LMS wrestlers do the impossible

What happened on the wrestling mat this week at Granite Falls may never happen again.

At the Cascade League middle school wrestling championship Thursday, 12 Langley Middle School wrestlers made it into championship-round bouts in the six-team tournament. Nine went home as champions.

“I don’t know if this could ever be duplicated,” said the team’s coach, Jim Thompson.

After dominating the league all season and going undefeated in dual meets, the Cougars exceeded their coach’s expectations by nearly sweeping all weight classes. Only two surprise losses kept the Cougs from being perfect.

Starting the parade of victories was 78-pound Cougar Mitch Rueth, who defeated Billy Burker of Darrington on a first-round pin in the championship bout for that weight class. Also winning championships by fall for the Cougars were Caleb Nerison at 90 pounds, James Schorr at 95 , Aaron Mannie at 100, Jordan Broyles at 120 , Justin LaClair at 125 and Nate Lennon at 130. Lennon defeated teammate Trevor Romer by fall in the second round to make champion.

Making champion the hard way was Kyle Hoch at 135 pounds. Tied 6-6 with Cody Holt of Concrete with two seconds to go in the championship bout, Hoch took Holt down on a three-point move that gave him the victory.

The team’s top heavyweight, Trapper Rawls, also had to win on points. Against Mike Messner of Granite Falls, he held a 12-8 advantage to the final whistle for the victory.

Runner-up placers were Richard Rangle at 175 pounds and Basil Dolan at 120 pounds. Dolan was ahead of opponent Steve Bingham on points before getting pinned in the second round of this bout. Rangle was also in the lead of his bout, staying in control until the final seconds before losing a 6-5 decision to Connor Traulsen of Darrington.

Taking third place was Cougar Darrin Britton in the heavyweight division. His teammate, Patrick McLean, was fourth. Other fourth-place finishes were Wyatt Jarvis at 175 pounds and Vincent Messina at 105 pounds.

Putting up undefeated records on the season were Nerison and Schorr. Schorr, an eighth grader, ends his middle school wrestling career at 21-1. All of his victories were by pin.

Coach Thompson said he looks forward to another strong season next year, though he can’t imagine his team having as much success.

“It was astounding,” he said.

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