Kamiak wrestling coach Bryan Stelling has high hopes for his team to have a successful season on the mats and finish by advancing several wrestlers to Mat Classic. But one of his other main goals for the team has nothing to do with wrestling.
“I’d love to see us repeat as academic state champions,” he said. “Most of the kids have grade-point averages of well over three. Jaden Stetler, he’s one of our guys who’s taken all of the Advanced Placement classes. Their hard work in the classroom inspires me. They love the analytical and mental side of wrestling.”
The Knights have a balanced lineup, led by Peter Kim (126 pounds), Guage Holland (152), Anthony Armad (160/170), Max Furlong-Benedetti (182) and Drew Kindle (220). They’ve also received a boost from Diana Cantini, who’s been competing at 106 pounds while also staying active in matches on the girls side.
“The boys tend to have more upper body strength pound-for-pound, so she’s usually going against stronger competition, but she’s got excellent technique,” Stelling said. “She’s flat-out beat a lot of boys with her technique. She’s solid.”