Sports

Auburn Riverside's Larkin Williams looking for success in postseason | Prep wrestling

Auburn
Auburn's Bailie Davis on the uneven bars.
— image credit: Rachel Ciampi/Reporter

By ERIC WALKER
for the Reporter

Last fall Larkin Williams was a key part of something special.

As a senior lineman for the Auburn Riverside High School varsity football squad, Williams helped lay the foundation for the program's future, transforming a Ravens squad that finished 1-9 in 2012-2013 into last season's 7-3 team, best in the South Puget Sound League North 4A.

"We actually felt like a team," he said. "We were more connected with the freshmen than when we were freshmen."

But now he's all about wrestling.

And with only two tournaments left in his high school wrestling career, Williams hopes that some of last season's gridiron magic carries over as he grapples his way through the postseason tournaments.

This past weekend Williams grabbed fourth-place in the 285-pound heavyweight division at the SPSL North 4A sub-regional tournament at Kent-Meridian High School. The placing moves him on to the West Central District III 4A Regional meet this weekend at Emerald Ridge High School in Puyallup, where he'll compete to qualify for his second consecutive trip to the state meet.

And if hard work has ever translated to success, Williams should be a shoo-in.

"I usually come in in the morning and run, then get ready for first-period lifting class and then after-school wrestling practice," he said.

Auburn Riverside wrestling coach Shawn Martinson said he believes Williams work ethic could make the difference this season, hopefully earning him a spot on the podium at Mat Classic.

"He's worked hard [wrestling] and he works hard in practice, especially managing his weight and getting his conditioning up," Martinson said. "He's doing really well this year. He's really relaxed and comfortable with competing."

After he graduates this spring, Williams said, he plans to attend Green River Community College.

But first he hopes to close out his wrestling career with a bang at the Washington State Mat Classic XXVI wrestling championships, Feb. 21-22 at the Tacoma Dome.

ALSO: The Auburn Riverside wrestling team finished seventh at the SPSL North 4A sub-regional tourney with 98.5 points. In addition to Williams, the Ravens are sending 152-pound senior Todd Houston on to regionals. Houston finished fourth in his weight class.

Junior Scott Esparza earned a spot as an alternate to regionals with his fifth-place finish at 182-pounds.

Tahoma finished first at the sub-regional tourney, amassing 441 team points.

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