Sports

Smith continues legacy at K-M

Josh Smith, Kent-Meridian
Josh Smith, Kent-Meridian's 136-pound senior, is following the footsteps of his brothers as a standout wrestler.
— image credit: Michelle Conerly, Kent Reporter

Josh Smith had some pretty big shoes to fill.

"My brothers have been wrestling before me, and I liked it," said Smith, Kent-Meridian's 136-pound senior. "What really motivated me the most was because my brother was the state champion for K-M (in 2001)."

In fact, Curtis Smith was the school's last wrestling state champion more than 10 years ago. And Aaron Smith, another Royals star, was a three-time All-American in college.

This season, Smith continues his family's wresting legacy at Kent-Meridian.

And he isn't far behind. With five tournaments down, he's built a 29-1 record this winter. And with 85 takedowns to Smith's credit so far this season, coach Todd Owens knows his lightweight standout is pretty swift on his feet.

"He's a good athlete," Owens said. "Joshua is a high-level kind of kid. He goes up in weight classes (during practice) to give him a challenge."

At the South Puget Sound League tournament in December, Smith beat heralded Adam Romano of Graham-Kapowsin in a 7-4 decision. The win earned Smith a bump up to the No. 2 ranking in his 4A weight class.

"My favorite match was the SPSL tournament because I beat a guy who's ranked higher than me," Smith said. "At the time, he was ranked No. 1 in the state, and I beat him. I cried after that."

Smith said his signature moves include the double-takedown and arm bar, but continues to work on his riding skills.

With a family full of wrestlers, Smith gets a lot of advice.

"They're all talking about all the moves I can do, and it helps me out," Smith said. "If I'm in a certain situation, they'll help me know what I'm doing."

Smith is poised for a strong finish at Mat Classic XXV, which looms Feb. 14-16 at the Tacoma Dome.

Smith is excited to perform in the state circle. He finished fifth in his weight class at state last season, but is determined to take it a step further this year.

"It's my last year (so) I want to go out with a big bang," he said.

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