Team, Coach of the Year: Toppenish Wrestling, Ellensburg’s Jeff Whitney | Preparation sports


The culmination of the secondary winter season in 2022 was historic in so many ways that it should come as no surprise that the awards in the name of these accomplishments overflowed.

For Team of the Year, Mat Classic was not only an arena of domination but also of ownership. And it was shared.

The Toppenish boys and girls set all-time tag team records at the State Wrestling Championships and it was thanks to the 27 qualifiers the Wildcats took to Tacoma, 26 of them made the podium. and received medals. Additionally, they had 19 in the championship final, won 12 titles and amassed 608 points.

The Toppenish boys, incredibly, scored so many points that if second, third and fourth were combined in the 1A State Tournament, it still wouldn’t match the Wildcats’ monstrous 402 points.

Two weeks later, the Ellensburg girls capped a 26-0 season-long sprint with a 20-point victory in the Class 2A State Championship game at the SunDome. Having started with a core of freshmen four years earlier, Jeff Whitney was named coach of the year by Jack Cleveland on Wednesday.

Whitney mixed those youngsters with veterans in 2019 and the Bulldogs won 24 games and won a state trophy for third place. After a pandemic-shortened season, this crew was about to do something special and they did just that, not just with the unblemished record, but with historic defense and dominance.

Ellensburg’s relentless defense held their 26 opponents to an average of 23.3 points, which led to an average margin of victory of 38.3 points. In four state games, the Bulldogs allowed 31, 42, 25, and 32 runs.


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