Rough wrestling for South Whidbey at Everett Classic

Montana Johnson tries to break free from Everett senior Taylor Starr’s grip during the first round 160-pound match.  - Ben Watanabe / The Record
Montana Johnson tries to break free from Everett senior Taylor Starr’s grip during the first round 160-pound match.
— image credit: Ben Watanabe / The Record

MILL CREEK — Aspirations were high for South Whidbey’s six varsity wrestlers at the Everett Classic on Saturday.

They fell short, as only one Falcon placed in the top five at the 17-team tournament. That put South Whidbey in 15th place, while Timberline, a 3A school in Lacey, won the tournament.

“Initially I thought we took a step forward and two steps backward,” said Falcon coach Jim Thompson. “I looked at the difference in the competition and (realized) they’re still learning.”

“They’re making mistakes that don’t surprise me.”

South Whidbey was one of four 2A schools at the classic, competing in a field of mostly larger programs — there were 11 3A and 4A schools.

Falcon senior Cameron Schille had the best finish despite being ill. The 138-pounder missed the match Thursday against Cedarcrest while he was home sick, but recovered enough to attend class Friday and win his first two matches.

He pinned Ryuta Meany (Oak Harbor) and pinned Bryon Eason (Lake Stevens).

In the semifinal match against Mount Si’s Aaron Peterson — who finished in second place — Schille narrowly lost 4-2.

“This is only his second year wrestling, and he places in everything he’s in,” Thompson said.

Schille’s final match was in the consolation bracket. He was pinned by Mount Si’s Bruce Stuart. He finished in a tie for fifth place.

“The last match that he lost, he had hurt his leg,” Thompson said.

Also in the 138-pound bracket, Falcon sophomore Andy Madsen began his day with a quick pin against AJ Vidamo from Archbishop Murphy. He lost his next two matches in pins against Seth Ziolowski (Timberline) and Jared Stadler (Steilacoom).

Falcon senior Montana Johnson (160) was eliminated after two losses, both pins. The first came against Taylor Starr (Everett) and the second pin was by Nikolay Lifshaz (Newport).

Pat Monell, a junior, won his first 182-pound match, 6-1, against Mount Si’s Tyler Hutchinson. He lost a close decision to Cameron Wischhusen from La Conner 13-10. He forfeited his next match to Ryan Simoneaux because of an injury to his right shoulder.

“They all got matches and they all won matches, so overall, I was pretty happy,” Thompson said.

Jerimiah Robey (195) almost won his match within the first 10 seconds. He quickly scored a takedown against Hector Morrell (Jackson) and flipped him over onto his shoulders.

“I just felt his head close the mat, grabbed it and squeezed and hoped for the best,” Robey said.

Morrell rolled out of it, however, and a three-point near fall was awarded to Robey. Robey scored eight more points before Morrell got a two-point reversal near the end of the third period as Robey was winded and slow to attack or defend. The Falcon senior won 13-2.

“I got pretty gassed,” Robey said. “I had him on his back a couple of times, I thought I was really close to a pin.”

“It went longer than I thought it would. He was more conditioned than I was.”

The exhaustion of the first match affected his stamina the rest of the day. In Robey’s second match, Chris Aiwiro (Everett) pinned him. Aiwiro did not have a first-round match, and finished in second place.

“There’s a lot different from having a bye the first round and not having a bye,” Robey said. “You get gassed.”

Robey advanced in the consolation bracket. He defeated Garreth Henderson (Arlington) 7-0, then was pinned by Jacob Lancaster (Timberlake).

The Falcons’ coach admitted Robey’s conditioning has been off. The senior participates in Hi-Q knowledge bowl competitions, which takes him out of at least two practices each week. It was an arrangement the two worked out prior to the season starting.

South Whidbey worked on positioning and defending at practice on Monday. Thompson also said coaches instructed the Falcons on breaking the habit of reaching for their opponents heads. South Whidbey, weather permitting, faces Archbishop Murphy on Thursday for the Falcons’ Senior Night.

“It’s only going to be another match. We’re not going to put a lot of pressure on them,” Thompson said.


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