Wrestlers show depth, promise

Senior Connor Kenyon (top) pinned his 182-pound Kingston opponent last week. - Willie Wenzlau/For the Review
Senior Connor Kenyon (top) pinned his 182-pound Kingston opponent last week.
— image credit: Willie Wenzlau/For the Review

Despite opening the season with a 42-31 loss to Kingston last week, BHS wrestling coach Dan Pippinger likes his team’s work ethic and progress.

All of which showed up two days later with a 57-15 victory over Eastside Catholic.

Although the season has just begun for the Spartans, Pippinger said they must begin to improve and refine their skills in preparation for their most challenging opponents, such as North Mason and O’Dea.

Bainbridge has the depth and work ethic necessary to be a top team in the Metro League, he said, but each wrestler must step onto the mat with a higher level of confidence.

“The team is looking good at this point,” Pippinger said, “because this is a good, hard-working group of guys.”

Above all, Pippinger is content with the leadership he sees in seniors Alec Greiwe, Connor Kenyon, Caleb Samson and Mitch Coryell.

During pre-season practice, the team focused on details of the implementation of a given move. Pippinger believes that by breaking a move down and focusing solely on one aspect, the boys will learn techniques properly.

There have been moments when the coach has seen this practice pay off in matches.

Before a restart, Pippinger instructed Alex Hoover on how to approach his opponent and  Hoover then perfectly executed the instructions to earn an escape with only 1.6 seconds left in a tie match.

Pippinger has stressed the importance of mental focus as well as perfecting the physical skills. Two important aspects of mental focus that he has spent time on are visualization and inspirational quotes.

Moving forward with the season, Pippinger hopes to see improvement from competition to competition, especially in the team’s confidence and offensive courage.

“We have a very solid core of wrestlers who are on the verge of taking it to the next level,” he said. “I’m looking forward to seeing them realize it and commit to it,” Pippinger said.

The Spartans competed well despite the loss to Kingston. Pippinger felt that his team fought hard, was tough defensively, and frustrated their opponents.

“What Kingston does well that we could improve on is that they use their toughness and physicality to attack and score,” Pippinger said.

In the 182-pound weight class, Kenyon pinned Kingston’s Trevor King 2:48 into the match.

At 195 pounds, Coryell endured against Kingston’s Derrick White, pinning him at 4:54.

Pippinger recalls Coryell’s match against Eastside Catholic’s Joe Stoutt, the top 195-pound weight class wrestler in the league, as one of the best performances this season.

The Spartans were scheduled to wrestle at Lakeside on Thursday, and will wrestle Friday and Saturday in Hammerhead Invitational at the Kitsap County Fairgrounds in Silverdale.

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