“Weighing In”: This is the fifth installment of the 2014-2015 high-school wrestling blog. A look at the rapid rise of Kentridge’s Derek Freitag, marquee matchups, top targets, big performances and links to individual and team rankings.
KR’s Freitag keeps growing as a wrestler
By most standards, Derek Freitag got off to a late start in wrestling. It hasn’t held him back one bit.
The Kentridge High School junior started wrestling in seventh grade and has made great strides in a short amount of time.
Freitag, 14-2 this season with six pins this season at both 106 and 113 pounds, posted a fourth-place finish at the Class 4A state meet at 106 pounds last season.
“My goal is to win a state title, but I also want to do well in the offseason after [school season],” said the 5-foot-2 Freitag, who took third at states in Greco Roman and fourth at states in freestyle at 113 last offseason. “I love wrestling and the people in it. I love the fact that it makes me a harder worker.
“Wrestling carries over into my other work. I am used to working hard, and I enjoy it now.”
In the classroom, he works just as hard. He has a 3.74 grade-point average with a classroom load that includes three Advanced Placement (AP) courses.
Freitag fell 3-2 to Trey Long of Moses Lake in states last season, but that left him believing in himself.
“I’ve been working just as hard as I would have even if [Long] was still there [at 106],” he said. “I knew I was close with him, and I had to keep working and possibly beat him.”
One of the hardest disciplines for Freitag is the pursuit of maintaining his weight so he can stay at 106 come state tournament time on Feb. 21-22 at the Tacoma Dome.
“I’ve always been kind of a little person, but recently I’ve been growing and it’s been harder to keep [the weight] down,” he said. “My parents help me out, and my mom always makes me eat, which is good. I just do small amounts [of food] throughout the day. I have to limit myself and I can rarely go back for that second plate [of food].”
Freitag wasn’t sure what to expect two seasons ago as a freshman at Kentridge, but reaching state that year at 106 gave him a shot of confidence and loftier goals. He went 0-2 in 2013, but came away feeling like he belonged.
Kentridge coach Todd Lantz has seen consistent growth from Freitag, including a first-place showing at 113 in the All-SPSL boys tournament Jan. 3 at Auburn High School.
“His development has been great,” Lantz said. “What’s interesting about Derek is that he started wrestling in seventh grade. You get a lot of the kids nowadays that have started out in the kiddie programs, and a lot have been wrestling since they are 6 years old.
“He’s different. He started a little later on. He’s just progressed rapidly.”
Freitag finished third at 106 at the vaunted Tri-State tournament in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, on Dec. 19-20. His record in high school is now 81-18 with 38 pins and 14 tournament titles after going 38-4 with 18 pins as a sophomore.
With expectations now, Freitag wears a target of a wrestler to beat and success will be hard-earned. He wouldn’t want it any other way.
Marquee matches upcoming
… Renton (3-0) hosts Hazen (1-0) in a key Seamount League dual match on Thursday, Jan. 8 at 7 p.m.
… In a key WesCo 4A dual match, Lake Stevens hosts Snohomish on Wednesday, Jan. 7 at 7 p.m.
… The 13th annual Battle of Bone takes place on Thursday, Jan. 8 as Enumclaw hosts Tahoma in the showdown of perennial state wrestling powers at 7 p.m.
… Kent-Meridian hosts the Dick Pruett Memorial tournament on Saturday, Jan. 10 starting at 9:30 a.m. The event is in honor of the Royals’ longtime wrestling coach.
… Glacier Peak is 7-0 in dual matches this season and 1-0 in the WesCo 3A South Division.
… Led by 285-pound champion Mosese Fifita, Glacier Peak took the Eastmont Cats Classic on Saturday with 168 points to Ellensburg’s 139.
… Yelm and Toppenish tied atop of the team standing of the Pac Coast Championships on Friday and Saturday at Hudson’s Bay High School. Both finished with 155 points.
… Links to All SPSL boys and girls tournament coverage from Friday and Saturday:
… Link to Everett Classic coverage:
2014-15 preseason team & individual rankings
All Classifications page
High school page
Here are three valuable wrestling resources on the web:
Track wrestling link
Searchable database for results
Team and individual rankings, results
WIAA wrestling page
When there’s top performance or noteworthy event in high-school wrestling, please feel to send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and to the attention of Matt Massey.