Pat Monell had a long wait between his two matches Saturday at the 1A sub-regional wrestling tournament.
From his first match, a quick pin against Mount Baker’s Matt Scoles, to his championship bout, Monell paced, sat, stretched and watched for five hours. The delay made him feel a bit sluggish as he stepped on the mat to face Mount Baker’s Sterling Honeycutt (ranked fourth among 1A wrestlers) in the 220 District 1 title fight. The two sparred for the full six minutes, with Honeycutt landing on top with a 7-2 decision.
“It was a physical, big person kind of match,” Monell said. “We were moving around doing more power moves than quick moves.”
Now, he’ll wait alongside six other Falcon wrestlers who qualified for the 1A regional wrestling tournament at Hoquiam High School on Saturday, Feb. 9. Falcon grapplers Kyrell Broyles, Andy Madsen, Beck Davis, Pierce Jackson, Jose Chavez and Steven Smith each finished in the top four in their weight class. The regional tournament is the state qualifier where the top four advance to the Mat Classic.
“Kids gave everything they had and just got beat by better wrestlers,” said Falcon head coach Jim Thompson.
Broyles was the Falcons’ next highest finisher at third in the 138. He pinned his first opponent, Friday Harbor’s Marquis Napier, but was pinned by Mount Baker’s Zach Larson in the next match.
“For some reason, my body wasn’t able to access my strength for that match,” Broyles said.
Once in the consolation bracket, Broyles continued to dominate with pins against Friday Harbor sophomore Landon Rishel and again against Napier in the third-place bout.
“My brother told me that people who go to regionals live and breath wrestling,” said Broyles, who aims to make the state tournament to best his brother, a former Falcon wrestler, who only qualified for state as a senior.
Smith, a sophomore, also finished third in his weight class. At 113, however, there were only four wrestlers, so all qualified for the regional tournament. Smith recovered from a pin by Blaine’s Billy Dodd and pinned Friday Harbor’s Ben Ware for third place.
The rest of South Whidbey’ regional qualifiers - Jackson, Madsen, Davis and Chavez - all finished in fourth place, the final regional spot.