Falcon grapplers stomp Granite Falls Tigers

No doubt about it, when it comes to high drama, the South Whidbey wrestling team definitely has its act together. Thursday night, as a hard-driving rock beat thumped from the sound system, the team ran into a darkened Erikson Gym so fast they set up an artificial wind that ruffled the hair of the Granite Falls Tigers.

  • Saturday, January 13, 2007 7:00am
  • Sports

It took Falcon senior Matt Long (152 pounds) 3 minutes

No doubt about it, when it comes to high drama, the South Whidbey wrestling team definitely has its act together.

Thursday night, as a hard-driving rock beat thumped from the sound system, the team ran into a darkened Erikson Gym so fast they set up an artificial wind that ruffled the hair of the Granite Falls Tigers.

Before the night was over, the Tigers got more than their hair tussled. The Falcons beat Granite Falls 54-28 and are now 4-0 in dual meets, well on their way to the school’s first-ever conference championship.

“Winning is our goal and it is attainable,” Falcons Coach Jim Thompson said. “I was especially proud of the guys tonight; they wrestled hard, gave no quarter and put on a great show for the fans.”

The pre-match warm-up routine may be a Falcon tradition but it never gets old.

For the record, an amazing nine athletes pinned their opponents: Colton Vaughn (103-pound weight class), Vincent Messina (119), Brett Warwick (130), Aaron Mannie (135), James Schorr (140), Ben Morgen (145), Matt Long (152), Jorge Flores (160) and Trapper Rawls (285). Fortunately, they only had to forfeit one weight class (125 pounds), losing six points.

Coach Tony Helgeson graciously congratulated Thompson after the match.

“He told me my middle weight kids (130 to 152-pounds) were very tough,” the Falcon coach said.

Thompson was really happy with senior Jorge Flores’ performance. “It was his first match and first win; I’m looking to him to do even more before the season’s over.”

Messina, a sophomore, has a reputation on the team for being a bit cocky. He pinned his man in the third round, but it wasn’t easy and he felt it the next morning.

“I’m a little sore today,” he said. “The Granite Falls guy was getting tired so by the third I applied a half-Nelson, then stuck and pinned him.

“It’s fun to beat up another guy and not get in trouble for it. Instead the ref raises your arm and says you’re the winner. No one can take that away,” Messina said.

Long, who typically pins in the first round, didn’t feel he was at the top of his game — but he had a good reason. “After school I was 3.7 pounds overweight so I had to go to the gym to work it off and my energy level was way down,” he said.

“My guy was pretty aggressive but not too experienced, and I was able to pull a couple reversals and pin him about a minute into the second round.”

There are two more chances to catch the wrestlers in action — on Jan. 18 against Archbishop Murphy and a storm-delayed match opposite Cedarcrest in the final home match on Jan. 31. When the Falcons face the Red Wolves that night, the team will also recognize and celebrate their seniors.

Jeff VanDerford can be reached at 221-5300 or sports@southwhidbeyrecord.com.

More in Sports

Heggenes, Pope receive Cliff Gillies Award

Seniors Kolby Heggenes and Lewis Pope were the recipients of this year’s… Continue reading

South Whidbey grads find success at collegiate level / Alumni update

A handful of South Whidbey High School graduates are continuing their athletic… Continue reading

South Whidbey athletes receive letters, awards

South Whidbey High School wrapped up the 2018 spring sports season by… Continue reading

Cascade Conference honors South Whidbey players, coaches

Twenty-one South Whidbey High School spring athletes earned all-Cascade Conference first-team honors… Continue reading

Falcons comment on state experience / Tennis

Mental and physical growth helped South Whidbey junior Mary Zisette and sophomore… Continue reading

Falcons take early exit at state / Softball

The South Whidbey High School softball team dropped both its games at… Continue reading

Papritz, Zisette place 2nd in state doubles tournament / Tennis

South Whidbey High School’s Alison Papritz and Mary Zisette swatted their way… Continue reading

Nielsen paces SW at state with 4 medals / Track

South Whidbey’s Sophia Nielsen led the Falcons at the state 1A track… Continue reading

SW grads qualify for national tournament / Ultimate frisbee

Two South Whidbey High School graduates have tossed their way to the… Continue reading

Heggenes 3rd, Falcons 4th at state tournament / Girls golf

Kolby Heggenes placed third and South Whidbey High School fourth at the… Continue reading

South Whidbey finishes 9th at state / Boys golf

The South Whidbey High School boys golf team placed ninth at the… Continue reading

Falcons ranked among state leaders / Track

As the South Whidbey High School track team heads to the state… Continue reading