By Mike Maltais
The Liberty Bell High School varsity wrestling team faced a second formidable yet familiar opponent — grade point average — on the grappling mat against Tonasket and Okanogan last week. The Mountain Lions got the better of the Bulldogs in a home mix-and-match on Dec. 10, but gave up a win to the visiting Tigers Thursday (Dec. 12) when injuries and academic ineligibility sidelined all but six of Liberty Bell’s 13-man roster.
While Tuesday’s mix-and-match with Okanogan did not count from a scoring standpoint, “we did win with the matches we had,” said coach Paul Schmekel. “Overall we wrestled pretty good.”
Schmekel said he was disappointed, however, with the results from Thursday’s encounter with Tonasket.
“We had only six guys able to wrestle. The rest were out due to injury or ineligibility from grades,” Schmekel said.
Emmett Fink, Milo Holston, Jacob McMillan and Tyson Coleman were four among six Mountain Lions who got the best of Tiger opponents. Colt Jack and Stoney Hulon rounded out the Mountain Lion roster.
“It’s early in the season and I expect us to get a lot better in the next few weeks,” Schmekel predicted.
The Mountain Lions will split the team Saturday (Dec. 21) to take advantage of two concurrent events in Okanogan and Spokane.
Five team members — Trent Skelton, Jacob McMillan, Emmett and Meritt Fink and Milo Holston — will travel to the Tri-State Tournament in Spokane with coach Schmekel and Shane Skelton. Schmekel’s new assistant coach, former Liberty Bell state champion Gunnar Doggett, will take the remaining team to the Okanogan Tournament starting at 10 a.m.