Tyler Stolz will graduate this spring, but her family name likely will be associated with Peninsula High School athletics for years to come.
Chance Stolz has arrived at Peninsula, and he resembles his older sister in more than just their facial features. The freshman is a three-sport athlete: He played football last fall, is gearing up for his first postseason as a wrestler, and he plans to throw the shot, javelin and discus for the Seahawks’ track team this spring.
It’s nothing new for the Stolz clan. Tyler has been a varsity mainstay in volleyball, basketball and fastpitch during the past four years.
As a wrestler, Chance Stolz is holding his own despite competing in the 195-pound division, a weight class typically populated by juniors and seniors. He’s looking to advance past this weekend’s Class 3A South Puget Sound League championships and compete at the Region III meet Feb. 8-9 at Bonney Lake High.
He’s only a ninth-grader, but Stolz is focused on his craft. He doesn’t have any other hobbies.
“Sports is pretty much it,” he said.
Stolz spoke with The Peninsula Gateway last week about where he’s been and where he plans to go with his wrestling career:
The Peninsula Gateway: How did you get started with wrestling?
Chance Stolz: I played basketball up until fifth grade. That wasn’t really my sport — you just get that feeling — so, in sixth grade, I decided to try out wrestling, and I’ve stuck with it ever since.
The first two years, I wrestled for the Grizzlies (a Gig Harbor-based freestyle club team). There wasn’t many people in my weight class. Eighth grade, I wrestled for Harbor Ridge Middle School, and that was way better than Grizzlies.
PG: What has it been like for you to transition into the high-school level and be a varsity contributor for Peninsula?
CS: In middle school, I was able to just overpower a lot of opponents. In high school, it’s a completely different game. The kids are bigger, tougher, and there’s always someone better, so you’ve just got to work hard in the mat room.
One of the bigger challenges is, 195 is a weird weight class. You can either be one of the big boys or just a heavy guy, so you can’t overestimate or underestimate any opponent. That’s probably one of my biggest battles so far.
PG: What are your goals for this postseason and your next three seasons of wrestling?
CS: I’d like to place at districts and just do well. I’m not trying to make a state championship this year. I mean, of course I’m trying, but I just want to get better every year.
PG: Has Tyler spoken to you about the challenges that face high-school athletes?
CS: Not really, but I’ve been watching her since I was a little kid. You grow up watching her, and her freshman year was tough, so I kind of knew what to expect. It’s different sports, but still there’s some understanding.
PG: What kind of music do you like to listen to?
CS: Classic rock. I like old stuff like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones. I’ve gone to work with my dad since I was a young kid, and he always listened to it.Sports Editor Neil Pierson can be reached at 253-358-4155 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter, @gateway_neil.