Jeremy Nygard | Jr.
132 pounds | Arlington
After placing third at 106 pounds as a Class 4A competitor last season, Nygard is making the jump all the way to 132 for the bulk of his junior season. Eagles coach Rick Iversen said Nygard likely will drop to 126 for the postseason, but won’t have to struggle all season to make that lower weight, and Arlington is high on freshman Gavin Rork at 126.
Iversen said Nygard, who has traveled to national tournaments and camps in the offseason and would like to enter the national pipeline following high school, is best on his feet thanks to a great deal of freestyle experience.
“That cost him a little bit last year because he couldn’t get off the bottom,” Iversen said. “We’re working really hard on that this year, because we don’t think anyone can take him down. And if you can’t take him down or hold him down, you can’t beat him.”
Alex Rodorigo | Sr.
126 pounds | Lake Stevens
Rodorigo is the latest in his family to be a team captain at Lake Stevens, following in the footsteps of his older brother Ryan and two of his uncles, Cully and Chris Pratt. Now Alex is a co-captain for the 2014-15 edition of the Vikings alongside Cody Vigoren, and it is very important to him to help make the team a family in its pursuit of a third consecutive Class 4A state team title.
“If we get to know each other really well and push each other, it will be easier for us to reach our goals,” Rodorigo said. “The individual titles are great, but the team title is something that everyone remembers.”
Lake Stevens coach Brent Barnes said Rodorigo is best from the top position, and he will be working on wrestling from his feet this season.
“He’s a talented kid. A lot of it is mental with him, just believing he can do it and being stingy with points,” Barnes said.
Killian Page | Sr.
170 pounds | Marysville Pilchuck
On the heels of a hugely successful football season that saw the Tomahawks reach the 3A state semifinals, Page will try to place at Mat Classic for the fourth time — only this time at the top of the podium.
Marysville Pilchuck coach Craig Iversen said once Page gets past his lingering injuries from football and gets into wrestling shape, he’ll be a contender for a state championship thanks to a free-wheeling style that draws greatly on Page’s substantial athletic gifts.
“You don’t get that level of athlete very often in the wrestling room,” Iversen said of Page. “He’s great on big moves and big throws, and I’ve never seen a wrestler with his balance before. He needs to work on wrestling from underneath a little bit more, but he can go with anyone on his feet where his athleticism can shine.”
Iversen said Page’s athleticism allows him to take chances most wrestlers wouldn’t, and that he is at his very best in scramble situations.
Drew Hatch | Sr.
182 pounds | Marysville Pilchuck
In stark contrast to Page’s scrambling ability and penchant for the spectacular, Hatch is a classic grinder.
“He just wears opponents out,” Craig Iversen said. “He has a great feel to pin and has done an incredible amount of wrestling since he was very young. We just need to get Drew healthy and back to where he can keep matches going with his conditioning, but he can grind with anyone.”
Hatch also has placed at Mat Classic in each of the past three seasons and is looking to cap his high school career with a state championship.
Ely Malametz | Sr.
170 pounds | Cedarcrest
First-year Cedarcrest coach Mark Ward is counting on Malametz’s technical ability to carry the senior to a second consecutive state championship, even after moving up in weight class.
“I’ve been around wrestling a long time, and Ely is one of the more gifted high school wrestlers I’ve seen,” said Ward, who wrestled collegiately at Southern Illinois and is returning to coaching after a decade away from the sport. “He’s really slick, and he really knows his style of wrestling. He has a lot of determination to get back up on that podium this year, and I think his style is going to be better at 170 than it was at 160.”
Malametz’s speed and skill play bigger in the higher weight classes, where technical wrestling tends to take a slight back seat to brute force.
“His technique is flawless from his feet, and I think he’s just going to blow by a lot of kids,” Ward said. “But like any high school kid, conditioning is a big part of wrestling and being up a weight class will be tougher for him. Moving around kids that are 10 pounds bigger doesn’t seem like a lot, but it really is. We’ll have to bring his conditioning up to a higher level.”