Wrestlers take fourth in Forks

The South Whidbey High School boys wrestling team traveled to Forks Saturday for their first tournament, a competition that featured seven other high schools.

"They did very well and I'm proud of them," Falcon Coach Jim Thompson said. "We came in fourth overall against some very tough opponents."

Junior Ben Morgen (140-pound weight class) advanced to finals and took second.

James Schorr (125) took third place. Coming in fourth were Aaron Mannie (130), Jordan Broyles (145), Darrin Britton (215) and Matt Long (160). Freshman Trapper Rawls (275) took a respectable fifth in his first-ever match.

This is Morgen's fourth year wrestling.

He was seeded second and pinned the first of two Forks' opponents in the second round.

"I focused in, got a shot and took him down," Morgen said.

"In the finals, we were pretty evenly matched at the start. But I think I got a little nervous, let down my guard, and he took advantage. He worked me pretty good," Morgen recalled.

"We needed this tournament to find out what we need, our strengths and weaknesses," Thompson said. "Overall, I was happy with their performance and level of conditioning."

The coach noted that for this Saturday's Battle of the Border in Blaine (10 a.m. at Blaine High School) several of his team will drop one weight classification.

"It will make them stronger and more competitive," he said.

The Blaine tournament is big -- 25 schools, with more than 100 athletes who competed in Tacoma at the state finals, with 37 returning state placers and five returning state champions.

"Next to the Mat Classic, this is the most competitive event on the calendar for us," Thompson said.

Morgen likes to wrestle because of the one-on-one aspect and is looking forward to the battle in Blaine.

"It's just you and somebody roughly your own size and strength. It's almost as if you're overcoming yourself when you pin the guy," Morgen said.

He added that the team is very close and is starting to gel. "We work out together and critique our moves."

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