TUMWATER — As the lights dimmed and the spotlight was lowered at Black Hills on Saturday, the W.F. West boys wrestling team got about its work.
The Bearcats’ business is winning, and business — for the 11th consecutive year — is booming.
W.F. West, fresh off of its 10th consecutive 2A EvCo regular season title, reaffirmed its dominance of the local mats in tournament form with its 11th straight 2A Evergreen Sub-Regional win, winning titles in 11 of the 14 weight classes. The Bearcats’ 22 wrestlers on the mat secured 396 points, with second-place Aberdeen managing 188.5.
And when it came down to closing, the Bearcats hit another level, going 15-2 across the first-place and third-place matches, with one of those losses coming in an all-WFW title match at 160, where Kage Homan-Shearer took down Hayden Sciera.
“We all push each other in the wrestling room,” senior Daniel Matagi said. “I wouldn’t say W.F. West’s wrestling room is like most wrestling rooms. There’s a lot of blood, sweat, and tears that get put on those mats, more than other programs do. And there’s an expectation when you put on a W.F. West singlet. There’s a long lineage of state champs and team titles and great wrestlers. You have big shoes to fill every year.”
Matagi did his part at 285, winning his first two matches by fall in less than 40 combined seconds, before pinning Shelton’s Daniel Tausa in the finals for the crown.
He was joined, as usual, by a slew of Bearcat seniors up and down the card, led by Blake Ely, who whizzed through the field at 145 before taking down Aberdeen’s Aiden Watkins in a final that was only delayed when Ely forced his opponent to pull an MMA and tap out.
“I was just trying to lock up a cradle, and I guess he just started choking,” Ely said.
After Watkins recovered, Ely pinned him the more traditional way, moving his record on the season to a perfect 28-0, with 22 pins.
“It’s funny, because everyone’s like, ‘Blake’s on a mission,’ but I think it’s because he’s not,” WFW coach Jamie Rakevich said. “He’s just out there wrestling and having fun. He is good and he’s talented, and he’s done it since he was little, but he’s just having fun this year, and it’s fun to see him just go out there and let it fly.”
Fellow senior Damian Hernandez took first at 113, Cristo Parriott won at 138, and Waylen Land was first at 182. W.F. West also got wins from Race Scalici (126), Andrew Snyder (152), Homan (160), Tucker Land (170), Angelo Peters (195), and Andrew Penland (220).
Centralia’s Antonio Campos was the only other local wrestler to win a crown, finishing first at 120 with an 8-1 decision over Shelton’s Ty Fleshman. Daniel Cisneros (182) and Eriberto Mojica (220) both made it to their respective finals, but lost in Swamp Cup fashion to Bearcats.
Tumwater took fourth as a team, led by a second-place finish out of Nathan Boone at 195 and a third-place result from Mikah Parrish-Sederberg at 160. Black Hills had three runners-up, in Roberto Rivera-Jesus (106), Khristian Brant (132), and Ammon Combs (152), while Rochester’s best finish came from Jack Dane, who won his third-place match at 195 by fall over Tumwater’s Tristan Poulos.
Qualifying wrestlers will be back on the mats next weekend at Aberdeen for the regional championships.
W.F. West Girls Score Crown of Their Own
The W.F. West girls wrestling team had to hit the road a little harder than their counterparts on the boys’ side, but had similar success, taking first out of 17 teams at the 2B/1A/2A District 4 North Sub-Regional tournament at Raymond.
The Bearcats finished with three individual champions; Courtney Jones came in atop the field at 140, Kaylee Lehman won at 130, and Lia Hornby won at 135. Kallee Corey (155) and Lily Canfield (170) earned the Bearcats second-place finishes, and Shelby Hazlett (125), Emily Mallonee (115), and Aurora Martin (130) came in third.
W.F. West finished with 206 points as a team, ahead of Aberdeen’s 174 in second.
