PREP WRESTLING PREVIEW: Bellingham Red Raiders

December 1, 2013 

Coach: Tom Hinz

Last year: The Red Raiders' boys' wrestling team finished fifth in the NWC last year with a 3-2 conference record. ... After finishing 18th at the state tournament in 2011-12, Bellingham wasn't able to replicate that last season, finishing tied for 44th with three points. ... The Red Raiders did send five wrestlers to state last year, although all but one of them - Sergio Torres - went two and out. Torres won one match at the state tournament.

Wrestlers to watch: Riley Takemura (Jr., 126); Sergio Torres (So., 132); Blair Bennett (Jr., 182-195); Badak Abedsaidi (Sr., 145)

Outlook: Bellingham's strength is coming directly from its senior class. Three juniors - Riley Takemura, Sergio Torres and Blair Bennett - return after having competed at the Mat Classic XXV. Despite Torres being the only one who won the match, with Takemura and Bennett going two and out, coach Tom Hinz is hopeful that group can lead his inexperienced group to a strong season. "We have eight or nine returning guys, but we have 26 guys signed up," Hinz said. "We're just building a foundation and getting ready to go." Takemura, who will be competing in or around the 126-pound weight class, is a two-time state participant that has shown in the early going to be someone the other wrestlers look to emulate. "He always is one of those guys that he is going to set the example for you," Hinz said.

2013-14 SCHEDULE

Dec. 1 at Sedro-Woolley Team Duals 7 p.m.

Dec. 7 George Yonlick Tournament 9 a.m.

Dec. 11 at Burlington-Edison Double Dual 7 p.m.

Dec. 18 at Squalicum HS Double Dual 7 p.m.

Dec. 21 at Sun Dome Mat Classic TBD

Dec. 21 at Mount Baker Wrestling Invite 9 a.m.

Jan. 8 Ferndale 7 p.m.

Jan. 11 Team Duals 9 a.m.

Jan. 15 at Nooksack Valley 7 p.m.

Jan. 18 at NWC Tournament (Sehome) 10 a.m.

Jan. 22 BEHS Team Duals 7 p.m.

Jan. 25 at Lynden Tournament 9 a.m.

Jan. 29 at Burlington-Edison 7 p.m.

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