Winter prep preview | Oak Harbor wrestling

Asked to list the favorite to win the Western Conference wrestling title this year, Wildcat coach Mike Crebbin said, “Oak Harbor.”

With a bucketful of returning talent from last year’s second-place team, Crebbin has reason to like his club.

Sixteen lettermen return on the boys team, including state participants sophomore Jahleel Vester (126 pounds; eighth at state at 112 in 2010) and junior Cody Fakkema (126).

Six other wrestlers who placed at district return, topped by junior Joshua Crebbin (152), who nabbed second last winter.

Other district placers include seniors Justin Everett (160), Collin Higingbotham (170) and Hunter Vail (195/220); and sophomores Sheyenne Sams (145) and Raymond Quinday (225).

Also on the roster are eight other returning lettermen: seniors Ryuta Meany, David Payne and Ben Pralle; juniors Jeremy Alonzo and Terry Joll; and sophomores Brody Dedobbelaere, Nathanael Stanford and Athan Taisague.

Coach Crebbin said freshman Mark Johnston (126/132) leads the newcomers.

“Strength in numbers, work ethic and off-season weight efforts” are the team’s strengths, Crebbin said.

His expectations for the year are to finish first in Wesco duals and in the top two at district.

On the girls side, it will be a “new era,” Crebbin said.

With 15 girls turning out, Oak Harbor now has enough girls to earn team points in post-season tournaments.

The state combines classifications and moves teams to different areas to balance numbers for the girls regional tournaments, Crebbin said,

He said Sedro-Woolley, Mount Baker and Burlington are the top area schools in girls wrestling.

Jennifer Fremd, who finished fifth in the state last year, leads the way.

She will be joined by junior letter winners Kylene Ayer, Brittany Johnston and Brittany Dillaman.

Key newcomers include seniors Christina Alexander and Jasmine Case-Smith; juniors Brittany Koss, Jenna Fletcher, Aimee Oliver and Kinsley McLeod; sophomores Olivia Hunt, Tricia Desquitado and Becca Holloman; and freshmen Zaiha Sams and Alexia Mobley.

Oak Harbor takes on Arlington (5:45 p.m.) and Monroe (7 p.m.) at Glacier Peak Friday, Dec. 2, and then goes to Marysville-Pilchuck Thursday, Dec. 8, at 7 p.m.

The Wildcats won’t hit the home mat until Thursday, Dec. 15, with Lynnwood at 7 p.m.

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