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Valley wrestlers take down Sea-King

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Wrestlers from both Mount Si and Cedarcrest traveled to Kennedy

High School this past weekend to participate in the Region 2, Sea-King

3A Wrestling Tournament. By the end of the meet two Red Wolves and

one Wildcat had walked away with district championships.

Again at the top of the heap for Mount Si was Blake Moore,

defeating his old KingCo nemesis Truong Luu in the finals to win the

championship. In addition, Cedarcrest's Aaron and Eric Pedeferri made

history as the first two brothers to win a district championship in the same

season.

But the excitement wasn't done there as Mount Si also won the

district team championship over league rival Liberty, 193 ½ team points to

the Patriots' 176. As a result, 10 Wildcat wrestlers and three Red Wolf

wrestlers will get to strut their stuff at state,

next weekend in the Tacoma Dome.

Two Valley wrestlers competed in the 103-pound class, with

Aaron Pedeferri eventually winning the weight class and Mount Si's

Jordan Prior taking seventh. Pedeferri worked his way through the first two

opponents, O'Dea's Jeremy Burdett and Marko Oblak with pins, both under

a minute. He then faced Renton's Greg Abe whom he also pinned, but it

took a little longer at the 5:05 mark.

In the finals, Tyee's Peter Yiap was his opponent. Aaron scored first

with a takedown in the first round. In the second, starting from the down

position, the young Pedeferri found himself with shoulders on the mat,

Yiap scoring a three-point nearfall. In the third, both wrestlers started from

neutral positions and Pedeferri took Yiap to the mat. With 55 seconds left

on the clock, he pinned the young Tyee wrestler for the championship.

"He was hard to turn and hard to take down," said Aaron after

the match. "After I took him down, I knew I could do it again so I let him up

towards the end." But the young Pedeferri had a close call when

Yiap worked towards a pin.

"I could feel one shoulder wasn't touching and sat their and waited

for time to run out. I knew I wasn't going to get pinned so I waited for time

to run out," Pedeferri added.

Two Valley wrestlers also competed in the 112-pound class,

Mount Si's Andrew Ahmadi and Cedarcrest's Darren DeBoer. DeBoer had a

tough road after losing in the second round to Mount Rainier's Chris

Wheaton. Ultimately DeBoer finished fifth, defeating Wheaton his second

time around with a 2:57 pin. The fifth-place finish advances him to the state

tournament. Ahmadi also lost his second round match and moved through

the consolation bracket to take fourth, losing to Skyline's Ricky Chun, 7-6.

In the 119-pound class it was all Eric Pedeferri as he clobbered his

opponents with three pins to get to the finals. In the finals he faced

Liberty's Mark Rowe and relentlessly racked up points, winning 9-2. Pedeferri is

showing a pose and determination that should carry him all the way to a

state championship next weekend.

"It was actually kind of weird, the regional tournament seemed

easier than the KingCo tournament," said the senior Pedeferri. "They'll definitely

be gunning for me at state."

Mount Si's Kyle Cunningham also will travel to state in the

119-pound class after finishing a respectable sixth.

The Wildcat's Jason Moe took seventh in the 125-pound class,

having lost his second round match and losing one consolation round match.

Jeff Stone and Chad Mills will also be traveling to state for the

Wildcats. Stone placed a respectable fourth after working his way through the

consolation bracket in the 130-pound class. Mills made it to the finals in

the same weight class, losing to Tyee's Kasey White by pin at the 5:31

mark. The loss gave him a better-than-last- year showing at second place.

It was all Blake Moore in the 135-pound class as last week's

KingCo champ repeated to become this year's Region 2 champ. He pinned his

first two opponents to make it into the semi-finals. There he faced

Sealth's Anthony McRae, pasting him with a 10-3 decision. In the finals he

again faced Truong Luu, whom he had defeated for the KingCo title one

week earlier.

The first round was uneventful and neither wrestler gained an upper

hand. In the second, Luu scored first with a reversal but Moore escaped and

took Luu to the mat. Late in the round, Luu reversed again, giving him the 4-3

lead after two rounds. In the third, starting from the down position, Moore

maneuvered a reversal but Luu quickly escaped to tie the score, sending

the match into overtime. Both wrestlers, exhausted from the prior

rounds, looked for the opening. Finally, as seconds ticked away, Moore made

the shot and slowly worked his way behind Luu for the takedown and

the win.

"I couldn't get deep enough to take him down," said Moore after

the match. "It's exciting going to state but now they will be gunning for me."

In the 140-pound class, Hiram Tame finished seventh, winning

his last match against Mount Rainer's John Luckson, 13-2, while

teammate David Crotts took eighth in the 145-pound class.

Senior Ryan Smith took fourth in the 152-pound class after losing in

the second round. The loss moved him to the consolation bracket where he

won two decisions before losing to Highline's Jason Deslongchamp in

the finals.

The bruiser, Brad Davis, earned a respectable fourth-place finish in

the 189-pound class. After a third-round loss to Liberty's Brian

Anderson, Davis had one pin in the consolation bracket. He then lost to

Bellevue's Josh Phillips for fourth place.

The Wildcats' Dylan Seubert and Brandon Prior placed fifth and

seventh respectively in the 215-pound class with Seubert earning a trip to state.

It was Prior's last match in a Wildcat uniform but he leaves with the

respect of his teammates, coaches and a certain newspaper publisher.

Finally, in the 275-pound class, two Wildcat wrestlers earned a trip

to state. Sean Sexton made it to the finals after pinning his first two

opponents then winning a 4-3 decision against teammate Brad Connor. In

the finals he faced Newport's Josh Leapai, whom he had defeated during

the regular season. Leapai gained several critical takedowns during the

championship match and Sexton couldn't recover. The loss gave him

second place and a trip to the state tournament.

Teammate Brad Connor also will travel to state after taking third in

the 275-pound class. Losing to Sexton in the semifinals, Connor

trashed O'Dea's Mike Mallory and Lindbergh's Mike Nagai for the

third place finish.

The Wildcats' team effort resulted in their first-ever regional title.

"We came close back when Josh (Josh Garcia, Cedarcrest coach) was

wrestling for us," said coach Bruce Caldwell.

"We had six champs that year and came in second I think, back in

the Seamount days. This is probably the best team we have ever had," a

flagrantly beaming Caldwell added.

The result of the weekend's efforts will be put to the true test when

the state tournament gets underway at the Tacoma Dome on Friday and

continues Saturday.

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