TAHOMA — New season. Old problem.
The North Kitsap wrestling team kicked off the season last Friday with a dual meet with Tahoma and Kentwood, and while the season started well for a few individual wrestlers, a lack of competitors in the lower weight classes hurt the Vikings, just as it did all of last year.
In both meets, North Kitsap had to forfeit the 103, 112, 119, and 135-lb. weight classes.
Against Kentwood that wasn’t as big a problem, as Kentwood also forfeited three weight classes.
But against Tahoma, that put the Vikings in a 24-point hole.
“We’re back to the same old frustrations,” head coach Larry Maguire said after North lost 39-15 to Kentwood and 51-10 to Tahoma. “When you give up four forfeits, that’s 24 points in the hole before you start.”
And against two top programs like Kentwood (the third-ranked team in the state last year) and Tahoma, you can’t afford to give up any advantage.
Maguire said the Vikings had a rocky start — “We didn’t wrestle as well as we could have. We lost some pretty close ones,” he said.
Clark Hutchman, who was the Vikings’ lone wrestler at state, lost a pair of decisions, one to returning state champion Steven Folden 8-4, the other to Tahoma’s Nick Johnson 6-1.
Maguire was pleased with Hutchman’s efforts against such tough competition. He was also pleased by Jordan Anderson, who wrestled at 130 and won a pair of decisions, one over Kentwood’s Grant Nakashima 7-2, the other over Tahoma’s Matt Shanafelt 2-0.
“Jordan wrestled pretty well. He won both matches against tough competition,” Maguire said.
The other Viking to earn two wins was Jarod Jennings, who wrestles at 215.
Jennings pinned Kentwood’s Michael Craig in 3:04 to earn his first win. Against Tahoma, he won a decision over Jesse Orndorff 4-2.
Sophomores Doug Piehl, Nick Jennings, and Josh Reichert also debuted well, Maguire said.
Besides the two wins by Jennings and Andersen, the other wins by the Vikings included Tim Keane, who won a forfeit against Kentwood; and Mike Baker, who won a 1-0 decision over Tahoma’s Ian Roberts, 1-0. Baker’s escape was enough to give him the win in that match.
Maguire said, “I wasn’t displeased with some of the efforts … hopefully we’ll get on track.”
The road didn’t get any easier for the Vikings, who faced Capital Tuesday evening (the meet had not been completed at press time).
Capital is the defending state champion.