The Selah High wrestling team sometimes flies under the radar, but that doesn’t mean the Vikings aren’t a force to contend with year in and year out.
Just last month, Ken Mozingo’s troops finished off their third consecutive seventh-place state finish in Class 2A, bringing home an individual championship and placing three more wrestlers among the top eight.
But with teams like Toppenish grabbing most of the headlines, not everyone around the Yakima Valley is aware how stout the Vikings program has become.
And they’re only getting better, said Mozingo, who just completed his 13thyear as head coach.
“I was extremely pleased with our performance this year,” he said. “We had seven or eight freshmen in our regular lineup and they really showed up for us. One kid even placed in the top three at state, so we’re going to be good for years to come.”
Just like last year, the Viks were led by junior Amadeo Flores-Pimentel, who secured his second straight state championship at 220 pounds. Also coming up big at Mat Classic was freshman Jesse Salinas, who placed third at 126 pounds.
Juniors Jackson Yates (7that 160) and Evan Anderson (8that 113) also landed themselves on the podium in Tacoma, while seniors Dylan Steadman (145) and Tanner Raymond also scored points for the team at state.
Junior Mo Singh (190), sophomore Marcus Gonzalez (106), and freshmen Donny Schmidt (170) and Mikey Ray (285) also qualified for state, giving the Viks nine representatives. All but two of them will be returning next season.
“All of the big points we scored at state are coming back, which is huge for us,” Mozingo said. “I’m pretty excited to come back with the lineup we’ve got.”
The coach added that was proud of the leadership his two seniors brought to the mat this year.
“Dylan and Tanner were great team leaders for us and really supported the younger guys,” he said. “Now, we have guys who are ready to jump in and take those spots in the lineup. That’s what’s been happening the past few years — we just reload.”
As a team, the Vikings also placed seventh in 2017 and 2018, and were sixth in 2015.
Mozingo believes his wrestlers have bought in to what he and his coaching staff have been trying to impart to them.
The next step, he says, is for them to continue making a year-round commitment as a group.
“For the first time in a while, we’ve got a bunch of kids who want to do a freestyle team,” the coach said. “We’ll also go to a couple highly competitive camps this summer where the kids will get 20 or 30 matches each. There’s going to be a lot going on this offseason.”