Santa should have been good to the South Whidbey High School wrestling program this Christmas because the the boys on the team were very good during their holiday season.
On Dec. 21, two boys earned championships in the eight-team Mount Vernon Tournament and paced the team to a fourth-place finish. Two weeks later, even after a long break from school and practices lost to holidays, the Falcons were even better at the Nooksack Valley Tournament, getting five wrestlers to the finals and placing fourth of eight as a team.
Junior Phil Schorr, the Falcons’ smallest wrestler at 103 pounds, was the biggest in they eyes of coaches and fans as he made champion at both meets. At Nooksack Valley High School, he defeated Nooksack’s Larson 8-0 in the championship bout. In Mount Vernon, the go was a bit more difficult. Schorr scored on two straight 3-point near falls in the third period against Sunnyside’s Jesse Romero to erase a 3-5 deficit and win the match 9-6.
Schorr said inspiration from a former team member over the holiday break made the difference for him.
“When Brandon Hern came in, he pushed us all,” he said.
Schorr was not the only wrestler to do as the two-time state champion did. Also at the Mount Vernon meet, Ben Harris won at 160 pounds, taking Mount Vernon’s Nathan Jackson in a 16-5 major decision.
Also placing well at the tournament was junior Conley White, who missed out on a win of his own when he was pinned by Mount Vernon’s Matt Curry in the championship bout. White placed second for his effort over four rounds of wrestling.
Senior Chris Long took third place in the 145-pound division.
At Nooksack Valley, four Falcon wrestlers in addition to Schorr qualified for championship bouts. At 112 pounds, sophomore Tyler Rueth won three times before getting pinned by Nooksack’s Hotz in the second period of his final matchup.
The score was closer for Chris Long. Down 4-0 after two periods, he made a big comeback in the third by pulling a reverse and scoring a near fall, but his opponent’s own reverse made the final score 4-6.
At 160, Ben Harris lost a 5-1 bout to a Nooksack wrestler, and at 189 Chris Gilbert settled for runner-up after being pinned by Lynnwood’s Parmenter in the first period.
Falcon coach Wes Helseth said his team’s placings would have been higher at the two tournaments had the Falcons had complete teams. South Whidbey forfeited at a number of weight classes due to the holiday family obligations of some team members.