The Caribou Trail League is loaded with talent this season — boys and girls. As of now, Omak leads the team standings followed by Quincy, Cashmere, Cascade and Chelan.
LEAVENWORTH — The Kodiaks have a young team and a first-year head coach, D’Andre Vasquez, who still competes on the mat as a part of WSU’s club team.
Several of his wrestlers, like Angel Sandoval, are ranked.
“He’s been great,” Vasquez said. “He sets the tone in the wrestling room, and is a great source of motivation.”
Also ranked are Cruz Martinez at 113 pounds and Quinlan Wilson at 182 pounds.
“This season has been hard for everyone with illnesses, but we’re building a strong base,” Vasquez said.
One of those building blocks is Mya Herrera.
“She placed fourth at state last year,” Vasquez said. “We have a small girls' program, but she has been a leader that helps propel us forward.”
Cascade’s biggest goal is to set the expectation of continued growth. Building a culture with a welcoming environment to work hard and play hard — cultivate a family. Vasquez knows a legacy starts with the youth.
“We just kicked off a 30-athlete wrestling program for youth boys and girls to expose them to hard work, the importance of family, and how to be successful student-athletes,” he said.
Cascade’s last regular season dual before Districts will be at Omak tonight at 6 p.m.
Cashmere wraps up regular season Thursday
CASHMERE — Bulldog wrestling has been on a roll this past week. They’ve beaten Quincy, currently second in the CTL, by scoring two critical points 38-36. They were crowned at the ‘King of the Mountain’ meet with a top score of 181 points. And beat Okanogan 42-27.
To beat Quincy, it came down to the last match. And all that pressure rested on a freshman, Liz Sanchez.
“Different kids have had to stand up and represent us throughout the season. Sanchez did that,” Cashmere Head Coach Rich Wheeler said. “That’s the kind of catalyst that shifts things into higher gear for us.”
This season’s success is in large part due to a few Bulldogs leading the pack with state rankings and state tournament experience.
Like Hugh Wheeler at 152 pounds, who took sixth at State last year. Genaro Reyna participated at State last year at 170 pounds, Luke Jacobson at 195 pounds has State experience and Everardo Lopez took fourth at State at 285 pounds.
Others to watch are Dawson Spies at 182 pounds and Trenton Mason at 145 pounds.
“We are a far better tournament team,” Rich Wheeler said. “That should play well for us at districts.”
As the regular season finishes and the postseason picks up, the Bulldogs are starting to see their hard work pay off. Things are falling into place.
“We have a couple of kids in contention right now,” Wheeler said. “We had a slow start to the season, but we just keep getting better.”
Injuries and illnesses have hobbled Cashmere, like so many other teams, but they have a community ready for support.
“We’re working on revitalizing the program,” Wheeler said. “We have a lot of people helping out. We're excited about the culmination of our hard work.”
Cashmere’s last regular season match is in Omak at 6 p.m. tonight.
Quincy looks to finish season strong
QUINCY — To hold second place in the CTL has been a routine battle for Jackrabbit wrestling this season. But through senior leadership and talent that runs down to their youngest wrestlers, they’ve held on.
Some of the biggest contributors have been Saidt Alvarez at 113 pounds, who finished fifth at State last year. Brody Wallace has also climbed the ranks at 152 pounds. Christian Avila, with State experience, at 195 pounds, and David Medina, who finished fourth at State at 220 pounds.
With the end of the regular season imminent and on the precipice of Districts and State, the Jackrabbits are poised to make a deep run.
Quincy’s last regular season match is in Okanogan this Saturday, Jan. 28th at 10 a.m.
Young goats take the lead at Chelan
CHELAN — Even with a lower turnout last year, the Mountain Goats have produced a few wrestlers that could go far.
Sebastian Cisnero has been on a tear for Chelan at 120 pounds. He is undefeated district-wide as a freshman, 10-0.
Another one to watch is Zimri Kelling at 152 pounds.
“Zimri is a big force for us,” Chelan Head Coach Zach Linton said. “He’s had a lot of close matches — I’m hoping he does well at Districts.”
Chelan also had a senior who had the potential to be number one in districts at 160 pounds, Tirenan Davis. He competed for half of the season, lost only once, but was sidelined by injury.
“We have some tough wrestlers,” Linton said. “I’ve seen a massive improvement this year.”
Last year Chelan had only six wrestlers turn out. This year, they’ve finished with 14. Earlier this season Chelan won five out of 10 matches against Omak, the top team in the CTL.
“We’ve come a long way,” Linton said. “We have some first-year wrestlers, but a lot of heart. They’re fighters.”
Chelan’s freshman class is big, and they’re continuing to build their middle school program.
“The future's looking good,” Linton said.
Chelan’s last regular season match is at Omak at 6 p.m. tonight.