High School Sports

GIRLS WRESTLING PREVIEW: Nooksack Valley Pioneers

Coach: Chad Parson

Last year: Finished eighth at the Mat Classic XXVI, including a state championship from Chloe Gardner, coach Chad Parson’s first state champion wrestler. ... Four wrestlers qualified for state, three of those medaled. ... Finished with a 6-4 record in dual meets.

Wrestlers to watch: Kaleiolani Jefferson (sr., 190); Nicole Whittern (fr., 105), Maria Cazares (jr., 105).

Outlook: Nooksack Valley’s program is always getting stronger, capped off by last year’s eighth place finish at the Mat Classic. They accomplished that with only four wrestlers qualifying for state. This year, the pack thins a little for Chad Parson’s crew as he graduated 12 seniors. “This a rebuild year. But we have some freshmen that are looking good this year,” Parson said in a phone interview. Kaleiolani Jefferson and Maria Cazares return to the Pioneers after state tournament years and both have high expectations this year. Freshman Nicole Whittern is a standout and hails from a strong wrestling family. “It just comes naturally to her,” Parson said. The goal for the Pioneers is to get as many to state as possible. The focus is on being a tournament team, not on dual records, Parson said.