Islanders defeat Totems in wrestling matchup

The Mercer Island wrestling team registered a convincing 69-6 victory against the Sammamish Totems in a battle of schools separated by a mere seven miles on Dec. 8.

The dual match, which featured just five matches on the evening due to a multitude of forfeits, was dominated by the Islanders grapplers. Mercer Island wrestlers winning by pin included Andrew Motz (126), Piljin Kwak (138) and Jonah Andrews (160). Kwak pinned Sammamish’s Julianna McKeehan in a mere 31 seconds. Andrews pinned Totems’ grappler Tyler Huffman with 43 seconds left in the third round in the final match of the night. Islanders’ first year wrestler Ennis Hanson, who is a senior, earned a 10-3 win against Totems’ wrestler Jace Johnson in the 132-pound division. Hanson trailed Johnson 2-1 at the end of the first round but dominated the final four minutes of the match en route to an emphatic victory.

“He wrestled a really nice match. He is growing quite a lot and is improving every single match, every single day. That is really encouraging to see,” Mercer Island head coach Lee Jahncke said.

Mercer Island grapplers winning courtesy of forfeits consisted of Teague Frazier (285), Russell Asmus (220), Connor Hill (195), Donnie Howard (182), Colin Farrell (170), Finn Childress (152), Eli Pruchno (120) and Jordan Tillinger (113). Sammamish’s lone victory of the night occurred when 145-pound grappler Tristan Stayner pinned Jack Harper in the second round. Jahncke, who is in his first season as head coach after being an assistant coach for the past 11 years, said his team is deep across the board of weight divisions this season.

“We cover almost all of the weights, which is nice. It is a luxury to be able to do that. Our team is a bit bigger this year than it has been in the past, which encourages me,” Jahncke said.

The Totems are on the opposite end of the spectrum in terms of its roster. Totems’ head coach AJ Ranjbaran said there are just eight wrestlers on the team this season. Ranjbaran, who is in his first season as the head coach after being an assistant for the past five seasons, said all members of his team are dedicated to the sport.

“We got a lot of work to do. Honestly, I really want the kids to have fun. We got a lot of new kids and I want them to enjoy the sport of wrestling. Wrestling is a sport that teaches life-long lessons. We do really enjoy working one-on-one with the wrestlers,” Ranjbaran said of the coaching staff. “The challenge we encounter is there isn’t enough numbers (eight wrestlers), which limits the variability within each wrestler to present new challenges.”

The first-year head coach is thrilled to be leading the Totems’ program.

“It is a lot more paperwork. I really like it,” Ranjbaran said with a smile. “I’m excited to change the paradigm and I’m looking at how to integrate more of a flow or sequence to help connect things together for the program.”

Jahncke believes the Islanders can challenge for the Class 3A KingCo regular season title. Last season, the Interlake Saints defeated the Islanders 36-32 to clinch the league title.

“We’re gunning for that KingCo title. That is a goal every single season for us,” Jahncke said. “There are always a couple of teams that are in the running every year that are very strong. It changes from year-to-year but we’re hoping to be one of those strong teams as the season continues.”

More in Sports

Ryan Pang (pictured on the far right) poses for a photo with teammates Sam Schroerlucke, Chris Groer and Ross Duncan in Miami. Photo courtesy of Ryan Pang
Pang competes at ITF Young Seniors World Team Championships

Mercer Island tennis coach partakes in an experience of a lifetime.

The Mercer Island Islanders girls swim team earned a fifth-place finish at the Class 3A state swim meet on Nov. 10 at the King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way.
                                The 200 IM relay team consisting of Alexandra Williams, Grace Olsen, Cayla Prophater and Elie Bailey captured fifth place. The 200 free relay squad of Annie Pearse, Julia Williamson, Hailey Vandenbosch and Bailey finished in sixth place. The 400 free relay quartet of Pearse, Prophater, Vandenbosch and Williamson captured sixth place as well. Prophater earned fourth place in the 200 IM and third place in the 500 free. Sophia McGuffin registered a third-place finish in diving and Pearse finished in fifth place in the 100 free. Photo courtesy of Allison Nelson
Islanders earn fifth place at Class 3A state swim meet

Mercer Island swim team performs well at state swim competition.

Mercer Island senior midfielder Jackie Stenberg, right, tries to keep the ball away from Bonney Lake midfielder Summer Kober, left, in the first round of the Class 3A state playoffs on Nov. 6 at Mercer Island High School. Photo courtesy of Patrick Krohn/Patrick Krohn Photography
Islanders cruise past Panthers in first round of state playoffs

Mercer Island pitches shutout against Bonney Lake.