Next up among the local competitors came Tenino, which saw Dakota Lees (155) and Trinity Tafoya (190) win their respective divisions, Hope Burbidge (110) take third, and Angie Molinar (170) get fourth. Centralia finished a point back of the Beavers, with Jade Hudson winning at 110 and Luna Martinez (100) and Willa Phillips (125) placing second, with Braylee Blankenship (115) earning fourth.
Black Hills got a win from Sloane Kruger at 100 and a second-place spot at 235 from Courtney Johnson to take eighth as a team. Rochester was 10th, with Emily Weddle winning at 235 and Kaylie Case taking second at 130, and Tumwater took 14th, led by Olivia Johnson’s third-place finish at 135.
Coming up next will be the Regional tournament, at Shelton.
“We have been talking about the opportunity to win our district since the beginning of the season and believe that we are in a good place to compete for a championship again next weekend,” W.F. West coach Matt Patana said.
Mountaineer Girls Take Fourth in Washougal
Though the Rainier girls wrestling team managed just one champ, five of its six competitors placed, helping the Mountaineers take fourth as a team at the Washougal Sub-Regional featuring 1B/2B/1A/2A schools Saturday.
Katherine Kinahan was the lone champ for Rainier, who was the only competitor in her weight class, with Emma Desotell (105), Maddie Mounts (120), and Kiera Anderson (170) all taking second, and Layla Hill (110) taking fourth.
The Napavine girls had just two participants, but both placed, led by Maya Kunkel’s (170) championship in her weight class, and Edie Stratus finishing fourth at 135.
Adna’s lone wrestler, Abby McAuley, finished fourth at 130, falling in the first round before battling back to the third-place match, including a 15-14 decision the round before the trophy round.
Next up for Rainier, Napavine, and Adna is a trip to Shelton for Regionals.
Beaver Boys Finish Third in Eatonville Sub-Regional
The Tenino boys wrestling team finished square in the middle at the 1A Evergreen Sub-Regional meet at Eatonville, taking third out of the five teams with three individual winners and a total score of 183.
Kysen Knox earned the Beavers their first title at 170, beating a pair of Montesano Bulldogs in the semifinals and finals by pin. A few classes down the card, Koy Knox came in first at 220, and Andres Capilla-Zamudio made it three crowns with a win at 285.
Randall Marti finished second in a three-wrestler field at 182. Daniel Mino (126) and Brock Maurer (195) earned third-place medals, and Rowdie Tafoya (285), Guy Lowery (220), Jack Swidecki (145), and Marvin Phillips (132) finished fourth in their respective divisions.
Mountaineers Finish Second at 1B/2B Boys Sub-Regional in Raymond
Eight local sides joined in on the fun at the 1B/2B District IV sub-regionals held at Raymond on Saturday, with Rainier leading the way with a second-place finish as a team.
Forks won the team title in dominant fashion, lapping the 19-team field and then some. Adna finished fourth, Toledo was seventh, Napavine, Onalaska, and Winlock took 10th, 11th, and 12th, respectively, Mossyrock came in 14th, and Pe Ell was 15th.
Zander Peck led the Mountaineers with a first-place finish at 160, and Ryder Cruse capped things off with a heavyweight championship to boot. Rainier also had Dorien Cano (170) and Conner Mounts (126) finish second, Matthew Kenney (220) take third, and Mason Hornby (195) earn fourth.
Cameron Thomas got Adna on the board early with a first-place finish at 113, and the Pirates followed that up with Cohen Hartley finishing fourth at 120 and Jacob Price (160) and Sean Hellem (195) both placing third.
Toledo’s Bayron Rodriguez was the final local champion, winning at 170. Bomani Birdwell took second for the Riverhawks at 152.
Napavine’s best results were a pair of third-place finishes from Peyton Hernandez (120) and Evan Kunkel (182), while Onalaska had Norman Prazak (106) and Tommy Hornsby (285) took third themselves.
Jay Crow took second at 182 for Winlock, Marshall Brockway was second at 220 for Mossyrock, and Konnor Pilz earned seventh for Pe Ell at 160.