Henkle Middle School wrestlers won 18 of 38 matches Nov. 20 during a Lower Columbia Activities Association double dual meet with Jemtegaard and Hockinson in Columbia High School's Miller Memorial Gym.
Henkle posted a mark of 5-2 Jemtegaard and was 13-18 against Hockinson. One highlight for Henkle against Hockinson, noted Grizzlies Coach Rick Freil, was its record in girls-only matches.
"Our girls were 5-1 collectively against girls from Hockinson, with three pins," Freil said.
Overall, Freil added, the meet showed him how much Henkle wrestlers have improved since their first meet on Nov. 6.
"I saw the whole team make a progressive developmental step in terms of mat awareness and technical application of specific holds and moves," he explained. "Wrestlers who used to do the right thing the wrong way are now doing the right thing the right way. Oftentimes this translated into scoring points or successfully defending against giving up points."
Even in those matches they lost, Henkle wrestlers--employing what they'd learned in practice, in competition--were competitive, often losing by just a point or two, Freil said.
"As a team I see the learning and application process accelerating as we near the end of the season," he said. "If (the Nov. 20 meet) proves to be indicative, then this team is just beginning to really hit its stride. With two weeks left in the season and tournaments approaching, a coach couldn't ask for a better situation."
Henkle travels to Kalama today for a double dual meet with Kalama and Woodland that starts at 4 p.m. The Grizzlies final regular-season meet takes place next Tuesday at Canyon Creek in Washougal.
Post-season tournaments are scheduled for Thursday, Dec. 6, in Hockinson, and Saturday, Dec. 8, at Washougal High School for junior varsity and varsity wrestlers respectively.