Wrestling: Liberty starts hot while Renton is ice cold

Patriots take down Renton and Sammamish to open up duel play.

To kick off the boys wrestling season, the Liberty Patriots and Renton Redhawks travelled to Bellevue High School for a double dual Nov. 30 against the Wolverines and Sammamish High School.

It was a night to remember for the Patriots and a night to forget for the Redhawks.

“There was lots of effort. (They were) wrestling really hard and doing the fundamentals and executing the fundamentals that we show at practice,” said Liberty Head Wrestling Coach Chris Harlin.

The night started with both Liberty and Renton facing off for the first leg of the double dual. Of the 11 scheduled matches, only five were actually wrestled on the mat.

Liberty took down Renton in dominant fashion, only losing one wrestling match, and had one forfeit. The Patriots wrestlers won six matches in a row against Renton. Dual matches are a bit different than the typical wrestling tournament — wrestlers have just one or two matches on a much bigger stage.

“You have your whole team behind you and you’re all chasing a single goal. At a tournament, it’s about you. At a dual, it’s about we,” Harlin said.

Liberty executed that idea about as well as a team could. Renton won the last match via forfeit, getting them out of the single digits, but still falling to Liberty 50-12.

Renton’s night didn’t get much better in its second meeting of the night against the Bellevue Wolverines. The Redhawks once again only had two wins out of six wrestled matches, losing to the Wolverines 70-12.

The Pats continued to wrestle well against Sammamish and lost just one match to the Redhawks.

Liberty hasn’t had a state wrestler since 2018, but they are off to a good start this season so far. It comes down in Harlin’s eyes to goal setting.

“What is your goal? That is the focus all year. Everybody says they want to go to state, but what are the small goals in the year that you’re doing to get to that end result? State is a result, not as much a goal,” Harlin said. “What are those (goals) next week? How do we execute better on certain moves? Those are the goals, to get better at moves and the process and then that will hopefully get us to that end result of going to state. Which is hard, but that is always the result you’re looking at.”