The strength of the Renton wrestling lies with the little guys. The lightweights, that is.
The Indians return the top two finishers at the Seamount League meet in the 103-pound class last year in Aaron Garcia and Saugat Chhetri.
Garcia will stay at 103 this season, while Chhetri will wrestle at 112 pounds. Both should compete for league titles again this season.
Renton also has experience in Johnny Huynh, who will wrestle at 145 and Sunnyside transfer Angel Rodriguez (130).
Other than a few strong returners, Renton coach Keith Eager faces a challenge this season with a young Indian wrestling squad.
The team has 32 members, 12 of whom are sophomores. There are also three freshmen.
Eager, who has been with the program since 1989 and the head coach since 1992, said he expects this team to be better than last year’s group, but not without hard work.
“We have a pretty good tradition of getting to the regional and state tournaments,” Eager said. “Though it’s going to take some doing to get back there this year.”
Renton lost a couple of talented wrestlers from last season. Thomas Diwag won the league meet at 152 pounds and Armin Basic won at 189 pounds. Basic was also the team’s lone competitor at the 3A state meet last year. The senior decided not to compete in wrestling to focus on other sports this season (football, plus track and field).
The Indians will have four heavyweights this season. Last year the team had to forfeit that weight class at each match.
Wrestlers to watch for this season include:
– Aaron Garcia won the Seamount League title last season at 103 pounds.
– Suagat Chhetri finished second to Garcia at 103 at the league meet last season and will wrestle at 112 this year.
– Johnny Huynh is experienced and will wrestle at 145.
– Angel Rodriguez transfered from Sunnyside and will compete at 130 this season.