Avoid a few mistakes here and there, and South Whidbey had a chance against much larger wrestling programs at the Seahawk Duals in Anacortes.
Bad form, being undersized and forfeits in the 106 and 113 pound divisions cost South Whidbey’s wrestling team against three of its dual meet opponents. The Falcons came away with one victory against the Archbishop Murphy Wildcats, South Whidbey’s Cascade Conference opponent.
“After I get so aggravated and so down, I remember we’re so young and come back next year with the same kids,” said Falcon head coach Jim Thompson. “I’ll only lose two starters.”
One of those starters, senior Jake Leonard, did not wrestle because of an illness. The other, senior Pat Monell, won all four matches. Monell highlighted the Falcons in the 220 with three pins and one received forfeit.
Thompson also noted strong matches by juniors Andy Madsen (132) and Kyrell Broyles (152) and sophomores Steven Smith (120) and Pierce Jackson (285).
Smith lost one of the matches that could have helped swing South Whidbey’s fate. Against La Conner, Smith was ahead 6-2 with less than 60 seconds left. He attempted to tilt, but was rolled onto his back and pinned with 6 seconds remaining.
“It was one of those, ‘What did you do?’ matches,” Thompson said.
Broyles was another of the Falcons’ “what-if” matches. He lost a close decisions to Oak Harbor and La Conner, 7-6 and 13-12. In the La Conner match, Broyles traded reverses, takedowns and near falls, but ultimately lost by a single point.
Madsen scored two pins against Archbishop Murphy and Anacortes, but lost to La Conner and Oak Harbor.
Between the dual meets, junior varsity wrestlers competed in a pool-play tournament. Each of South Whidbey JV grapplers had at least two matches.
Ideally, Thompson said, the young Falcon squad saw the importance of offseason weight training and its correlation to success on the wrestling mat.
“Sooner or later it’s going to dawn on these kids that they have to put in the effort in the offseason or it’s just for fun,” Thompson said.
The all-day tournament served as a challenging send off as the Falcons head into a short winter break. South Whidbey will return to practice the day after Christmas and have another all-day tournament at Chief Sealth High School on Dec. 29.