Wrestlers to watch this season
Lake Stevens Michael Soler (left) won a state championship last year as a freshman.
Marysville Pilchuck's Killian Page (left) wrestled in the 145-pound championship bout last year.
Former Archbishop Murphy wrestler Foster Wade, who wrestled in the 195-pound championship bout last season, will wrestle for Stanwood this season.
The Warriors 132-pounder lost in the second round of the state tournament, but rebounded to win three of four matches in the consolation round, including a 4-3 decision over Olympia's Logan Pine in the final bout, to take fifth place.
This year's he's looking to win a state championship, something his older brother, Andrew, never could quite do. Andrew Vulliet was a three-time state placer, but never won a state title.
"Nathan is such an awesome leader and great kid," said Edmonds-Woodway head coach Brian Alfi. "We're lucky to have him. He's hunting for a state title and bragging rights this season."
Vulliet, who will wrestle at either 145 or 152 this season, also has the respect of other coaches.
"He is a competitor for sure but has always been very respectful to both opposing coaches, wrestlers and fans," said Mount Vernon head coach Paul Rademacher. "I think he would fit in very well with what we are trying to do in Mount Vernon."
Michael Soler, Lake Stevens
The sophomore wrestler heads up a very talented group of wrestlers in the lower weight classes that looks to lead Lake Stevens to a third state title in four seasons.
Soler followed in his older brother's footsteps by winning a state title last year. Now Soler, who beat Moses Lake's Trey Long, is trying to do another feat his brother pulled off last year: win back-to-back state titles.
Soler is one of three Vikings freshman who battled to state semifinal matches at Mat Classic XXV, including fellow 106-pounder AJ Crew and 120-pounder Jake Douglas. Add to that group two-time state champion Noah Cuzzetto, who transferred to Lake Stevens from Edmonds-Woodway over the offseason, and Cody Vigoren, who returns after finishing fourth at 170 last year, and the Vikings are definitely in the mix for a state title. Vikings head coach Brett Barnes identified Central Valley, Moses Lake and Tahoma as big challenges at state.
"Cody Vigoren, Michael Soler and Jake Douglas are excellent leaders and extremely hard workers," Barnes said. "We should be a better tournament team than dual meet as we are very deep in the lower weights but a little light in the middle."
Killian Page, Marysville Pilchuck
After coaching state champ Jessie Lopez over the past four seasons, Everett head coach Brien Elliott knows wrestlers and he knows state champs.
He's also familiar with Page, who he thinks has a high bar this season.
"Killian Page: the next state champion," Elliott said recently.
Page, who lost to Elliott's Lopez in the regional final last year, went on to wrestle in the 145-pound state championship match after beating Dylan Schmidt, Matt Yuste and Cody Kiourkas in the first three rounds. All three of those wrestlers went on to finish fourth, fifth and sixth, respectively. Page lost to Mount Spokane's John Hoover by a 5-0 decision in the final.
This year Page will likely start at 170 this season before moving down to 160.
When asked what wrestler he covets most on an opposing team in Wesco, Stanwood head coach Ray Mather was quick to point to Page.
"He represents the qualities as a wrestler that we teach and coach here in Stanwood," Mather said.
Foster Wade, Stanwood
One of the casualties of Archbishop Murphy's recent disbanding of its wrestling program is Wade.
After going 0-2 at state the previous year, Wade rebounded last year to steamroll his way to the 195-pound state championship bout. The Wildcats then-junior lost a heartbreaker to Ephrata's Tyrus Kemp 4-3 to take second place.
Now Wade joins a strong Stanwood program that has a number of strong wrestlers, including state finalist West Weinert and state placer Dalton Gilman. But the move means he'll be eyeing his first state title in a whole new classification.
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