Edmonds-Woodway ready to defend Wesco title | Wrestling

Warriors bring back 4 state participants
By David Pan | Dec 21, 2017
Photo by: David R Pan Edmonds-Woodway’s Salihou Fatty finished fourth in the 132-pound division at last season’s 3A state wrestling tournament.

The Edmonds-Woodway wrestling team is ready to defend its Wesco 3A South title.

The Warriors bring back an experienced core with four individuals who advanced to the state tournament, three of whom earned medals.

Senior Salihou Fatty was the team’s top placer, finishing fourth in the 132-pound division. Senior Generous Yeh placed seventh at 220 and junior Grayson LeCompte took eighth at 120. Freshman Howie Hare qualified as a state alternate and wrestled two matches at 113 in the tournament.

Fatty started the season at 145 but may eventually move down in weight class. The Edmonds-Woodway senior, who was a second-team, all-league defensive back, admitted he bulked up for the football season, topping the scales at about 160 pounds.

After the season ended and he starting eating healthier, Fatty’s weight dropped significantly.

The transition from football to wrestling was easy for Fatty, who kept busy wrestling during the offseason with several camps and regular practices with the Wrestling Rhinos.

“The season is going pretty good,” Fatty said. “Everybody has been improving a lot.”

Fatty has concentrated on strengthening his mental game in the off-season. The goal, he said, is “to be confident and just know that I’m capable of doing good things as long as I stay prepared and focused.”

For Fatty, everything starts with practice.

“If you practice well and you practice hard, you’ll be ready for matches,” Fatty said. “It all starts with preparation. How I wrestle in practice is how I’m going to wrestle in matches.”

At the Edmonds Invitational earlier this month, Fatty placed second in the 145 division. Edmonds-Woodway coach Brian Alfi noted that the weight class with stacked with eight state placers.

“He’s wrestling really tough,” Alfi said of Fatty. “It was a nice early season test. He beat a state placer in the quarterfinals from Oak Harbor. He beat a state semifinal in the semifinals.”

Fatty is the type of wrestler who is constantly working to improve his skills, Alfi said.

Fatty has a really good attack on one side, Alfi said, and the other day at practice he decided to practice the attack from the other side.

“He’s trying to get better every single day,” Alfi said. “He’s not stuck doing the same things. He evolved quite a bit as a wrestler over the last six years.”

Most of the team, even the incoming freshmen, kept busy during the off-season.

“All of us worked together over the summer and spring, whether it was by working out or going to camps together. We’re really close,” Fatty said. “Even the freshmen, they went to camps with us. So we all know each other well. It’s really fun. … It’s our goal to win Wesco this year for sure.”

At last Saturday’s Graham Morin Memorial Tournament at Squalicum High School, Fatty (145) and LeCompte (132) won their respective weight classes. Yeh took second at 220 and Baylor Denkinger also finished second at 106.

The Warriors won the team title, scoring 177.5 points, ahead of Ferndale (161) and Marysville-Pilchuck (160).

“I feel like we’ve got a really good core,” Alfi said.

At the Rose City Championships earlier this month, Denkinger (106), Fatty (145) and Yeh (220) all placed sixth in their divisions at the 25-team tournament featuring top 10 teams from Oregon and Washington.

More tournaments are scheduled for later this month and January.

“We have a tough tournament slate,” Alfi said. “They’re going to be battle-tested.”

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