Spartan wrestlers bring depth to post-season

Spartan grapplers (L-R) Evan Jahrman, Karl Hunt, Corey Touchette and Brenden Henesey are anchors on the team. - Brad Camp
Spartan grapplers (L-R) Evan Jahrman, Karl Hunt, Corey Touchette and Brenden Henesey are anchors on the team.
— image credit: Brad Camp

In a complete turnaround from last season, the Spartans enter tonight’s Metro tournament with a full roster and a winning record under their belts.

The Spartans, who finished 1-9 in 2009, went 7-3 this season, despite only carrying six upperclassmen.

“Last year as a whole our team had more experience – or more experienced wrestlers – but we had so many empty weight classes,” senior Evan Jahrman said. “So we’d win the majority of the matches, but ended up losing the meet.

This season, Bainbridge will fill nearly all of its tournament berths – two wrestlers per weight class – except for the 103- and 285-pound weight classes.

The top five finishers in each weight class will advance to regionals.

“We should do pretty good in metros,” junior Corey Touchette said. “A lot of our freshman have stepped up. A lot of their losses are against schools from other districts, so I think the Metro Tournament will be a better assessment of where they are.”

More than two-thirds of the roster is filled by underclassmen.

“After going through the first week of practice – it was pretty laid back – it got more intense,” Touchette said. “We had a couple people drop out, but the strong remain.”

While the team has few upperclassmen, the newcomers have made huge strides since the start of the season.

“We have a couple returning guys who have a really good foundation, who know a lot of stuff. We have a lot of new guys who are learning really fast and are really good at getting the basics down,” senior Brenden Henesey said. “Down the road they’re going to be really, really impressive.”

For Henesey, making the state tournament has always been an overarching goal.

“As a wrestler I can definitely tell over the years I’ve gotten infinitely better,” said Henesy, who competes at 145. “It’s rewarding to go out there and do well.”

While the tournament will be the first Metro appearance for Jahrman, who wrestles at 152, the senior is treating tonight’s matches like any other meet.

“The first few years when I was wrestling I’d get kind of stressed out before a match. I’d always think, ‘Now I have to win this next match.’ But this year it’s, ‘I’m going to work as hard as I can and push myself as much as I can,’” Jahrman said. “Now I’m more confident and have to trust in myself that I’m going to be better than the other people.”

Touchette and junior Karl Hunt, the team captains, have only lost a total of three Metro matches this season.

Hunt wrestles in the 189-pound weight class, while Touchette began the season at 171 and moved to 160.

“It’s nice having another year, if you don’t get it right next year you can fix it next year,” Touchette said. “If you lose – it’s a lot more pressure.”

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