SVSJ preview: Mount Si wrestling returns veteran cast, and with key coaching addition, could be among the best in Kingco this season

EDITOR’S NOTE: We here at the SVSJ would like to wish all of you a happy Thanksgiving. Before you sit down and watch some football and have some turkey and trimmings, we have our last Mount Si winter sports preview for  you now, wrestling, then coming up in a bit, we’ll take a quick look at Cedarcrest’s hoops outlook for both the boys and girls. So get set for today by getting set for the season ahead with the Snoqualmie Valley Sports Journal.

Mount Si’s wrestling team looks to be among the best in Kingco 3A this season. They have a veteran group coming back, but a key addition to the coaching staff could also be a significant plus for the Wildcats, as they seek to win the league title.

Returning as coach for his third season is longtime Valley wrestling man Tony Schlotfeldt. But Schlotfeldt will have a top-quality assistant on his staff this year: his predecessor. Jeff Newcomer, who Schlotfeldt replaced as Mount Si head coach, is back after a three-year absence and will assist Schlotfeldt on the Wildcat coaching staff. Newcomer spent six seasons at the helm of Mount Si after a successful run up at Cedarcrest, so his addition could prove to be critical for a Wildcat team that has high aspirations.

“It’s just an extra set of eyes that have experience of that high up wrestling,” said senior returner Aaron Peterson, who will be wrestling in the middle-weight classes, either at 138 or 145 lbs., of Newcomer.

Peterson is not the only key returner; several others return, led by heavyweight Josh Mitchell (285). Initially, it appeared he would not turn out this fall, but the Oregon State football recruit changed his mind and joined the team earlier this week. Mitchell will look to defend his state title at that weight class, and he has several teammates who could be also in good position to compete for state titles. They include senior AJ Brevick (160/170), sophomore Tye Rodne (145/152), Peterson, junior Bruce Stuart (138/45) and senior John Farmer (182).

“We have high expectations for our athletes this season,” Schlotfeldt said. If the athletes meet those high goals, they will be in contention for the Kingco title. Mercer Island and Liberty appear to be the chief competition, according to Peterson and Farmer. Peterson really wants to beat the Islanders. Why? “Because we haven’t beaten them in a while and we need to beat them. That’s the team we need to beat to get the Kingco championship,” he said. As for Liberty, Farmer suggests that while Mercer Island is a big test for sure, the Patriots are also a foe to be reckoned with. “If we want to win that Kingco championship, we’re going to have to beat Mercer Island for sure, but Liberty is the more underrated one that we’re going to have to go through also,” Farmer said. Schlotfeldt echoed those sentiments about the Islanders. “Our goal is to compete with Mercer Island this year,” he said.

Several freshmen turned out, and that group is led by 113 lb. competitor Gunnar Harrison. Schlotfeldt likes what he sees. “Mount Si’s freshman crop looks promising,” he said, crediting the youth and middle school programs for beginning to develop the athletes at a younger age, preparing them for the high school program. Schlotfeldt reports some 60 kids are competing in the club program, and they are beginning to make their way into the middle school programs and are having success, particularly at Twin Falls Middle School in North Bend, where that team, coached by former Wildcat wrestlers Austin Bachelder and Frank Orr, is currently undefeated on the season.

Mount Si’s Saturday tournament schedule is tough this year. In addition to their big holiday tournament, the Best in the West over in Pasco, they head north to compete in the Spud Walleye Tournament in Sedro Woolley, and also to a meet in Grandview, which for Schlotfeldt will be a chance to defend some old home turf; he is a graduate of the high school over there, which is hosting that event.

The Wildcats open the season with a nonleague meet against Wesco foes Shorecrest and Everett next Thursday at Mercer Island, then competes at both a tournament hosted by Skyline (December 3) and the Walleye event up in Sedro Woolley (December 10) before making their home debut against Bellevue December 14. They will meet Interlake and Sammamish at home in January, with Senior Night against Sammamish tentatively scheduled for January 19. Varsity matches begin at 7:30, with the JV contests starting 90 minutes prior at 6:00.

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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