Colville 2019-20 winter sports preview

Taylor Newquist
Sports Editor


Colville wrestling enters its 2019-20 campaign riding high off of its first ever state championship last year, a feat that broke its four-year streak of second place team finishes at the Mat Classic.
A group of four state champions pushed them over the edge. One of those four – senior Rueben (Strann) Seeman – returns to lead this years team. In total, 17 Colville wrestlers partook in the 2018 Mat Classic, with nine landing on the podium. Of those, 10 state participants return to the team with three placers coming back.
Then-junior Seeman placed first in the 138 weight class, then-freshman Takota Morrison placed sixth in the 132 weight class and then-freshman Logan Hydorn placed third in the 106 weight class. Also competing in state were: Tyvan Richter, Devin Minnier, Kayleb Morris, Dylan Sahota, Wyatt Gleave, Joey Allen and Justin Finley.
Colville head coach Randy Cloke is excited at his teams’ prospects and opportunity to defend its state championship.
“Obviously that’s always the goal,” Cloke said about winning the state title. “We’ve been setting that goal, and when you don’t get there it doesn’t mean you’re not successful, you just have to reevaluate your goal and that’s what we did last year.”
Cloke said the supporting cast around the four state champions from a season ago is what put them over the edge.
“The expectation when you get here is not to be Colville good, but Washington State good and nationally good,” Cloke said.
The Northeast A League looks to again be one of the strongest in the state. In total, there are 11 state placers returning around the league, and the competition between Colville, Deer Park, Lakeside, Medical Lake and Newport will again be fierce. Last year, the five teams all scored in the top-15 for team scoring: No. 1 Colville 259.0, No. 4 Deer Park 176.0, No. 6 Lakeside 134.5, No. 12 Medical Lake 83.0 and No. 15 Newport 79.0.
Colville’s returning state champion Seeman said that he expects to wrestle at the same weight – 138 or go down to 132 for the upcoming year. He said it’s been good to get back on the mat, a few days after ending his football season with a loss to Omak in the 1A State first round. 
“I had my teammates to back me up,” Seeman said about the short transition between sports. “We’ve all been hyped up and ready to wrestle.”
As his main sport, Seeman is eager to have a chance to defend his first state title.
“I’m feeling pretty good about where I am right now,” Seeman said. “(I) definitely want to become another state champion and win one as a team, that’d be really cool. I just want to help improve my team because I love every one of them.”
Seeman and the rest of the Indians will have a jamboree at Lakeside on Dec. 4, before the official start to their season at the Deer Park Invite on Dec. 7 starting at 9 a.m.

Girls basketball

Colville girls basketball has lost four senior guards from its team a year ago, but its youthful forward Mckenna Reggear, mixed in with a new group of senior guards look to pave the way forward to a more successful season.
Reggear was selected to the Northeast A League all-league first team as a freshman last year, and has the talent to become the league’s MVP, according to her head coach John Foulkes. She’ll be the center-piece of a team with hopes of surprising its competition this year.
In 2018, the Indians finished fourth in the NEA League with a 7-5 league and 13-10 overall record. They lost 45-32 to Deer Park in the district third/fourth place game that took the Stags to a NEA-Caribou Trail League crossover.
All of the top three teams in the NEA a season ago (Medical Lake, Freeman and Deer Park) graduated just one senior, while the Indians graduated four. Despite that, Foulkes expects some improvements in the standings, along with plenty of battles between the leagues’ top teams.
“It is going to be tough,” Foulkes said. “But, I feel like we’re a step better than we were a year ago. We really think we should be able to finish in the top two spots in the league. That’s what we really want to do, you look at the league championship and that’s our goal.”
Reggear, senior Katelynn Lewis, senior Breezy Clark, junior Andi Brown, junior Jordyn Martin, senior Zoe Petrey, and sophomore AshN’ea Anderson all enter the season with game-time experience and will factor into the Indians’ rotation, along with freshman Jordyn True, who Foulkes said could come in and make an immediate impact.
Reggear, after having a successful sophomore volleyball season come to an end in the first round of the district tournament, is happy to be back out playing her favorite sport.
“It’s been great to get out on the basketball court,” Reggear said. “We’ve all been waiting for this season and think that we have a good shot of winning our league.”
She said she was super excited to be honored as all-league last year, and has focused her goals to again make all-league, but more importantly advance further in the playoffs.
“For us its Freeman,” Reggear said. “We had a tough loss to them last time. That’s who we have our eyes set on and we’re right there with them. I’m going to be utilizing my moves to get to the rim that I’ve been working on all summer and I have all my teammates to help me.”
Both Freeman and Medical Lake advanced to th 1A State Tournament a year ago, where the No. 10 seed Scotties lost in the first round to Bellevue Christian 50-43 and the No. 9 seed Cardinals lost in the semifinal to Lynden Christian 58-34.
The Indians are set to kick off their season with a jamboree on Dec. 2 in Chewelah, followed by their nonleague opener against Reardan on Dec. 7.
That game is scheduled after the boys game at Colville High School around 5:45 p.m.

Boys basketball

Colville boys basketball is on a mission to work its way up from the bottom of the Northeast A League, where the team has finished in the bottom two four of the last five years, since rejoining the league in 2014 from a short stint in the Great Northern League.
Last year, the Indians finished with a 1-10 league and 3-17 overall record, finishing tied with Riverside at the bottom of the standings. The Indians’ three wins all came in a week-long spurt from Dec. 28 to Jan. 4, defeating Springdale, Selkirk and Riverside. Current head coach Braden Titmus took over the position with five games remaining last year and now enters his first full season eager to turn things around.
“I’m excited about taking the program by the reigns and turning it around,” Titmus said. “It’s been kind of a rough go for these kids the last five years having five coaches in four years.”
Titmus said that a lack of consistency in the youth program has led to the struggles in the Indians boys varsity team, but that he and others are working to fix that.
“I have kids that are young coming through the program and I’m working with them and a lot of AAU groups,” Titmus said. “It’s all good stuff that’s happening right now.”
The Indians have their work cut out for them in the upcoming season, but a high turnover of graduating seniors across the league gives them hope. Defending co-champions Deer Park and Newport are the only two teams with returning all-league players, as the Stags have first-team forward Jobi Gelder returning with second-team guard Dawson Youngblood. Second-team forward Michael Owen comes back for the Grizzlies.
Colville will be led by seniors Jory Dotts and Blake Barnett, with Dotts’ 6-foot-5-inch ‘defensive tackle’ frame giving the Indians size inside. While still recovering from the Indians’ recent loss to Omak in the 1A State football playoff, Dotts thinks the Indians will be able to out-run their competition.
“It feels good, but not good in the same way,” Dotts said about returning to basketball. “I already miss football, but it’s time to focus on basketball.”
When asked about the Indians’ struggles over the past few seasons and how he hopes to do this year, Dotts simply replied – sleeper team.
“It’s going to be different this year,” Dotts said. “We have a lot of talent. I’m going to be the best teammate I can, if they need me to do something I’ll do it.”
The Indians open their season with a jamboree in Chewelah on Dec. 2, followed by opening their nonleague schedule hosting Reardan on Dec. 7 at 4 p.m. It will be a good measuring stick for Colville, who lost to Reardan to open the season 86-48 a year ago. 
“I want to be competitive in the league, and I know that’s what these kids want to,” Titmus said. “We’re going to bring some energy to this gym, and build the community around the basketball program.”