RYAN CHRISTENSEN (182)
Woodinville (4A), junior, 35-1
He hasn’t won a 4A state title yet, and is already hailed as one of the finest wrestlers in school history. Why? It is because of what he has done at a higher level – a seven-time national tournament winner who is the reigning Cadet freestyle national champion at 170 pounds. “Ryan is humble, smart and a charismatic leader,” Woodinville coach Shaker Culpepper said. In his first Mat Classic last season, Christensen reached the 160 finals, losing to fellow “Untouchables” member Chandler Rogers, 11-7. A 2012 Tri-State champion, Christensen has a 77-2 record, and is getting recruiting interest from Cornell, Stanford and Michigan.
FRED GREEN (113)
Orting (2A), sophomore, 33-1
His teammates call him “Simba” – but Green is already the lion king in the Orting High wrestling room. The reigning 1A 103-pound state champion got involved in wrestling at age 5 because he was too high-strung. Growing up in the Orting Junior Wrestling Club, Green was fortunate to learn a lot of tricks of the trade last season from Washington’s latest four-time state champion – Drew Templeman. “He is a finisher,” Orting coach Jody Coleman said of Green. “If his opponent goes to his back, Fred almost always finishes him off with a pin.” His only loss came to Kuna High of Idaho’s Casey Cobb in the 113 finals at Tri-State.
BRANDON JOHNSON (285)
Lake Stevens (4A), senior, 30-0
With other great wrestlers around him, Johnson has sometimes gotten lost in the shuffle. But after his run through the 2012 Tri-State tournament in Idaho, capped by a pin over Sentinel High (Mont.) standout Jaydn Wilson in the finals, he suddenly became the region’s most feared big man. Yet, off the mat, he is as nice and personable as teenagers come. “Brandon is one of the most outgoing, fun-loving leaders I have ever coached,” Lake Stevens coach Brent Barnes said. “He has a great attitude toward life.” An all-state offensive lineman, he is choosing among North Dakota State, South Dakota State, Western Colorado and Northern Illinois for both sports.
JOSH NEWBERG (126)
Kelso (3A), senior, 36-1
Along with North Kitsap’s Jake Velarde, Newberg is one of the returning “Untouchables” wrestlers. A Hot Shot USA Wrestling Club product, this teenager is rarely outworked on the mat – and is always prepared for everything. “He has drive and determination,” Kelso coach Bob Freund said. “You combine that with a 3.92 GPA, then you have a kid that is smart on the mat, and is capable of retaining information taught to him.” The three-time All-American was the Junior Nationals runner-up in Greco-Roman last summer at 120 pounds. His career record is 134-13, with his only loss this season coming to Central Valley’s Blake Beard at Tri-State.
BOBBY REECE III (160)
Kingston (2A), junior, 37-1
Some wrestlers can accept second place – Reece can’t. The two-time state champ, who captured the 2A title at 152 pounds last season, has won at about every level possible. A member of the Kitsap Ironman/Northwest Washington Wrestling Club, he is the only eight-time Washington state kids’ freestyle champion in history. “Bobby has a burning desire to be the best,” said Kingston coach Bobby Reece, who is his father. After winning his first 102 matches, Reece suffered his only loss in January in a dual meet against Olympic, when he was disqualified for using an illegal move. He has a 115-1 career record.
CHANDLER ROGERS (170)
Mead (4A), junior, 32-0
Dare it be said – could this be the best Rogers of all? The three-time national Cadet Greco-Roman champion won the 4A 145-pound title as a ninth-grader in 2011, and the 160 title last season against fellow “Untouchable” Ryan Christensen. Currently he is on an 83-match winning streak – and his average time spent on the mat this season has been 1 minute, 43 seconds per match. “He just loves to wrestle and compete,” Mead coach Phil McLean said. “He is not worried about what the other guy is going to do, or who he wrestles – and that is what makes him so exciting and scary.” His brother, Jordan, won three 4A titles with the Panthers.
JAKE VELARDE (138)
North Kitsap (2A), senior, 36-1
He’s knocking on the door of the most prestigious fraternity in the state for wrestling – the brotherhood of four-time state champions. Already the West Sound’s first three-time state winner (he won a pair of 2A titles at 119 pounds in 2010 and 2011, and he won the 138 title last season), the 2011 Fargo Nationals runner-up in Greco Roman returns to defend that 138 crown. “What separates Jake is his passion for wrestling,” North Kitsap coach Joe Amick said. “He is determined to achieve the goals he has set.” Velarde has a 149-5 career record and has committed to wrestle in college at Old Dominion. His only loss this season was up at 145 pounds in the Matman Classic semifinals to Lake Stevens’ Eric Soler.email@example.com