Last season, the Lions were represented by several wrestlers at state and wound up in 26th place finish at the annual Mat Classic in the Tacoma Dome. Key wrestlers on that team included Brody Weinheimer, a senior this season, who finished fifth in the 220-pound weight class at the state meet.
While the Lions qualified several wrestlers for state last season, Weinheimer is the only one who didn’t graduate. First-year head coach Frankie Gallegos takes over at the helm after serving as an assistant coach last season.
Lynden starts its season on Wednesday, Dec. 7, with a dual meet visiting Ferndale. That one starts at 6 p.m.
The Lions will then head to Blaine High School for the Battle of the Border meet, which features 22 schools including Mount Baker, Bellingham and Anacortes. The meet takes place over two days, Friday and Saturday, Dec. 9-10. Day one starts at 1 p.m. while day two kicks off at 10 a.m.
Mount Baker boys
The Mountaineers are coming off a 25th place team finish at last year’s state meet. Top finishers at state for Mount Baker included Jeremiah Cronk, a graduated senior who was seventh in the 152 weight class.
Returners who qualified for state for the Mounties are junior Ethan Valum, senior Braxton Shannon, senior Jesus Torrero and sophomore Skyler Issacson. Coach Roger Goodwin also returns to lead the Mounties.
Mount Baker, which began its season at the George Yonlick Tournament at Bellingham High School, will next head to Sehome High School for a meet involving Sehome and Bellingham. That one will take place on Wednesday, Dec. 7, beginning at 6 p.m.
Like Lynden, the Mountaineers will take part in the Battle of the Border tournament on Dec. 9-10.
Also on Dec. 10, the JV team will head to Foss High School (Tacoma) for the Judy Emry Invite. That one starts at 8 a.m.
Nooksack Valley boys
The Pioneers welcome back several wrestlers who competed at the Mat Classic last winter, where the team ended up 29th.
State qualifiers returning to the fold are junior Brennan Blankers, senior Valentine Villalobos, junior Luke Winter and senior Tyson Mergel.
Mergel had the most notable finish of any Pioneer at state, earning eighth place in the 285-pound weight class.
Coach Chad Parson leads Nooksack once again this season.
The team opened up its campaign at the George Yonlick Tournament and today travels to Sehome to face Sehome and Bellingham. Action starts at 6 p.m.
On Saturday, Dec. 10, the Pioneers will head to Bellevue Christian for the As Iron Sharpens Iron meet of six teams.
For the Trojans, junior Jake Cheney is the lone wrestler returning from state last season on Meridian’s roster. Cheney will look to be one of the leaders on this year’s team.
Other top wrestlers for Meridian are senior Noah Richardson and junior Martin Pfannenstiel. Coach Wade Brzozowski will lead the Trojans this winter.
Opening their season at the George Yonlick Tournament, Meridian is at Squalicum High School today to take on Sedro-Woolley and Lakewood.
Mount Baker girls
The lady Mountaineers ended up second in the Mat Classic last season, scoring 73 points to finish behind Grandview’s 92. It was the team’s second consecutive runner-up finish to Grandview.
Returning state qualifiers on this season’s roster are junior Gabrielle Mata and senior Korbyn Cadle (eighth in the 120-pound weight class last season). Coach Clyde Blockley leads Baker once again.
The Mounties opened their season at Yelm High School on Saturday, Dec. 3, in a large kick-off meet. Next is a dual meet with Burlington-Edison today at Mount Baker High School at 7 p.m.
Mount Baker will participate in the Judy Emry Invite at Foss High School (Tacoma) on Saturday, Dec. 10, beginning at 8 a.m.
Nooksack Valley girls
Similar to Mount Baker, Nooksack Valley had a strong showing at last season’s state meet, finishing sixth with 57 points as a team. That was up from 53rd overall in 2015.
State qualifiers returning from last season include junior Lynette Samano. Coach Chad Parson leads both the girls and boys squads at Nooksack.
The Pioneers kick off their season today, hosting Lakewood, Blaine and Meridian at 7 p.m. The team will then participate in the Judy Emry Invite on Saturday, Dec. 10.
The Lions ended up in 19th place at last season’s state meet, finishing with 30 points. That was an improvement on a 60th-place finish while scoring just nine points in 2015.
Returning qualifiers for Lynden include senior Natalie Schweigert, senior Kali Spady (eighth in the 140-pound weight class last season), and senior Karina Martinez (eighth at 125 pounds). Coach Santos Gallegos is at the helm once again this winter.
Lynden also begins its season today, hosting Sedro-Woolley for a dual meet at 7 p.m. The team will then travel to battle Arlington on Friday, Dec. 9, at 7 p.m.