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Wrestlers come on strong
Though hampered by injuries and a persistent chest virus that is making its way through many members of the team, the Falcon wrestling team preserved its winning ways through the holiday season.
On Saturday at a tournament in Nooksack, the South Whidbey boys placed third out of eight teams after getting weight-class wins from two proven performers and one who is just starting to make a name for himself. In his first tournament championship ever, 103-pound sophomore Phil Schorr made quick work of his competition at Nooksack, pinning two opponents in three bouts to go undefeated in the event.
Victories came harder for seniors Chris Martin and Brandon Hern. Martin, who lost his first meet of the year two weeks earlier at the "Best of the West" tournament in Pasco to an opponent 65 pounds heavier, made a comeback in Nooksack. At 210 pounds, he made it into a final that tested him until he emerged with an 11-9 championship victory. A few pounds below and a couple of matches earlier, Hern -- who is the team's only undefeated wrestler -- also had to win the hard way. With a congested chest and paired against Ferndale's Chet Slevin, Hern had to battle three rounds for a slim 7-3 win.
Falcon coach Mike Crebbin said he was not surprised to see his top wrestler meet with stiff opposition.
"This is a good tournament with quality competition," he said.
Also scoring points for the team were Chris Long, Ben Harris, Conley White, Eric Flister, Adam Jaffe and Andy Wills, who placed fourth in the 140-pound division after spending the first half of the season recovering from injuries sustained during the football season.
Unfortunately, the tournament was a season ender for Falcon sophomore Spencer Bergen. Bergen suffered his second concussion in two meets at the event. Crebbin said Bergen will sit out the remainder of the year to recover from the injuries.
On Dec. 22, the Falcons racked up more top performances in Pasco. In a progressive dual-meet format, the 2A South Whidbey boys grappled against wrestlers from schools of all sizes, including 4A. Though the team lost most of the team scores on forfeits, individual wrestlers won often enough to impress coaches from even the largest schools, Crebbin said. Hern made it through the five-dual tourney as an unblemished winner, while Wills -- in his first meet of the year -- was 3-2 for the weekend.
The tournament came two days after a split decision in a double dual meet at home in Erikson Gymnasium. The Falcons beat 3A Lynnwood 45-28 in a lopsided affair that featured nail-biting wins from Ben Harris, Sean Noste and Chris Martin.
The second matchup of the night, this time against 3A Mea-dowdale, did not turn out as well. Giving up two forfeits and big points in a match senior Justin Admiral led 5-0 before succumbing to a quick reverse, the South Whidbey boys lost 46-30.
Next on the Falcons' schedule is a road match Thursday against Lakewood.