Sports

Wildcats aim for league’s upper half

Veteran wrestler Connar Zimmerman demonstrates how to roll out of a hold. Although just a sophomore, Zimmerman has state championship experience, advancing to last year’s Class 4A tournament in the 119-pound weight division.  - Tim Adams/Whidbey News-Times
Veteran wrestler Connar Zimmerman demonstrates how to roll out of a hold. Although just a sophomore, Zimmerman has state championship experience, advancing to last year’s Class 4A tournament in the 119-pound weight division.
— image credit: Tim Adams/Whidbey News-Times

In his fourth season as head wrestling coach at Oak Harbor High School, Mike Crebbin expects the Wildcats to have a very competitive team this year.

As always, Oak Harbor has a number of good wrestlers in the lower weight classes and with the addition of a number of freshmen coming out for the team who have experience in the youth wrestling program, the future is bright.

“A lot of the freshmen wrestlers are a really good bunch of athletes,” Crebbin said. “That makes my job easier and I am excited to have them out. They are the future of Oak Harbor wrestling.”

Crebbin said he expects the team to finish in the upper half of the WesCo North this season.

“This is my fourth year and the kids who started out as freshmen when I took over the program are now seniors,” Crebbin said. “That’s when you will see the fruits of your labor.”

The Wildcats face stiff competition from teams at Lake Stevens and Snohomish high schools, and will have their work cut out for them to finish in the top four.

“Lake Stevens has a strong team and in dual meets, Snohomish is actually tougher than they are,” Crebbin said.

Josh Martinez, who finished second at the state Class 4A tournament last year at 103 pounds, has moved to Colorado and Crebbin said he has a hole to fill, but there are still some top-notch wrestlers on the roster

Oak Harbor features senior Royce Cardwell at 119 pounds and sophomore Connar Zimmerman at 125.

Zimmerman is moving up in weight class, after competing at 119 last year where he earned a trip to the state tournament.

Junior Colton Elliot wrestles at 130 pounds and Crebbin said there are a number of other kids at the same weight, so he has the option of shifting some wrestlers around.

Senior Ben Page anchors at 140 pounds and John Tuttle, also a senior, is slated to go at 145.

Kyle Magana and a bunch of other athletes, including senior Bennett Richter, will fill the bill in the 171- and 189-pound divisions, with the big men, senior Chris Neumiller and senior Brian Howard competing in the upper weight classes.

Crebbin said Neumiller and Howard competed in the 215 and 285-pound weight divisions last year, but both have lost some pounds and Neumiller could be competing at 189 pounds and Howard taking over at 215.

“We’ll be pretty competitive with the kids we have and if we can fill the weight classes every time, we’ll do well,” Crebbin said. “I look for good things to happen this season.”

Oak Harbor begins the season competing in a double dual match Friday, Dec. 5, in Everett against Kamiak, Mariner and Snohomish High Schools.

The first home match for the Wildcats is Thursday, Dec. 11, against Mountlake Terrace.

Varsity competition begins at 7 p.m.

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