Best Bets: High school wrestlers compete at regional tournaments


Blaine wrestling Mike Antczak

Blaine's Mike Antczak, top, takes down Nooksack Valley's Tyson Mergel as Blaine, Ferndale and Nooksack Valley compete in Northwest Conference wrestling duals on Wednesday, Dec. 18, 2013 in Blaine.


Action heats up on the mat, as the top wrestlers in the area grapple for trips to next week's Mat Classic state championships during the regional tournaments on Saturday, Feb. 15.

Whatcom County high schools will host three regional tournaments - the Class 2A boys' regional will be held at Squalicum, the Class 1A boys' regional will be at Blaine and the girls' regional will be held at Bellingham High. All three regionals are scheduled to start at 10 a.m., with championship matches likely for late in the afternoon.

Ferndale wrestlers will head south for the Class 3A regional at Nathan Hale High School in Seattle.

At each regional, the top four placers in each weight class will punch their tickets to Mat Classic, which will be held Feb. 21-22 at the Tacoma Dome. The fifth-place finisher in each weight class also will go to state as an alternate.

Among the top wrestlers from Whatcom County are Blaine's Michael Antczak, Bellingham's Riley Takemura, Lynden's Christian Mouat and Nooksack Valley's Taylor Gardner. On the girls' side, watch for Nooksack Valley's Chole Gardner and Mount Baker's Akemi Schwinden.

Admission at each regional is $8 for adults and $6 for students, children and seniors.


Come take a backstage tour of the Bellingham Theatre Guild, 1600 H St., at 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 13. Get a look at the costume room, scene shops, actor lounges and more. Learn about what goes on behind the scenes, and find out how easy it is to get involved in helping to make the magic.

Make a reservation now -- these tours fill up quickly. Contact Tom Burkland at


"Soapbox," on stage at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb, 14, at Mount Baker Theatre, 104 N. Commercial St., is a collaboratively-created production by Western Washington University associate professor Rich Brown that began with an academic course in September 2012. Twenty-five Western students spent more than a year researching, creating, developing and rehearsing the work utilizing a process known as "devising," for which the production's director, Rich Brown, is nationally recognized.

The production asks: "How will you balance time and money; technology and relationships; and living for yourself or helping others, during your personal pursuit of happiness?" With original song, dance, characters both realistic and theatrical, and moments both comic and dramatic, audience members will be entertained as they explore this personal question.

Tickets are $10; reserve at 360-734-6080, 360-650-6146,

For a trailer, go to

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