Wahluke wrestlers compete at a meet hosted by Columbia (Burbank) High School last season.
Jose Marin/Contributed photo
In order to bring the program to recognizable stature, Wahluke Head Coach Jose Marin hopes to see more wrestlers qualify for state this season.
A Wahluke wrestler takes down an opponent during a meet last season.
Wahluke Head Coach Jose Marin said he hopes for the team to become more “recognizable” this season and bring a good name to the Wahluke boys wrestling program.
MATTAWA — Wahluke boy’s wrestling Head Coach Jose Marin wants the program to be recognizable not just around Mattawa, but around the region and state.
“We wanted to make sure that the team is recognized throughout the state, and that at all levels of district, regional and state, we get kids participating in all those three tournaments because they’re really important to us,” Marin said.
Marin, who is in his second year as head coach of the Warrior boys wrestling program, said this has been a goal of his since he began working at the Wahluke Junior High School in 2018.
“We want to build Wahluke wrestling; we want to make sure it’s recognized, that when we walk into a gym at any tournament, they recognize our program and that we bring out good wrestlers,” Marin said. “That’s something I learned from the first match last year, just that we weren’t super recognized, not a lot of people knew where Wahluke was.”
To build a brand of strong wrestlers who carry the Wahluke name, the team has been looking to compete in tournaments around the area to help get their name out.
“We’re trying to go to some bigger tournaments,” Marin said. “Tournaments that I know there’s some good competition and good programs from around the state. Traveling to these tournaments is going to be good for us, our wrestling level as well.”
Competing at high-level tournaments is important, though there’s no higher tournament than the WIAA Mat Classic, where Anthony Zebrano competed for a state title last season in the 195 weight class. Zebrano finished one match short of placing, according to Marin, though the senior is ready to leave his mark this season.
“He’s back this year, and I know that he’s hungry to go back and hopefully get a medal this year,” Marin said.
Sending wrestlers to state has been a few-and-far-between occurrence for Wahluke, although that’s a narrative that Marin is hoping to change.
“I know Wahluke hasn’t had that many state wrestlers, and that’s something I want to change,” Marin said. “We want to be competitive at all levels, and that includes getting kids to the state tournament and that’s something we start talking about from day one. We got to show commitment, we want to show up to practice. I want to help the guys get to the highest level.”
The Warriors began working in the summer for the season, along with coaches encouraging wrestlers to play both a fall and a spring sport. At open gyms, wrestlers could use the time to lift weights as well as get some live wrestling in with coaches to work on their technique.
“Little things like that is where we’re starting at,” Marin said. “I’m trying to work on finding some good camps that we can go to.”
Throughout the first few weeks of practices, Marin said he hopes to see commitment from the wrestlers.
“Just intensity,” he said. “I want the kids to come in and show me that they are here to wrestle, that they’re going to stay for the long run, and that they are ready to learn and be the best wrestler that they can be.”
It’s a long season until the state meet in Tacoma, where Marin hopes to send more wrestlers this year. To do so, wrestlers will first have to put in work at practice.
“We got to make sure we show up to practice, we’re working hard and that we’re learning as much as we can so we’re ready for the postseason and we can stay alive until the state tournament,” Marin said.
Wahluke’s first meet this season is on Dec. 1 at Columbia (Burbank).
Ian Bivona can be reached via email at email@example.com.
Wahluke Boys Wrestling Meet Schedule
Dec. 1 - @ Columbia (Burbank)
Dec. 3 - @ A.C. Davis
Dec. 9/10 - @ Granger
Dec. 15 - SCAC Meet No. 1 @ Wapato
Dec. 29 - @ Royal
Jan. 7 - @ Warden
Jan. 12 - SCAC Meet No. 2 @ Home
Jan. 19 - SCAC Meet No. 3 @ Kiona-Benton City
Jan. 21 - @ Quincy
Jan. 26 - @ Royal
Jan. 28 - @ Zillah