Yelm wrestling was well represented last weekend at the 2019 Gut Check tournament, where the Tornados placed seventh overall as a team and had two individual wrestlers place.
While head coach Gaylord Strand said this is the best his boys have performed, especially in such a tough venue and having walked away with medals, he said the tournament made some of his boys realize that the road to districts may not be lined in gold.
“Some of the kids need to step it up, when they realize what the competition is and what they have to do to beat some people when it comes to the regional meet and state meet,” Strand said. “We’re close, but not close enough.”
Both Derrick Platt (195) and Chayton Miller (160) placed at Gut Check. Platt took home first with a 4-0 record while also defending his number one spot.
Platt said winning that belt and working with coach Strand through the whole process was big for him.
“It was pretty amazing, looking up and seeing my family and friends on the stands,” Platt said.
The senior said he’s hoping to continue his undefeated streak. Platt wrestled a stacked bracket, which included a bout against a Toppenish wrestler in the quarterfinals which he won, 2-1.
“That was a close match - hard fought,” Strand said
Miller placed fourth with a 5-2 record after some tough bouts against some established Bonney Lake and North Thurston wrestlers.
“He wrestled an outstanding tournament. Picked up a lot of team points with his pins,” Strand said.
Strand said Miller has peaked and he’s looking at the opportunity to possibly drop a weight class come postseason.
Cameron Dubose (220), with a tournament record of 2-2, and Steven Reyes (145), with a tournament record of 3-2, both had some great matches, and were one win away from placing, Strand said.
Strand said the boys will face some established competition this weekend that they haven’t yet this season at the Viking Invite in Lake Stevens. A majority of the schools will be 4A schools and Strand said Mt. Spokane, South Kitsap and Moses Lake should offer thorough competition for the boys.