Edmonds-Woodway ready to defend league title | Wrestling
Last updated 12/13/2018 at Noon
The four-time defending Wesco 3A South champions appear ready to make another spirited run for a league title and beyond.
A strong lineup helped the Warriors win the Triple Duals against Lake Washington, Arlington and Snohomish and also finish a close second in the Edmonds Invitational, one of the most competitive early season tournaments in the state.
“We had 10 guys place,” Edmonds-Woodway coach Brian Alfi said of Edmonds Invite. “That shows a lot of depth. In the bigger tournaments, having guys place a little higher scores a lot of points.”
Yelm won the team title with 202 points, edging out the Warriors, who finished with 192.5, Saturday, Dec. 1, at Edmonds-Woodway High School. The following week, the Warriors swept the Kangeroos (65-10), the Eagles (51-15) and the Panthers (50-24) Wednesday, Dec. 5, at Edmonds-Woodway High School.
Senior Grayson LeCompte was named the outstanding wrestler of the Edmonds Invitational after winning the 132-pound championship against a field stacked with state participants.
LeCompte, who finished third at 126 at the 3A state tournament last year and eighth in his sophomore season, defeated Kentwood’s Jabril Muhannad 13-7 in the finals. Muhammad is a two-time state placer.
LeCompte, who also competed at state as a freshman, pinned Bonney Lake’s Blake Koeller, a regional participant, to open the tournament and then won by fall over Oak Harbor’s Caleb Fitzgerald, a state participant. The Edmonds-Woodway senior then won an 11-1 decision over Burlington-Edison’s Davis Cook, another state participant in the semifinals.
LeCompte put in a ton of work in the offseason to prepare for his senior season.
“I just want to keep working hard,” he said. “I definitely feel a lot better than last year, just in my mentality. I’m a lot more focused.”
“He’s working incredibly hard above and beyond what you ask a kid to do,” Alfi said. “He started wrestling as a seventh grader. He’s gotten better every single year.”
LeCompte lost in the state semifinals to eventual state champion Blake Haney of Mount Spokane.
“This year we feel he’s got a great chance in whatever weight he goes to be in contention for a state title,” Alfi said.
In some ways, junior Howie Hare’s career mirrors his older teammate’s. Hare wrestled at state his freshman season and then took eighth last season at 120.
At the Edmonds Invite, Hare finished third at 138, prevailing 3-0 over Shorewood’s Jody Carpenter. Hare’s only loss was to North Central’s Hunter Tretyak 14-7 in the semifinals.
“I’ve got stuff to work on,” Hare said. “I just want to get better than last year.”
Said Alfi, “We’re excited to see how he does this year.”
Sophomore Baylor Denkinger, who competed at 106 at state as a freshman, advanced to the 113-pound finals where he lost a 4-3 decision in overtime to Kamiak’s Richard Chung, a state participant.
LeCompte, Hare and Denkinger likely won’t be the only Warriors to make some noise in the postseason. Ousman Fatty (132) was one match away from qualifying for state at last season’s tough regional tournament.
“In most regions, he’s there at the state tournament,” Alfi said. “He’s had a great offseason.”
Two freshmen had strong showing in their first high school tournament.
Ethan Nguyen defeated teammate Reese LeCompte, Grayson’s younger brother, 5-0 in the third/fourth place 106 match. Nguyen’s only loss of the tournament was to champion Alan Luff of Kelso.
Teammate Alex Rapelje captured a 9-0 decision over Highline’s Rodrigo Gallardo in the fifth/sixth place 138 match.
“It’ll be fun to watch them grow as the season goes on,” Alfi said of the two freshmen.
Edmonds-Woodway’ junior Emmanuel Boayke-Ansah placed fourth at 120 and senior Josh Brown, a sixth place finisher at regionals, took fourth at 195. Senior Luke Walker placed sixth, also at 195.
Another face to watch is junior Christian Simpson, who won a district title at 170 last season.
The Warriors flexed their depth at the A-Town Throwdown, winning the team title with 246 points. Arlington took second with 190.5.
Grayson LeCompte pinned Meadowdale’s Jin Lee to win the 132 title and Nguyen took the 113 crown by defeating Squalicum’s Jaiden Bundy 15-7. Reece LeCompte took second at 106.
GIRLS TEAM GROWING: The Edmonds-Woodway girls wrestling team continues to grow. This season the Warriors have 25 wrestlers out. Junior Vatoria Keyes has advanced to the state tournament the last two years. She went 1-2 at 235 last season.