Coach: Craig Foster
Last year: Finished in a tie for first in the Class 2A NWC standings and tied for first overall with a 6-0 conference record. ... Placed third at the 2A Regional Tournament and advanced five wrestlers to state. ... Finished 20th at the state tournament with 36.5 points and had Shaypher Hendricks place third at 145 and Caleb Johnson place fifth at 195.
Wrestlers to watch: Caleb Johnson (Sr., 220), Justin Belding (Sr., 145), Jonathan Stewart (Jr., 160) Kyle Gonzales (Jr., 106), Christian Sharp (Jr., 145), Mike Antczak (Jr., 285)
Outlook: On paper, from top to bottom, Blaine is a strong team with a wealth of experience in just about every weight class, but coach Craig Foster has learned not to get too far ahead of himself. "We have a pretty good nucleus back and several have gone to state," Foster said. "I'm pretty optimistic, because we got 30 kids out, which is good for us." Blaine is led by senior captains Caleb Johnson (220) and Justin Belding (145), as well as junior captain Jonathan Stewart (160), who Foster said is, right now, the most technically sound Borderite. Johnson placed fifth at state, wrestling at 195 last year, and Belding was one point away in two matches from placing. Juniors Kyle Gonzales (106) and Mike Antczak (285) are Blaine's two other returning state participants. Christian Sharp (145) and Dwayne Ortega (182) are two others who should make a strong impact. "We're just working real hard and taking it a little bit at a time," Foster said. "I've learned in this sport, you can count your chickens too early."
Dec. 1 at Mariner Holiday Classic 9:30 a.m.
Dec. 5 at BEHS Double Dual 7 p.m.
Dec. 7 at Battle at the Border 1 p.m.
Dec. 8 at Battle at the Border 10 a.m.
Dec. 12 at Squalicum* 7 p.m.
Dec. 14 at Tri-State Tournament TBD
Dec. 15 at Paul Reiman Classic 10 a.m.
Dec. 19 Ferndale* 7:30 p.m.
Dec. 28 at Vashon Invite 9 a.m.
Jan. 5 at Panther Classic 10 a.m.
Jan. 9 Nooksack Valley* 7:30 p.m.
Jan. 12 at NWC Tournament 10 a.m.
Jan. 16 at Mount Baker* 7 p.m.
Jan. 23 Sehome* 7:30 p.m.
Reach ANDREW LANG at email@example.com or call ext. 862.