When the Edmonds-Woodway wrestlers take the mat Wednesday for the first dual meet of the season they will begin their quest for a fourth straight Wesco South league title under head Coach Brian Alfi. The Warriors have won five titles since Alfi took the helm in 2012 and seven titles in the last decade.
With three state placers back from last year and a solid group of underclassmen, the Warriors appear to be poised to repeat. Anchoring the lineup are senior Salihou Fatty, who placed 4th at 132 lbs at state last season and is ranked 3rd in preseason by Washington Wrestling Report; senior Generous Yeh, who was 7th in state last year and ranked 4th in preseason at 220 lbs; and junior Grayson LaCompte, who placed 8th in state last year at 120 lbs and is ranked 4th in the preseason.
Warrior Assistant Coach Josh Williams points to freshman Baylor Denkinger, and sophomores Howie Hare and Ousman Fatty as young wrestlers who will help the team in the lightweights this year. Denkinger is fresh from a 3rd-place finish at the Edmonds Invite, Hare went to state as a freshman last year and placed 6th at the Invite, Fatty placed 7th at the invite. “We are a well- rounded team with depth at every weight,” Williams said.
While the Warriors are focused on high performance on the mat, they also have their sights on academics. “We make academics a priority and have a legitimate shot at earning the academic state title,” Williams pointed out.
When asked who would challenge the Warriors for the league title, Williams said Shorewood has a balanced lineup and Meadowdale is always a tough rival. “We can’t let down,” he said.
The Warriors have 80 wrestlers out this year, including 20 girls. The growth of the girls team is an exciting part of EWHS wrestling, according to Williams. Girls coach Terry Ray is building around a strong young team, many of whom wrestled at College Place Middle School. “The guys are very supportive of the girls,” Williams said. “Having a girls team has been good for the whole program.”
The Warriors’ home opener is a double dual meet against Stanwood and Snohomish Wednesday starting at 5:30 p.m. The Warriors are ranked 13th in state preseason rankings, Stanwood is ranked 14th.
— By Mike Cooper