Two-time district champion Cooper Bailey leads the Wood River High School wrestling team into the 2013-14 season Tuesday, Dec. 10 Kimberly comes to Hailey for a non-conference dual meet.
Fifth-year Hailey head coach Shawn Huntington and his coaching staff are once again dealing with low turnouts in the 16-17 wrestler range. Season-ending injuries have worsened the Hailey depth, but senior Bailey and sophomore Ryan Anderson have high hopes for success.
Bailey (26-13 last season, 80-33 career, district titles at 112 pounds in 2010 and at 120 in 2011) will try to pile up victories in the 132-pound class with hopes to match or exceed the family boasting rights belonging to his older brother Tommy Bailey.
Conference king Tommy Bailey ended his senior season in style last February with a 41-9 mark (113-58 career) at 152 and a sixth-place finish at the State 4A Wrestling Championships of the Idaho High School Activities Association.
That was the best result of the 11 Wolverines, six of them seniors, who competed at state in Pocatello. Cooper Bailey captured two match wins at state and is hungry for more.
So is 120-pounder Ryan Anderson (32-11 as a freshman). At 106, he also won two state tourney matches and was one of three Wolverine district champions along with Tommy Bailey and 285-pound senior Chris Carnes last season.
Unfortunately, 182-pound junior Jackson Toothman (a state qualifier with a 17-19 record last winter) injured his knee during a Wood River football game this fall and is lost for the season. Also sidelined for the 2013-14 season is another varsity starter, senior Jake Halopoff at 145.
Huntington has welcomed back two state qualifiers, sophomore Colby Castle (13-18) at 98 pounds and senior Kaleb Guisasola (21-20) at 138 pounds. Castle and Guisasola each placed fourth in the 2013 conference wrestling tournament.
Seniors Riley Beck at 132 pounds and Kyle Clark at 160 bring back three and four years of varsity time.
Last February, Wood River (207 points) used its senior leadership and tournament-tested line-up to place fourth of six teams during the conference tournament in Twin Falls. The Canyon Ridge Riverhawks won the school’s first district title in any sport 308 to 239.5 over the Minico Spartans.
Huntington said, “I’m excited about the young talent on the team and especially the freshman turnout.
“However, with the lack of varsity wrestlers on our team we will struggle in dual meets. We will be forfeiting several weight classes, but expect some great wrestling out of the handful of varsity wrestlers we do have.”
Again, the Great Basin Conference receives four state tournament berths from each of the 15 weight classes. Minico hosts this year’s conference meet in Rupert, and the 57th annual Idaho High School Wrestling Championships return to The Idaho Center in Nampa.
Here is Wood River’s roster.
98 pounds—Colby Castle, sophomore (returning state qualifier).
120—Ryan Anderson, sophomore (returning state qualifier and district champion at 106 pounds).
132—Cooper Bailey, senior (2-time district champion in 2012 and 2011, 3-time state qualifier).
132—Riley Beck, senior (3-year varsity wrestler).
138—Kaleb Guisasola, senior (returning state qualifier).
145—Jake Halopoff, senior (injured, out for the season).
160—Kyle Clark, senior (4-year varsity wrestler).
182—Jackson Toothman, junior (returning state qualifier, injured, out for the season).
Assistant coaches—Tom Bailey, Scott Castle, Derek Ruhter, Rhett Jones.
106—Everett Thomas, freshman.
120—Irvin Gonzalez, freshman.
126—Dan De La Cruz, freshman.
138—Aramys Gallegos, junior.
145—Cameron Bingham, junior.
145—Hans Heaphy, freshman.
160—Ben Romero, freshman.
160—Jorge Vallejo, freshman.
170—Gaje Moats, sophomore.
170—Wyatt Landrum, sophomore.
285—Alvaro Hurtado, freshman.