Cedar Rapids Washington opened wrestling practice along with prep programs all across the state. The season has officially begun and a sense of optimism should be emanating from the Warriors. After a few medalists and state finalists the last few years, Washington crowned its first state champion in more than 20 years. Former Warrior heavyweight Brandon Burrell captured the Class 3A state crown in February, the first since Jamie Byrne won in 1988.
It hasn’t resulted in higher numbers, but for the wrestlers dedicated to the program, it’s provided clarity to the big picture. Washington Coach Matt Hatcher discussed the impact of Burrell’s title.
Hatcher, a two-time state champ for Cedar Rapids Prairie and former University of Iowa wrestler, begins his eighth season as the Warriors’ head coach. Here he demonstrates a duck-under to the team with the assistance of Ben Ray, a former Washington wrestler and son of longtime Warriors coach Randy Ray, who also coached at Cedar Rapids Regis.