR’S NOTE: We close out our Valley high school sports preview series this morning hitting the mat once more, with Cedarcrest High School’s team, as it evolves into a full operation for both the boys and the girls. We thank all of the coaches from all of the Mount Si and Cedarcrest winter sports teams – MSHS’ Jason Griffith (boys basketball), Jason Marr (girls’ basketball), Tony Schlotfeldt (wrestling) and Kelly Loranger (gymnastics) along with CHS’ Joe Ayers (boys’ basketball), Brad Knowles (girls’ basketball), Mark Ward (boys’ wrestling) and Jeff Keener (girls’ wrestling) for their assistance in getting us information for the previews. We wish all the teams good luck this winter and we invite you to check in each morning for the latest news from Valley high school winter sports!

Cedarcrest High School’s wrestling program continues to evolve. The Red Wolves have been among the stalwarts at the 2A level in Washington state high school wrestling for years, but last season saw the program grow and branch out in signifcant ways, welcoming in a strong group of girl wrestlers who all had success and blazed a trail for their peers to try the sport. Well, the program this season has enough girls’ turnout that it has formed two full squads, both with different coaches, for the boys and girls. We’ll take a look at what to expect for both teams in our preview.

Red Wolve boys young, but have pieces to make a run this season
With just three seniors, according to coach Mark Ward, back for his sixth season at the helm of the Red Wolves, the team is in a bit of a re-tooling mode. But watch junior Matt Weinert. Weinert will be competing at 195 lbs., but Ward expects a lot out of the multi-sport athlete (he also plays football). “Weinert is a captain this year and has done an outstanding job stepping into the role. He is looking to improve on his 4th place finish his freshman year,” Ward told us by email.

The coach also indicated fans should also keep an eye on sophomore Evan Reid, competing at 132 lbs., and junior Mac Miles, at 220. Both guys were praised by Ward for their work ethic. “Evan Reid is a hard working kid that is trying to make his way to the podium this year,” the coach told us. “Mac Miles is a kid with no quit.”

The senior group this fall is not as experienced as in past years, so whether they end up making a significant impact this fall is too early to tell. Wes Gadbois, at 138 lbs., Dallas Carrier, at 160 and Shad Mills, competing at 170, are the three Red Wolve seniors on the team this season.

As it is, the coach understands that his program is in re-tool mode, and says fans have to think long-term. “(The goal is to) get better every day. We have an extremely young team. We want to have a winning record in the conference and make the top 15 at state. As a team we have our sights on next season. That’s when we feel we can compete for a Wesco title,” Ward told us. Teams to watch will include, among others, Archbishop Murphy, Edmonds-Woodway and Mountlake Terrace.

CHS girls go it alone as a full-fledged program for first time in school history
With 11 girls who turned out this season, the Red Wolve girls’ program had enough competitors to field a full squad, and as such, have a coach to call their own. Jeff Keener is his name and he is excited about what the season entails.

“We have a lot of very determined girls that work hard and we’re looking forward to (a great season),” Keener told us.

Juniors Jessica Wonder and Abby Link along with sophomores Olivia Hillestad and Abby Varady, who made state last season, are the top returners. This foursome broke the barrier last season turning out for the Red Wolve program and while Varady was the only one who made it to state, the remaining group all were having success as well until injuries ended their seasons. Freshman Alyssa Adams is the top newcomer to the team, who will have a different schedule than the boys will.

With very limited information on the conference landscape, it’s not clear as to how CHS will fare in Wesco, but they are likely among the few schools with full girls teams in the conference and as such should compete for a league title.

Schedule format differences for CHS boys and girls
While the Red Wolve boys have their traditional diet of mid-week matches in Wesco Conference action along with Saturday tournaments, Cedarcrest’s girls have a mix of league action, tournaments, and so-called “scrambles” which effectively operate as mini-tournaments.

Girls: Their season opens tomorrow night with a road test facing both Marysville schools, Marysville-Pilchuck and Marysville-Getchell, at M-G’s campus up north, then continues on Saturday with a jamboree in Sedro-Woolley. They have one home meet this year, one of those “scramble” events and it will be on January 16, as the Red Wolve ladies face Jackson, Mariner, Stanwood and Kamiak. The meet begins at 6:00 p.m. The tournaments feature an event in Everett December 14, then a tournament up in Lynden December 20 and 21. More information on their schedule is at the Wesco Conference website, wescoathletics.com.

Boys: Like with the girls, the boys open their season tomorrow night, also facing Marysville-Getchell up at M-G. Their home schedule starts next Monday when they host Mount Vernon, then continues next Thursday hosting Arlington, and that will be their last home match until January 23. Tournament action starts on Saturday with their traditional trip to the White River Classic in Buckley, and they also this year will be compering in two other tournaments they’re regulars at each season – the King of the Mountain up in Darrington and the Lindbergh Invitational in Renton. They’ve also scheduled trips to the Wilfong Classic, December 14 in Puyallup, and the South Kitsap tourney on January 25 in Port Orchard. Schedule information for them as well is at the above-mentioned Wesco Conference website.

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.
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