Sports

Once more before post season

Aaron Mannie takes a quick and easy win at a recent home meet. Mannie was one of several Falcons who placed at Saturday’s Lynden Invitational, taking fifth place in the 112-pound bracket. - Matt Johnson
Aaron Mannie takes a quick and easy win at a recent home meet. Mannie was one of several Falcons who placed at Saturday’s Lynden Invitational, taking fifth place in the 112-pound bracket.
— image credit: Matt Johnson

In a pre postseason warmup in Lynden last Saturday, the Falcon wrestling team took a number of bouts, but also suffered a loss they didn’t need at this point in the season.

Today, as the South Whidbey boys wrestle at the Cascade Conference championship at Granite Falls High School, they are without 145 pound sophomore Nick Rueth. Rueth suffered a broken arm and dislocated elbow in a late-round bout at the Lynden Invitational. The injury ends his season, though it will not necessarily leave the Falcons short handed in that weight division, as 145-pound senior Nick Martinovic will likely compete at that weight through the District 1 tournament.

Aside from Rueth’s injury, the Lynden Invitational yielded some positive results for the Falcons, who placed seventh out of 11 teams. On the mat at Lynden High School, the Falcons took seven placing finishes, the highest being a second-place finish by 160-pound senior Kyle Calkins.

Against wrestlers from high schools large and small, the 3A Falcons had generally good fortune. In three consolation championship bouts, seniors Tyler Rueth, Jason Mannie and Matt Errico each ended their days with victories. At 140 pounds, Rueth fought through his shock of the day to beat Nick Huss of Kamiak 20-5. After scoring six near falls against Huss, it was Rueth who found himself almost on his back in the third round of the third-place bout when his opponent took him down for a near fall of his own. But Rueth escaped and held out until the end of the bout.

Mannie and Errico had easier times of it, with Mannie taking his 152-pound finals bout against Justin Jones of Federal way 6-2, and Errico defeating John Wilczinski of Zillah 16-9 at 171 pounds.

In South Whidbey’s only appearance in a championship bout in the tournament, Kyle Calkins had to exit early, withdrawing from the mat when he suffered a shoulder injury.

Scoring the two most clear-cut finals victories for South Whidbey were 112-pound freshman Aaron Mannie and 215-pound senior Jeron Greene. Mannie took fifth place in his weight division by putting his Anacortes opponent to the mat for a first round pin for fifth place. Greene took a little longer, scoring three near falls and suffering one of his own before winning by fall in the third round against an Anacortes wrestler.

Today’s Cascade Conference championship has no bearing on the Falcons’ post-season fortunes, as the team automatically advances to the 3A District 1 championship tournament regardless of its finish in the conference. That tournament is scheduled for Feb. 4 and 5 and will take place at Sedro-Woolley High School.

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