A Mercer Island based tennis team, representing the United States Tennis Association (USTA) Pacific Northwest Section, captured the national title at the USTA League 40 Over 3.0 Men’s National Championships on Oct. 28 at the Copeland-Cox Tennis Center in Mobile, Alabama. The Mercer Island team, which is based out of of the Mercer Island Country Club, defeated a squad from San Francisco, California 3-2 in the title match. Members of the Mercer Island squad consisted of John Whipple, Bernard Hensey, Brian Rogers, Christopher Loiselle, Christopher Martin, Dean Martin, Dean Winston, Jeff Omara, Richard Aylen and Ryan Flynn. Photo courtesy of the United States Tennis Association
Mercer Island tennis team wins national title

Team based out of Mercer Island Country Club dominates at coveted tournament.

The Mercer Island Islanders boys water polo team earned a 19-1 win against Kennedy on senior night on Nov. 1. Mercer Island seniors pictured include Jacob Goldfarb, Tyler Robinson, Peter Davis, Cole Brittain, Will Cero, William Lacrampe, Leif Gullstad, Julian Rizza and Nate Robinson. Photo courtesy of Dawn Friedland
Mercer Island water polo team dominates Kennedy

Islanders dominate on senior night.

The Mercer Island Islanders girls swim team earned third place as a team at the Class 3A SeaKing district championships on Nov. 3 at Mary Wayte Pool on Mercer Island. The 200 medley relay team consisting of Alex Williams, Grace Olsen, Cayla Prophater and Julia Williamson captured fourth place. The 200 free relay team of Ellie Bailey, Annie Pearse, Williamson and Olsen earned fifth place. The 400 free relay team of Hailey Vandenbosch, Prophater, Pearse and Bailey captured fifth place.
                                Islanders’ junior Sophia McGuffin earned first place in the diving portion of the meet. Bailey earned eighth place in the 50 free and 10th place in the 100 free. Sophomore Grace Lennington captured 10th place in the 500 free. Senior Chloe Mark earned ninth place in the 200 free and sixth place in the 500 free. Olsen finished in ninth place in the 200 IM and sixth place in the 100 breaststroke. Pearse registered a third-place finish in the 50 free and third place in the 100 free. Prophater finished in fifth place in the 200 IM and third place in the 500 free. Mira Tang captured ninth place in the 100 back. Vandenbosch earned 10th place in the 200 free and ninth place in the 100 fly. Williams finished in sixth place in the 100 back. Williamson earned ninth place in the 50 free and eighth place in the 100 free. Sophomore Katie Williamson finished in fifth place in the 100 back. Photo courtesy of Allison Nelson
Islanders girls swim team earns third place at districts

The Mercer Island Islanders girls swim team earned third place as a… Continue reading

A Mercer Island-based women’s tennis team, which represented the United States Tennis Association Pacific Northwest section, earned a national title at the USTA League Adult 40 Over 3.5 National Championships on Oct. 21 at the Arlington Tennis Center in Arlington, Texas. The Mercer Island team defeated a Cornelius, North Carolina squad 3-2 in the championship match. Members of the championship roster included Carol Gregory, Nancy Smith, Susie Harrington, Diane Panteleakos, Cindy Paborsky, Suzy Skone, Heidi Martin, Hilary Benson, Molly Fort, Ildi Koves, Shawn Wood, Kelly Everson and Leigh Perks. Photo courtesy of Andrew Ong/USTA
Mercer Island tennis team wins national title

Championship squad trains at Mercer Island Country Club.

Islanders player Leif Gullstad (No. 12) makes his fourth steal of the game in a matchup against the Ballard Beavers on Oct. 15. Photo courtesy of Dawn Friedland
Mercer Island loses close contest to Ballard

Islanders lose in home contest against Beavers.

The epitome of a legend

Paul Allen will always be remembered for saving professional football in Seattle.

Islanders water polo team loses to Bellevue, Roosevelt

Mercer Island remains optimistic despite recent defeats.

The Mercer Island Islanders boys tennis team’s No. 1 doubles team consisting of Chris Elliot and Kevin Chen finished the 2018 regular season undefeated. Shaun Scott/staff photo
Dynamic duo dominates at the net

Mercer Island Islanders No. 1 doubles team goes undefeated in regular season action.

Moscow Spartans football players Omari Grinyaev, Michael Levenshtein and Mercer Island head football coach Ed Slezinger pose for a quick photo prior to the start of Mercer Island’s football practice on Oct. 9. Grinyaev and Levenshtein will be in Washington observing the Islanders football programs practices, meetings, workouts and games through Oct. 22. Shaun Scott/staff photo
Islanders football program hosts Russian players

Players from the Moscow Spartans football team make trip to Mercer Island.