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Hottest Ticket in Town: Lake Wrestling Puts on a Show
J425 learned that Viking Wrestling throws a 🔥🔥🔥 event… Bryce Slezak ran through his Eagle opp… and Lake Stevens lost a hard-fought dual meet to G-K 42-30.
This post incorporates the earlier video we sent out on Bryce …plus our review/commentary of the event experience…and a notebook item on the upcoming schedule
LAKE STEVENS (Updated 11:09 AM) - Heavyweight Bryce Slezak — just 245 pounds in a class of 275 pounders — started off his wrestling season similar to the end of his football season: at home tossing around a Graham-Kapowsin.
And while the outstanding Junior athlete dispatched his opponent with a pin, netting six points for the team, the rest of the seventh-ranked Eagles were a bit better than the ninth-ranked Vikings on this particular night, as G-K took the dual by a final of 42-30.
That’s not gonna stop us from sharing some thoughts, photography, video and social media from last night’s event in Lake Stevens. After that we’ll brief you re: what’s on deck for the wrestlers.
A Quick Review of the LS Dual Meet Fan Experience
Editor’s Note: Let’s jump into a quick notebook on the experience of attending (and photographing) a Lake Stevens Wrestling Dual Meet from a new attendee (me).
This is quite a production.
That was my initial takeaway upon entering a very different LSHS gym than I’d seen earlier in the week.
From the moment you walk in, the aesthetics are on high.
The gym lighting is dimmed waaaay down on the slider, drawing even more attention to the huge Viking emblem at the middle of a giant purple mat, stage lit by a single beam of light illuminating the wrestlers.
It’s clear that thought and effort has been spent on developing a special event type atmosphere for the fans… while ramping up the drama for (and focusing the attention on) the athletes. All in all it made for a damn good Wednesday night in Lake Stevens.
And hey wait a sec? Is that a DJ over there?
Welp, I guess it is… because as the wrestler is introduced, entering the arena through a human tunnel of well-wishers, the DJ fires up the acapella bridge to “Billie Eilish”, and by the time the baseline on Armani White’s smash club single hits, the wrestler are center mat, shaking hands…and we’re off…and as the Rap Caviar spins the background (think NBA game ambiance), crisp, informative play-by-play filters through the gym.
How are they doing th…oh wait that’s Coach Andy Knutsen on the mic, giving a fair and match-focused run down on the match action. Your local Joe Rogan (which is a compliment, the Spotify guy is a phenomenal MMA analyst).
All in all, this is a pretty astounding environment. I mean we’re a VIP line and a $50 bottle of VOSS still water away from a Scottsdale nightclub.
That’s a joke, but to be honest, the attention is NOT taken away from the event, if anything it’s far more match-focused then your run of the mill weekday at 7:15 affair.
And every bit of shine that’s enjoyable for a casual visitor?
Well it has application to the athletes, press and hardcore supporters as well:
The lighting is designed to focus all eyes on the single match at hand and to limit external distractions. The fact that it makes for a fantastic shooting environment too is a great side benefit for journos.
The music? Think mini UFC entrance, this gets the adrenaline pumping.
And the play-by-play? Brilliant idea. Knutsen is walking around casually with the mic but letting everyone know where things stand.
It’s much better than no play-by-play at all and it fits the vibe of the event.
All in all, a great evening and an event everyone in the 425 should put on the list to checkout when the Viking wrestlers are back after Christmas break - KTH
What’s on deck for Boys Wrestling?
The Viking wrestlers hit the road to Idaho — CDA specifically — for the Tri-State Wrestling Tournament at North Idaho College, a super-competitive invite that welcomes the top 28 prep wrestling teams from the previous year.
So needless to say this is a level or three up from the State Tournament even. If you’re in the greater Spokane area…here’s the schedule.
Tri-State Wrestling Schedule: Friday, December 16
Weigh-in: 8:00 a.m.
Wrestling begins: 10:00 a.m.
Quarterfinals: 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, December 17.
Wrestling begins: 9:00 a.m.
Semifinals: 12:15 p.m.
Placing/finals: 5:30 p.m.
Lake Stevens returns to in-state action Jan. 6 at Tahoma High School in Maple Valley.
The soonest you can catch them close to home is at the Everett Classic, Saturday, Jan. 7 at Everett High, 9:00am.
The Vikings’ next home dual isn’t until well after Christmas: vs Jackson, Jan. 19, 7:00pm.
Until then, be sure to follow our social media as we’re packing it with contact in between posts. 👇
It’s @425Kev and @J425BABY on Twitter. Find us on Instagram @J425Live and @J425Kev.
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