Prep wrestling fans should circle the weekend of Feb. 1-2 on their calendars.
For one of the few times ever, Grays Harbor schools will host subregional mat tournaments in three classifications.
The Evergreen 2A/subregional tourney is planned both days at Aberdeen’s Sam Benn Gym. Elma will host the 1A subs on the same days, while the Class B tourney is set for Feb. 2 only at Ocosta High School.
The Grays Harbor connection will continue the following weekend when Hoquiam Square Garden will be the site for a regional 1A tourney.
While Elma and Ocosta have staged numerous postseason tourneys in the past, Aberdeen was a surprise choice for the 2A event. The Bobcats are the lone Grays Harbor team in the Evergreen 2A circuit and Thurston and Lewis County schools have seldom agreed to travel to the Harbor for posteseason tourneys.
Aberdeen athletic director Ken Ashlock said his willingness to adjust basketball schedules to accommodate wrestling and the quality of facilities helped sway other league representatives.Black Hills High School in Tumwater, another contender for the tourney, would have been forced to use two gyms to complete the event on schedule.
“We have a great gym,” Ashlock said. “We (also) have a gym where wrestlers can warm up (the AHS auxiliary gym) and they like that.”
Hosting the wrestling tournament required the Bobcats to flip-flop the sites of some regular-season events. Thursday’s Aberdeen-Capital boys basketball game, originally planned for Olympia, has been moved to Sam Benn Gym. The Feb. 1 rematch will now be played at Capital. Aberdeen’s scheduled home wrestling match against Tumwater on Thursday has been shifted to Tumwater.
The 1A regionals at Hoquiam, incidentally, will have an unusual makeup. Due to the large number of 1A schools in Southwest Washington, Evergreen 1A teams will be separated from the Trico League — including perennial state power Castle Rock.
Instead, teams from the Whatcom County League and other northern circuits will fill out the regional field in Hoquiam, a situation that appears to fly in the face of schools economizing on travel.
Former Hoquiam coach Randy Swilley has resigned after five years as Yelm High School’s head football coach.
Swilley, who is married to Aberdeen High graduate Teri Langhans, will continue to teach at Yelm but has accepted a position as the defensive line coach at North Thurston. He was an assistant at North Thurston for five years after resigning the Hoquiam job following the 2002 season.
While some linked Swilley’s departure to the graduation of his son Jacob, a record-setting running back for the Tornados, he told the Daily Olympian’s Meg Wochnick that wasn’t entirely the case.
The always-outspoken Swilley called Yelm a “tough place to coach,” and said the difficulty in attracting quality assistants and shortcomings in the area’s youth football program were the primary factors in his decision.
“It’s been five years and nothing has changed,” he said in the interview with Wochnick.
AROUND SOUTHWEST WASHINGTON
North River, which began its boys basketball season on Friday, was unable to field a girls squad this season…Chehalis boys 76, Black Hills 34….The Bearcats scored the game’s first 13 points and went on to beat the Wolves by a surprisingly decisive margin. Black Hills had entered the game with a 2-1 league record, including an upset win over Centralia. Chehalis is the only unbeaten team in the Evergreen 2A Conference…Tenino boys 49, Forks 48…Ben Peterson’s free throw with 0.5 seconds remaining enabled the Beavers to hand the Spartans their first league loss in a contest played at Forks.
Reports from The Daily Olympian and the Chronicle of Centralia-Chehalis were included in this article.