Auburn, Auburn Mountainview, Auburn Riverside previews | Prep wrestling

Auburn, Auburn Mountainview, Auburn Riverside wrestling previews.

Auburn Trojans

Coach: Dennis Herren, fourth year

Last year’s dual record: 5-3

Top wrestlers: Drew Aplin, 120 pounds, junior, state qualifier; Balteer Rana, 126, senior, state alternate; Sjon Snitily, 138, junior, state qualifier; Bailey Minnar,170, senior; Sam Lindsay, 182, senior, sixth-place at state; Jacob Apodaca, 285, senior, fifth-place at state; and Mario Luevano, 220, senior, regional qualifier.

Outlook: Simply put, the Trojans are stacked. In addition to six state qualifiers from last year’s Mat Classic, Auburn returns several wrestlers who were on the cusp of reaching state last season, and some promising newcomers. The Washington Wrestling Reporter featured seven Trojan wrestlers ranked in the top 10 in their respective weight classes: Aplin, No. 5 at 120; Rana, No. 8 at 126; Snitily, No 8, 138; Minnar, No. 8 at 170; Lindsay, No. 2 at 182; Luevano No. 4 at 220; and Apodaca, No. 2 at 285.

“We have seven wrestlers projected by the experts to place at Mat Classic XXVII,” Herren said. “I predict twice as many wrestlers from Auburn to live and train like champions this season. It is an uncommonly dedicated group, and as a coach, I am inspired by the courage, team effort and work ethic of the group.”

According to Herren, this year’s squad has its the lack of lightweights, with no 106- or 113-pounders on the roster.

Team chemistry will be a strength. “Our senior leaders on the team have developed the concept of ‘Brojans,’ which means that they lift each other up and leave nobody on the team behind. Everyone is a brother and fellow warrior on the mat.”

Key dates: Auburn hosts the All-South Puget Sound League Championship on Jan. 2-3, featuring some of the state’s top wrestlers. The Trojans travel to the Rocky Mountain Rumble on Jan. 16-17 at Utah Valley University in Orem. Also on tap is the Dream Duals, one of the state’s premier tournaments, Jan 24 at East Valley High School in Spokane. The postseason begins Feb. 6-7 with the SPSL Sub-Regionals at Auburn, followed by the regional tournament Feb. 14 at Bonney Lake High School. This year’s state championships, Mat Classic XXVII, is Feb. 20-21 at the Tacoma Dome.

Auburn Riverside Ravens

Coach: Kyle Jones, first year

Last year’s dual record: 2-5

Top wrestlers: Landon Stockton, 132, senior; A.I.Shackleford, freshman, 113; Jose Juarez, junior, 152; Scott Esparsa, senior, 182; and Diego Cabanas, junior, 182.

Outlook: Auburn Riverside may not be synonymous with wrestling these days, but that hasn’t always been the case. Ten years ago the Ravens were one of the top programs, with wrestlers like Eric Jones (, Michael Mangrum and Kyle Jones, now the new head coach, earning state championships. Look for Kyle Jones – whose staff includes his brother Eric Jones, a two-time state champion – to spark a revival. “I’m really excited about the upcoming year,” he said. “We have a great group of young wrestlers coming in from the middle schools to mix in with our veterans. We don’t have any wrestlers who have been outside the league tournament, so postseason experience is something we are lacking at this point. But we have lots of athletic kids who are hungry to perform at the top of the league and prove themselves in the postseason.”

Key Dates: The Ravens host the Auburn Riverside Invitational on Jan. 10, featuring some of the top 4A and 3A teams in the state. The Ravens establish a new rivalry on Jan. 21 when they host Auburn Mountainview.

Auburn Mountainview Lions

Coach: Jay McGuffin, first year

Last year’s dual record: 0-5

Top wrestlers: Brahm Trujillo, 126, sophomore, third in state last year; Dylan Foley, 132, junior, fifth in state; Joey Santos, 138, junior, state qualifier; David Boone, 170, senior, state qualifier; Zach Jones, 182, senior, 31-4 overall last season; Antonio Correa, 220, junior, state qualifier; Andrew Pellow, 285, junior, state alternate.

Outlook: The Lions look to new coach Jay McGuffin – who ran successful programs at Central Washington University and Chelan High School – to set the tone. “I’m excited at the opportunity to lead this group of young men,” McGuffin said. “We have some great wrestlers on this team, and I really believe they could surprise some people at the end of the season. They work hard, listen to instruction well and want to be pushed further and further every day. As a team, we continue to come together and believe in the idea of traveling the road together. Our strength will be the veterans who mentor our younger wresters, the whole work ethic they show in practice and with a young group of coaches who are able to roll every day. The only weakness we have right now is our numbers. I’m always looking for more kids to turn out and learn more about the sport.”

Key dates: The Lions face the biggest week of the season beginning next month. First they travel to Sultan High School for the Sky Valley Invitational on Jan. 10, then host Auburn in a dual meet on Jan. 13. Auburn Mountainview closes out the week by hosting the King of the Mountain tourney on Jan. 17. The Lions wrap up the regular season with a Jan. 28 home dual against powerhouse Enumclaw.