It's a good thing for Sequim's wrestlers that other teams are feeling the crunch of injuries and sicknesses, too.
Sequim swept a pair of Olympic League matches last week, with both match-ups replete with forfeits.
The wins against Kingston and Port Townsend even the Wolves' season dual record at 3-3 heading into Thursday night's showdown with North Mason.
"I think we have demonstrated that we can compete with some of the best in the state," Sequim coach Len Borchers said after Thursday's win at Kingston. "We just need to stay healthy, push our conditioning to the limit and hone our technical skills and we will be ready for the postseason tournaments."
With one key starter out with an injury and two more out sick, Sequim was hoping for a little grace Jan. 14 against Port Townsend. What they got was an opponent more banged up they were.
A seriously short-handed Redskin squad forfeited six weight classes in a 43-28 Sequim victory Jan. 14.
Sequim forfeited four weight classes, giving fans a chance to see only five actual matches; the Wolves won three of those five.
In the evening's tightest match, Sequim 140-pounder Anthony Drabek edged Josh Holbrook thanks to takedowns in the first and third round.
In his first match back from a concussion he suffered at the Rainshadow Tournament Jan. 3, Sequim's 130-pounder Nick Grinnell downed Redskin Mitchell Harper 10-1.
Kenny Henning (145 pounds) earned Sequim's only pin of the night, putting Kris Windle to the mat in 46 seconds.
At 160 pounds, Dalton Ackley came close to pulling an upset of Port Townsend's Stevie Weaver, the Redskin who took second place at the Rainshadow Tournament two weeks ago. Down 9-0 in the third round, Ackley earned a reversal and nearly a pin before Weaver took control at match's end. Weaver won 14-6.
"(That shows you) always respect your opponent," Borchers said.
Sequim's Austin Middleton (112 pounds), Taylor Gowdy (125), Joe Hutchison (135), Ethan Hinton (189) and Thomas Gallagher (285) each earned wins by forfeit.
David Copeland, the Wolves' 171-pounder, is likely out for another couple of matches because of an injured shoulder. Sequim also had Alex O'Donnell (152 pounds) and Zak Huisman (103) out with illnesses.
A day later, with Copeland and O'Donnell still out, the Wolves picked up their second Olympic League win in as many nights with a 40-28 victory at Kingston.
Huisman, Drabek and Hinton each picked up first-round pins.
Gowdy (125) grabbed a 14-2 major decision extending his season record to 18-3. The match of the night was in the 130-pound bracket as Sequim's Zach Sisco battled Kingston grappler Michael Johnson. As the pair battled back and forth through three periods, Johnson built a 7-4 lead. But Sisco managed a takedown and a near pin for a 9-7 lead with 30 seconds left. Johnson managed an escape and takedown at the buzzer for the 10-9 victory.
Borchers said he expects the Jan. 22 match against North Mason to be similarly close based upon the team's match-ups.
"It is 'senior night' and we will be paying tribute to nine veterans who have put together some amazing performances this year," Borchers said. "I think the best is still to come."
Michael Dashiell can be reached at: miked@sequim gazette.com.