Bellevue 170-pound sophomore Joe Wampler (top) wins his match against Interlake’s Arseniy Marshak during a triple dual meet on Jan. 30. Benjamin Olson/staff photo

Bellevue 170-pound sophomore Joe Wampler (top) wins his match against Interlake’s Arseniy Marshak during a triple dual meet on Jan. 30. Benjamin Olson/staff photo

Bellevue wrestling team flips the script

After struggling in the past, the Wolverines are finding success on the mat.

The Bellevue wrestling team went into the 2019-20 season with the goal of having the biggest turnaround in program history. After not winning a meet as a team since 2017, the Wolverines went 5-11 this season.

Bellevue head wrestling coach Jory Hamilton said the wins are milestones in the process of building a successful program.

“As competitors, (winning) helps the kids believe in themselves and that’s the most important thing,” Hamilton said.

Freshman Andy Scheyer (152 pounds) said their first team victories of the season over Bothell and Inglemoor on Dec. 12 were huge for the team. After those wins, he said more kids were coming to practice and they were working harder in the weight room and on the mat.

“That flipped a switch,” Scheyer said. “After we won those matches, it really boosted our confidence.”

The Wolverines picked up another confidence-boosting win with a razor-thin 37-36 win over Mercer Island thanks to a tie-breaker on Jan. 24.

“We initially thought we lost,” Hamilton said. “We went down to about the sixth tiebreaker and barely won. That says everything about the kids here. It took everyone to win.”

The Wolverines have a young team this season, with six freshmen in their varsity lineup for their final regular season meet of the year. Hamilton said that 23 out of the 26 members of the team are new wrestlers.

“They’ve all either met or exceeded the expectations put in front of them,” Hamilton said.

The young Bellevue wrestlers have taken on leadership roles with the team this year, which is something that Hamilton was surprised to see. Scheyer said they have incorporated leadership tactics from other sports and brought them to the wrestling team to help change the culture.

“We’re really changing the culture and the atmosphere,” Scheyer said. “The leadership from the upperclassmen has been great and the coaching staff is great. The pieces are all falling together.”

When freshman Carsen Martinez (132 pounds) heard people from other schools not take the Bellevue wrestling team seriously, it made him want to work harder.

“I feel like we’re making a stand and saying, ‘Bellevue wrestling is not a joke’,” Martinez said. “It motivates me to prove them wrong.”

Bellevue concluded its regular season at home for a triple dual meet featuring Sammamish, Newport, Interlake and Redmond on Jan. 30. Despite losing their two team matches to Interlake and Newport, Hamilton said hosting a home meet makes all the hard work worth it.

While Hamilton said he hopes to see the team go undefeated in the future, the most important thing for him is to see his wrestlers grow to be outstanding people.

“You love each and every one of those kids, on both good and bad days,” Hamilton said. “You’re watching a kid that is like your own family. You’re happy for everything they’ve learned and everything they’ve accomplished.”


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@bellevuereporter.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.bellevuereporter.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

Bellevue 220-pound freshman Kolani Masunu (left) takes down Interlake’s Cole Mullenix during a meet on Jan. 30. Mullenix won the match by fall. Benjamin Olson/staff photo

Bellevue 220-pound freshman Kolani Masunu (left) takes down Interlake’s Cole Mullenix during a meet on Jan. 30. Mullenix won the match by fall. Benjamin Olson/staff photo

More in Sports

Pictured: A Mercer Island High School swimmer competes in fall 2019. Washington Interscholastic Activities Association recently announced the girls swim and dive season will be moved to “Season 3,” which begins March 1. File photo
WIAA gives schools option to delay start of prep sports until December

An updated plan moves girls swimming to Season 3 and makes fall cross country an alternate season.

WIAA delays start dates for fall sports

Football practices to begin Sept. 5, all other sports planned for Sept. 7.

No-show season: WIAA announces cancellation of spring sports, activities

Due to the school closure extension, the cancellation includes all practices, competitions, tournaments and championships, WIAA says.

There’s still hope for spring sports, WIAA announces

Washington Interscholastic Activities Association making contingency plans for high school sports competitions after extension of stay home order.

The WIAA announced Wednesday that if schools reopen at the conclusion of the six-week statewide shutdown ordered last week by Gov. Jay Inslee, then the state championships will go on as planned. (WIAA photo)
WIAA still hoping to hold state championships in May

But if the school shutdown extends past April 24, those championships could be in jeopardy.

Vikings earn all-league honors on the basketball court

Both boys and girls Bellevue Christian basketball teams were well represented on… Continue reading

Athletic practices and competitions cancelled through April 24 due to coronavirus outbreak

By Andy Nystrom and Benjamin Olson Gov. Jay Inslee announced on March… Continue reading

Local basketball standouts receive KingCo all-league honors

Bellevue-area basketball players received KingCo boys and girls all-league honors for the… Continue reading

Vikings end season at the SunDome

The Bellevue Christian boys lose to Meridian in the 1A state basketball tournament in Yakima.

Games are being postponed in response to coronavirus outbreak

In response to the recent coronavirus outbreak, Eastside schools are taking precautions… Continue reading

Hardwood Classic tips off after coronavirus outbreak

By Benjamin Olson and Andy Nystrom Basketball players took to the court… Continue reading

Relay teams guide Sammamish to boys swim and dive state title

The Totems won the 2A state title for the first time in program history.