High School Sports

Blaine's Anthony Frey ready for final Mat Classic test

Blaine’s Anthony Frey attempts to put Olympic's Jayden Fernandez on his back at the Class 2A Regional Wrestling Tournament on Saturday, Feb. 14, at Sedro-Woolley High School.
Blaine’s Anthony Frey attempts to put Olympic's Jayden Fernandez on his back at the Class 2A Regional Wrestling Tournament on Saturday, Feb. 14, at Sedro-Woolley High School. The Bellingham Herald

Look up and down Blaine’s wrestling roster and Anthony Frey sticks out as one of the Borderites’ most accomplished wrestlers.

He’s a three time regional champion, has collected a fifth-place and seventh-place state medal and his second-place finish during last week’s regional has him in his fourth and final Mat Classic this Friday-Saturday, Feb. 19-20, at the Tacoma Dome.

The senior 145-pounder is also the team’s most likely candidate to give coach Craig Foster a heart attack.

Some may label Frey’s wrestling style funky — he gets in awkward positions, scrambles a lot and takes risks. Unorthodox as it can be, it’s also proved effective.

“He is wrestling and can be down in a match and suddenly he has you on your back, and he is dangerous in that way,” Foster said. “Wrestling the best guys, he can get them in trouble with the stuff that he does.”

Foster likened Frey to a boxer with a heavy punch, saying Frey always has the ability to land that one match-ending move. Foster called him a “pinner.”

But reward doesn’t always follow risk, and while Frey’s living-on-the-edge mindset has won him matches in thrilling fashion, it’s also cost him — the origin of Foster’s headaches.

“You always never know what’s going to happen,” Frey said. “One thing happens, and matches seem to be decided at the last second or whatever.”

While Frey’s been showing off his unique style since entering Blaine’s program as a freshman, he’s evolved a better sense of when and where to take his shots. Foster feverishly has worked with him on exactly that, and Frey’s ability to harness his funky style, combined with his pinning ability, are two big reasons the senior could be poised for a state breakthrough.

Certainly, he has plenty of motivation after what he considered a disappointing Mat Classic XXVII.

“Starting on the Monday after wrestling season,” Frey said. “I started weight lifting and working out and stuff because going from fifth to seventh that is a pretty big bummer.”

Motivation this season, Frey said, has derived from him dropping two places in state last year. And nothing would be sweeter than ending a decorated career, that includes winning a team state title, with an individual one.

No matter this weekend’s results, Frey said Mat Classic XXVIII will be bittersweet.

Frey has come a long ways during his time with the Borderites. A home-schooled student, his wrestling team has become a second family, and he’s opened up from the introvert he used to be.

“To be honest the four years have gone by super fast,” Frey said. “Being a freshman, I still remember my first day of practice as a quiet little dude. It’s gotten me, you could say, out of my shell in a way. The team overall, we are pretty close.”

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