Second-year Wood River High School wrestling coach Shawn Huntington is excited about the prospects for his 2010-11 Wolverine mat team that opens its season today, Wednesday, Dec. 8 with a three-school meet in Hailey.
Wood River entertains Century of Pocatello at 5 p.m. today and then waits for Century and Kimberly to battle it out before taking on the Kimberly Bulldogs at 7:30 p.m. After today, the Wolverines travel to two tournaments before Christmas.
Huntington and assistant coaches Derek Ruhter and Scott Castle have welcomed 35 wrestlers to the program this fall including 13 chosen for the varsity squad. Seven of Wood River's nine state qualifiers from last season are returning.
Said Huntington, "I look forward to our season. We finished last year with an even 9-9 dual meet record and everyone is working hard to improve on that. Our greatest strength is having solid wrestlers at each grade level."
Huntington regrets losing Kim Orchard as an assistant coach. His son Tanner Orchard (25-14) competed in his fourth state tournament last February and graduated.
"Kim decided to step down and that will be a big loss," said Huntington about his former assistant. "He was a big part of this program and a great coach for more than 14 years in the Wood River Valley."
It's always important to have good senior leadership, and Wood River has two good ones in 189-pounder Kasey Barker and Alex Thomas, 285.
Barker (25-14, 3-3 state) leads the Wolverines after placing sixth out of 16 wrestlers in the 189-pound class at the State 4A tournament in Pocatello last Feb. 26-27. It was Barker's first state tournament. He earned the team's "Outstanding Wrestler" award.
Thomas also qualified for state and had a 15-10 record.
It doesn't get any easier to make the Idaho High School Activities Association state tournament, this season scheduled for Feb. 24-26, 2011 at The Idaho Center in Nampa.
Last February Wood River placed fourth in the six-team Great Basin Conference tournament and qualified nine wrestlers for the State 4A meet. Jerome (7 champs, 14 to state) captured its second straight GBC crown by 65 points over Minico.
But last season the Great Basin earned four state berths in each weight class. This year it's been reduced to three berths according to the IHSAA 2011 representation figures.
Other state returners are junior Auden Ruhter (10-11) at 215 pounds and four sophomores—Storm Anderson (12-24) at 160, Tommy Bailey (8-19) at 140, Tim Boyle (12-10) at 119 and Jared Anderson (12-11) at 119.
Wood River has three home triangular meets this season starting today and also set for Jan. 25 and Feb. 9. Here is the team roster and weights:
Seniors: Kasey Barker (189 pounds) and Alex Thomas (285).
Juniors: Andrew Beck (125), Zach Brown (145), Teague Ruhter (152), JR Hill (171) and Auden Ruhter (215).
Sophomores: Jared Anderson (119), Tom Bailey (140) and Storm Anderson (160).
Freshmen: Kaleb Guisasola (103), Cooper Bailey (112) and Kyle Clark (130).
Junior varsity (22)
Seniors: Tyler Bartlett (112), Eric DeLeon (130), Juliana Herrera (160), Willie Dugger (189) and Jimmy Williams (285).
Juniors: Tyler Hoskins (152), Jeremiah Linderman (215) and Haiden Aitken (215).
Sophomores: Erick Lopez (112), Tim Boyle (119), Nick Schell (152), Paul Conn (160) and Chris Avila (171).
Freshmen: Rudy Chavez (103), Jaden Ingram (112), Colby Guisasola (119), Jake Halopoff (119), Riley Beck (119), Quinn Guthrie (125), Chris Dugger (125), Adrian Medina (130) and Gus Conrad (145).
2010-11 WRHS wrestling Schedule
A total 10 dual meets and 5 tournaments on the regular-season schedule for the 2010-11 Wolverines including 6 home dual meets on 3 dates. All home matches at Wood River High School gym, Hailey. General admission $5. The Great Basin Conference includes 6 teams—WR, Jerome, Burley, Minico, Twin Falls and Canyon Ridge. Great Basin meets are denoted by an asterisk.
Varsity and junior varsity
DATE, DAY OPPONENT LOCATION
Nov. 15, Monday First wrestling practice Home, 3:45
Dec. 8, Wednesday Century/Kimberly tri Home, 5/8
Dec. 10, Friday Bucks Bags Tournament (V) Capital, Boise, 3:00
Dec. 10, Friday Bucks Bags Tournament (JV) Columbia, Nampa, 3:00
Dec. 11, Saturday Bucks Bags Tourney (V) Capital, Boise, 9:00
Dec. 11, Saturday Bucks Bags Tourney (JV) Columbia, Nampa, 9:00
Dec. 17, Friday Bear Cat Invitational (V) Jerome High, 3:30
Dec. 17, Friday Bear Cat Invitational (JV) Twin Falls High, 3:00
Dec. 18, Saturday Bear Cat Invitational (V) Jerome High, 9:00
Dec. 18, Saturday Bear Cat Invitational (JV) Twin Falls High, 10:00
Jan. 7, Friday Buhl Invitational (V) Buhl, 3:15
Jan. 7, Friday Canyon Ridge Invite (JV) CRHS, Twin Falls, 3:00
Jan. 8, Saturday Buhl Invitational (V) Buhl, 10:00
Jan. 8, Saturday Canyon Ridge Invite (JV) CRHS, Twin Falls, 8:00
Jan. 12, Wednesday Twin Falls/Filer tri Filer, 4:30/6:30
Jan. 21, Friday Tiger/Grizz Invite (V) Skyline, Idaho Falls, 3:00
Jan. 22, Saturday Tiger/Grizz Invite (V) Skyline, Idaho Falls, 9:00
Jan. 25, Tuesday Burley*/Buhl tri Home, 5/8
Feb. 3, Thursday Canyon Ridge*/Minico* tri CRHS, Twin Falls, 5/6:30
Feb. 4, Friday Challis Invitational (V/JV) Challis, 5:00
Feb. 5, Saturday Challis Invitational (V/JV) Challis, 10:00
Feb. 9, Wednesda Gooding/Jerome* Home, 5/8
Feb. 16, Wednesday Great Basin district Jerome, 11:00
Feb. 24, Thursday State 4A Idaho Center, Nampa
NOTES—The 54th annual State 4A wrestling meet sponsored by the Idaho High School Activities Association is scheduled for Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 24-26, 2011 at The Idaho Center in Nampa.....The Great Basin Conference 4A ranks comprised of Wood River, Jerome, Minico, Burley, Twin Falls and Canyon Ridge gets 3 state representatives for each weight class. Last year's state allotment was 4.... Booster athletic season tickets for all Wood River sporting events during the 2010-11 school year are available. Drop by the high school and see activities director John Rade. Senior citizens 65-and-over are admitted free to WRHS sporting events.