Grapplers take second place in Cascade Conference

LANGLEY — The South Whidbey wrestling team beat the Lakewood Cougars 43-30 Tuesday, moving them into a tie for first with Cedarcrest and Archbishop Murphy. The Falcons’ time at the top was short-lived, however.

Falcon Daniel Childers overcomes his Lakewood opponent Tuesday. In the second round he pinned his man with an interior reverse and take down. South Whidbey won 43-30 for a tie for first place with Cedarcrest but lost the crown to Archbishop Murphy two days later. The Falcon grapplers begin district playoffs on Feb. 2.

LANGLEY — The South Whidbey wrestling team beat the Lakewood Cougars 43-30 Tuesday, moving them into a tie for first with Cedarcrest and

Archbishop Murphy.

The Falcons’ time at the top was short-lived, however.

The team lost to ATM Thursday in the next-to-last Cascade Conference match-up, putting them in a solid second place.

Evan Thompson (112-pound weight class), Colton Vaughn (119), Brendan Riley (135), Aaron Mannie (152) and Trapper Rawls (285) all triumphed by pinning their opponent in the earlier match. James Schorr (160) fought hard and won, but was forced to accept a 6-1 decision.

It was Senior Night for the boys and Falcon coach Jim Thompson introduced four wrestlers who have worked with him since the seventh grade — Darrin Britton, Aaron Mannie, James Schorr and Brett Warwick.

“These kids are a credit to their team, school, families and community,” Thompson said. “Unlike other sports, they were varsity starters from the beginning; Aaron and James have each won over 100 matches in their wrestling careers.”

Thompson paid tribute to the parents who supported their sons, especially their willingness to travel at night and on weekends to distant matches and tournaments.

“They’re like an extended family and I’ll miss them a lot,” he added.

The coach was worried because the regular referee failed to appear. Fortunately a Cougar assistant coach, Corey Cook, was certified in the league.

“Someone found me a striped shirt and I was good to go,” Cook said.

Thompson noted that sometimes officials in that position err on the side of the other team to guarantee fairness. “He did a good job,” he said after the match. “I’ve no complaints.”

In the exhibition match, Zeke Spalding (152), Daniel Childers (160) and David Monell (285) all won. The day before, Monell and Rawls had a challenge match to see who would wrestle and Rawls won.

“David would be a starter on just about any high school team,” Thompson noted.

After a double forfeit in the

103 class, junior varsity ninth-grader Thompson took to the mat. Though ahead on points, for five minutes and 58 seconds he was unable to pin his man. Suddenly, everything changed.

“I was trying to run down the clock but then I decided on a standing switch inside and turned into him,” Thompson recalled. “He was surprised.”

So was Thompson’s dad.

“He knew he was ahead but made that extra effort,” the coach said. “What can I say?”

Vaughn almost went the distance on points, too.

“I ran the arm bar by rolling my wrists and turning around,” he said. “I put my shoulder into him and made the pin with six seconds left.”

Another JV wrestler in his first year, Brendan Riley, had his first match ever. After watching his son win after a nice reversal and take down, Riley’s father told Thompson, “This was my first wrestling meet and I’m hooked.”

Mannie had an easy win in the first round over Jacob Povins, but Schorr struggled. Britton and Rawls pinned their Cougar opponents in the first round.

Thompson said the team is matched up well man-for-man in the strength positions with ATM.

“It’s going to take some of the younger guys to pull through for us,” he said. “Anything can happen.”

Including, unfortunately, falling flat at ATM Thursday night.

For the first time ever, South Whidbey lost to the Wildcat wrestlers 57-21 despite wins by Mannie, Jordan Broyles, Schorr and Rawls.

“Even with our forfeits I thought we might win but then the roof fell in on us when Trevor and Darrin were both pinned,” Thompson said. “Disappointing, but not unexpected. If we beat Cedarcrest Monday, we’ll finish the year in second place.”

On Feb. 2, the Falcons begin their march to the state finals in Tacoma — first districts, then regionals on Feb. 9.

“Aaron, James, Trapper, Darrin and David have an excellent shot at going the distance,” Thompson said. “There are some long shots, but time will tell.”

Jeff VanDerford can be reached at 221-5300 or sports@south

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