Quality, not quantity, is what Wood River High School’s wrestling program is counting upon during the 2012-13 season that debuts today, Wednesday with a triangular meet against Kimberly and Century.
Fourth-year Hailey head coach Shawn Huntington said, “We’re lacking the numbers this year, starting with 16 wrestlers. What we lack in quantity we make up for in quality.
“We have a strong dual lineup but this is the first year I’ve been here that we have an even better tournament team. Most of the team expects to place in most of or all of our tournaments.”
Huntington has welcomed three senior-class returning state placers from last season. They are Tommy Bailey, Storm Anderson and Thomas Heiden.
The coach said, “We also have three seniors who are returning state qualifiers. Tim Boyle, Jared Anderson, and Chris Carnes will be very tough for us.
“In the junior class we have several returners in Kyle Clark, Kaleb Guisasola, Jake Halopoff, Dillon Bunce and two-time district champion Cooper Bailey. Riley Beck is another junior on our district team.
“Jackson Toothman is our only sophomore. We finish things off with three skilled incoming freshmen in Ryan Anderson, Colby Castle and Dayne Urbany. Our assistant coaches are Scott Castle, Tom Bailey and Doug Stewart.”
4A Wood River enhances its schedule of 11 dual meets (5 at home) with six tournaments this season—at Boise, Reno (Nev.), two in Nampa, New Plymouth and Challis. The first home meets are Tuesday, Jan. 22 with Burley and Buhl.
Last February, Wood River (155 points) placed fifth of six teams during the conference tournament at Jerome and qualified seven of its 15 district wrestlers for the State 4A meet. Hailey’s two district champions were Cooper Bailey (23-11 last year, 54-20 career) at 120 pounds to go with his district win at 112 two years ago, and Thomas Heiden (29-12) at 182.
State placers were Tommy Bailey (34-14 season, 72-49 career) in fourth place at 145 pounds, Storm Anderson (23-14) fifth at 170 and Heiden sixth at 182. Also winning a state match were Tim Boyle (23-17) at 113, Cooper Bailey at 120 and Chris Carnes (11-4) at 285.
Boyle (2010, 2012) and Jared Anderson (2011) offer Wood River more state wrestling tournament experience, and Storm Anderson has been to state twice along with Tommy Bailey and Cooper Bailey.
Once again, the Great Basin Conference receives four state berths from each weight class, instead of the three it got in 2011. Canyon Ridge hosts this year’s conference meet, and the 56th annual Idaho High School Wrestling Championships return to Holt Arena, Pocatello.
Here is a possible starting lineup for Wood River, with open classes (no wrestlers) currently at 120, 182 and 220.
98 pounds—Colby Castle, freshman.
106—Ryan Anderson and Dayne Urbany, freshmen.
113—Kaleb Guisasola, junior.
126—Tim Boyle, senior, and Riley Beck, junior.
132—Cooper Bailey, junior.
138—Jared Anderson, senior, and Jake Halopoff, junior.
145—Dillon Bunce, junior.
152—Tommy Bailey, senior.
160—Kyle Clark, junior, and Jackson Toothman, sophomore.
170—Storm Anderson, senior.
195—Thomas Heiden, senior.
285—Chris Carnes, senior.
Middle school matmen wrap up
Coach Doug Stewart took 10 Wood River Middle School wrestlers to Saturday’s conference tournament in Jerome and six ended up placing.
Wood River placers were:
3—Hans Heaphy (121 pounds), Ashton Owens (145) and Jubal Toothman (157). 4—Xavier Diaz (260). 5—Ryan Halopoff (75) and Jens Blackman (157).
Also competing were Everett Thomas (86), Colton Weatherly (109), Alek Higley (121) and Connor Lohrke (136).