Zach Borisch does not sugar-coat anything.
After quarterbacking the Kamiakin Braves to the Class 3A state football title in December, he had no plans to turn out for wrestling. Yet here he is, headed back to Tacoma, with little sister Asia in tow.
“The only thing I dislike more than wrestling, is losing,” Zach said. “At the end of the day, it is about competing. On the wrestling mat, there is no one to blame but yourself. There’s always a reason to come back. I have a chance to help them win a team title. If everyone performs the way they can, we can win this. (Coach Jordan) Anderson has really turned this program around. It’s hard to say no to him.”
Then there was the opportunity to help Asia through her first year of high school wrestling.
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“My parents wanted me here to encourage her,” Zach said. “She has made a lot of improvement. She is learning day by day. We are all proud of her. If she sticks with it, she could be a state champ. When I was a freshman, I didn’t make it to state.”
Zach (182 pounds) got a late start to the season and heads into state with an 11-1 record, losing his second-round match at regionals before coming back to finish third. He will open action Friday at Mat Classic against Skylar Kloth of O’Dea.
Asia is the first Kamiakin girl to qualify for Mat Classic, and she admits Zach and her teammates have taught her a lot this season.
“I wrestled last year at Desert Hills (Middle School), but I didn’t really learn a lot,” said Asia, who wrestles at 135 pounds. “I have learned a lot here. I wrestle with a lot of different guys, and they all know a lot. They really push me.”
The Borisch family has a deep judo background, and that has paid off on the wrestling mat with throws and other moves.
“I worked with Zach after judo and he helped me transition some things into wrestling,” Asia said. “It has been fun. It was a rough start. I didn’t know a lot when I got here, but the more experience I got, the more comfortable I got.”
Asia (15-10), who finished fourth at regionals, is the only freshman in the 135-pound bracket at state. She opens the tournament against Marissa Montano of Union.
An unbearable task
It wouldn’t be Mat Classic if Jaron Gunter didn’t wrestle a Baun brother from Colville.
The Kiona-Benton senior, who is 32-1 and has three district and regional titles to his credit, will compete in his third state tournament this weekend. He opens action Friday against Moses Kilpatrick of Vashon Island at 120 pounds.
“I have done pretty good this year,” Gunter said. “Going to state is a pretty big thrill. It’s a rush.”
Gunter is in the opposite side of the bracket from sophomore Trent Baun, who beat Gunter 5-2 in the 113-pound semifinals last year. Gunter finished fourth, while Baun won the title.
As a sophomore, Gunter lost to TJ Baun in the 106-pound final. This year, TJ Baun is wrestling at 132 pounds.
“I see him all the time; I know what to look out for,” Gunter said of Trent Baun. “He is a good wrestler. I try not to think about facing him. I’m just taking it one match at a time.”
The one blemish on Gunter’s record this season is a loss to Sergy Salas of Wapato, who is in the 2A division at 113 pounds.
Other than that, Gunter has won titles at the Bob Mars tournament, Best of the West and the Leonard Schutte Invite in Othello.
“He is outstanding,” Bears assistant coach Eddie Bush said. “He is such a hard worker, he has a great attitude and he is a great leader.”
The Bears are sending seven to state. A modest number in some circles, but when you factor in that they only had a team of 10 all season, it’s a pretty good percentage.