Timberwolves build squad around solid returning core | Boys wrestling

By David Pan | Dec 21, 2018

After a slow start, the Jackson boys wrestling team’s lineup is starting to come together.

The Timberwolves scored their first dual meet victory of the season, defeating Shorewood 48-33 in a nonconference matchup Thursday, Dec. 6, at Cascade High School.

Jackson has opened the season with losses to Stanwood (49-29), Marysville-Pilchuck (53-24) and Shorecrest (49-31).

“We still have a few wrestlers not down to their weight,” Wolfpack coach Matt McClinchy said. “One guy is recovering from a football injury. We should be getting him back. … The team is starting to shape up lineup wise. We were off to a slow start.”

The Timberwolves bring back a solid core of talent with Cristian Wilson (132), a two-time regional participant, looking for a breakthrough season.

“Obviously, the goal is to getting to the dome,” McClinchy said.

Matthew Kastelle (138) also brings plenty of postseason experience. He’s been a regional alternate the last two years.

Both Wilson and Kastelle are wrestling up a weight class from last season.

“All though the middle weights we’re solid,” McClinchy said. “Still the kids are going to have to take a step up to get to the dome.”

Other top prospects in the middle weights are Xavier Wilkening-Joly (152) and Charles Immendorf (145).

Both wrestlers have really improved from a year ago, McClinchy said.

Christian Balmer, who transferred from Everett to Sequoia High School, is joining the Wolfpack for his senior season. Palmer placed seventh at 195 at the 3A state tournament last season.

“The goal is to get him into the top 3,” McClinchy said.

The future looks promising for Jackson, which only had four seniors and is heavy on juniors.

McClinchy is hoping that many of those juniors will get their first taste of state action this season.

“This is their year to make the scene,” he said.

Jackson showed its potential at the Rogers Holiday Invitational, where the Wolfpack had 11 individuals place in the top 8.

Wilson (132), Immendorf (145) and Balmer (195) finished third in their respective divisions. Other Jackson placers were: freshman Jacob Lykken (seventh at 113), freshman Nick Johnson (sixth at 120), freshman Will Kuhne (eighth at 126), Kastelle (sixth at 138), Wilkening-Joly (fourth at 152), junior David Moore (fifth at 160), senior Mark Finnerty (sixth at 220), and sophomore Iain Gurr (seventh at 285).

Jackson resumes action at the Panther Classic on Saturday, Jan. 5, at Snohomish High School.

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