A Port Townsend-trained wrestler recently won a statewide wrestling championship, thanks in no small part to local coaches.
At the age of 10, Grady White won the Washington State Freestyle Championship Tournament May 5 in Centralia.
White won first place in the intermediate age category for youths age 9-10 in the 93-pound weight class.
To claim the championship, White had to defeat three opponents in a nine-man bracket, including two wrestlers with “extensive national tournament experience,” according to his father, Ryan White.
Grady White’s initial victory was over Kale Donovick, of Westport, with a pin in 10 seconds.
That win was followed by what Grady White’s dad deemed “a tough battle:” Grady White won his semi-final match 9-6 against an opponent who had beaten him at least four times over the past few years.
In the finals match, Grady White defeated Jimmy Amadeo of Tacoma 6-4 in “another grueling match,” in Grady White’s father’s words.
“This was Grady’s first victory against Jimmy, another opponent who had defeated Grady twice earlier this year,” Ryan White said.
May 6 saw Grady White win second place in the Washington State Greco-Roman Tournament, held at the same venue.
“The highlight of that tournament was Grady’s victory by fall over a wrestler who had recently won the U.S. West Regionals Tournament in Las Vegas,” Ryan White said.
Grady White was born in Port Townsend and currently resides in Montesano, where he is a member of the Monte Mad Dogs youth wrestling program.
Grady’s family in Jefferson County includes his grandparents Bill White, Kelly West and Cathi White.
“Grady’s dad wrestled for Port Townsend High School and the Merchant Marine Academy in New York,” said Shannon White, Grady’s mom. “Grady’s grandpa, Steve Bluestein, was a collegiate wrestler too.”
Grady started wrestling clinics at the age of 3, with PTHS Youth clinics, and has spent the pat two and a half years in competition, winning first place in the state’s freestyle and Greco tournaments in 2016.
Grady and his parents extended their personal thanks to PTHS coaches Stephen Grimm and Jim Wilcox for “providing the spark” to help him continue.
“Grady has had amazing coaches, teammates and competitors,” Shannon White said. “He works hard and does not give up. He strives to improve and learn as many wrestling moves as he can, practicing and competing in folkstyle, freestyle and Greco-Roman. If there are any lessons he’s learned, it’s never give up, and work harder than your competitors.”
Grady has expressed interest in wrestling through college, and coaching after he graduates.