Sports

South Whidbey wrestling sends 12 to regional

Pierce Jackson, right, fights for a hold in the first 285-pound match at the 1A District 1 wrestling tournament Feb. 8 at Sedro-Woolley High School.  - Ben Watanabe / The Record
Pierce Jackson, right, fights for a hold in the first 285-pound match at the 1A District 1 wrestling tournament Feb. 8 at Sedro-Woolley High School.
— image credit: Ben Watanabe / The Record

Finishing in third place at the 1A District 1 wrestling tournament was just what South Whidbey coach Jim Thompson envisioned.

Sending 12 wrestlers to the regional round, the state qualifier, surpassed that hope, even if he was a bit let down that the Falcons did not best second-place Mount Baker.

“I kind of expected it, but I was hoping upon hope that we’d give Mount Baker a better battle,” Thompson said. “For the little island guys here to finish in third place is pretty cool.”

South Whidbey will be well represented at the bi-district tournament featuring schools from District 1 and District 4 on Saturday, Feb. 15, at Blaine High School.

Andy Madsen, a senior, was the top finisher for South Whidbey. He won the 145-pound class by beating teammate Kyrell Broyles, also a senior. While other schools elected to have one of their wrestlers forfeit when they faced a teammate, South Whidbey’s went head to head.

“Kyrell would have killed me if I didn’t let him wrestle,” Thompson laughed.

Two Falcons finished as runners-up — juniors Trevor Miller in the 220 and Pierce Jackson in the 285. Both were set to automatically advance as their weights had three other entrants and the top four from each weight qualified for the regional tournament. Jackson’s 9-2 loss in the first-place bout came against a wrestler who pinned him last year in the district tournament, and Thompson noted that three of those points came on penalties.

“I was pretty proud of him,” Thompson said. “He had the No. 2-ranked heavyweight in the state that finished third last year.”

A trio of Falcon seniors finished in third place. Beck Davis will move on in the 182, and Calvin Shimada advances in the 170. James Itaya recovered from an early pin in the 152 to place third.

Shimada and Jose Chavez faced off in the third-place bout, with Shimada claiming victory. Thompson noted that Chavez gave up some pounds to his teammate after failing to qualify for the 160. Shimada went through a grueling three-period bout in his first match, a pin in 5:59 — literally the last second of the match.

“There were a lot of points I could have given up,” he said. “Those are long and wear you out the rest of the day.”

Three more Falcons finished in fourth place, the last qualifying spot for the regional tournament: freshman Seth Schille in the 113, freshman Hunter Newman in the 126, and senior Tyler Russell in the 138.

“The kids wrestled great,” Thompson said. “I’m real proud of them.”

Blaine won the District 1 team title.

South Whidbey’s wrestlers had little time to savor their hard-fought victories. Practices in the days leading to the regional tournament were planned to be technique days, Thompson said. Rather than run and condition, they would focus on their attacks, escaping from the down position and footwork.

The top four wrestlers from the regional tournament qualify for the Mat Classic state wrestling tournament in Tacoma.

 

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