Kiona-Benton Bears 2002-03 Preview
The 2003 Bears wrestling team will an exciting one to watch. The Bears finished 9-5 in duals last season and they placed a respectable 14th at the state tournament. This will be the first time that the Bears have ever had four returning state placers on the team. With 5 returning regional wrestlers, a transfer heavyweight and some impact freshman, this will be a wrestling squad to watch.
Josh Corke is the returning undefeated 2A state champ at 145. He carries a string of 34 straight wins into the 2002-03 season. Josh is a bruising wrestler who will give you everything he's got. Josh never gives up and never quits. He showed this at state when he scored the winning points on Mike Griffith of Lakeside with just 14 seconds to go in the championship match. Josh should become the fourth Ki-Be wrestler to record 100 wins in his career, he stands at 83 entering the season.
Brandon Ashley placed 5th as a freshman and will only get better. He won 28 matches, 13 by pin in 2002-03. Brandon is full of energy and goes 100% all the time. He has shown a knack for winning the big matches as he showed by defeating Romi Gonzalez for the District title last year. Brandon has a bright wrestling future ahead of him.
Josh Corriell will be the pre-season favorite to dominate the 171-189 pound weightclass in the CWAC. A place in the state finals is well within Josh's grasp this year. He brings 59 career wins and 25 pins into his Senior year. Josh has been to state the last two years and placed 8th last year. Look for Josh to punish his opponents this year.
Junior Gonzalez was a pleasant surprise last year. He started his highschool career by losing his first two matches, but by the time it was all over he had rung up 27 wins. Junior ran off a string of 13 consecutive wins late in the season and captured the CWAC South District title. Junior finished off the year with an 8th place finish at state. Will he be yet another Ki-Be state champ before his highschool career is up?
Tony Chapin was another surprise from last season. Tony won 21 matches and his 17 pins led the team. He should join the other four this year at state. Tony is very strong and has the ability to pin an opponent at anytime. With a lot of hard work and determination, Tony could be among the top wrestlers in the state in the years to come.
Other wrestlers who should make an impact this year are Kevin Hunter, Justin Rolland, Bryce Livesey and Ryan Phipps. All of these wrestlers participated at the regional tournament and should be better for having had the experience. Assistant Coach Rich Cunningham is excited about the incoming freshman and also about a heavyweight transfer from the state of Idaho. All in all this should be a very exciting year for Ki-Be wrestling.