Nine Valley wrestlers headed to state

BELLINGHAM - Despite a difficult 3A Region 1 wrestling tournament that produced last year's team champions (Sedro Wooley), both the Mount Si and Cedarcrest wrestling teams will be sending nine strong competitors to the state tournament.

Cedarcrest was the Kingco hopeful to take the regional wrestling crown but fell short behind the powerhouse team from Sedro Wooley, 214-124. Mount Si came in ninth with 55 points.

Cedarcrest produced three regional champs: David Howard at 112 pounds, Aaron Pedeferri at 125 pounds and Darren DeBoer at 135 pounds. Mount Si had two champions: Matt Haas at 119 pounds and Nick Martindale at 145 pounds.

But throughout the tournament, all eyes were on two-time state champion Pedeferri, who is making his third bid at a state title. The win in the 125-pound class gave him his fourth consecutive regional title, but not without a challenge.

"My second match today against Mick'el McKinnon was probably the toughest," said Pedeferri. "I couldn't do anything. He was strong and a good solid base so it was hard to turn him."

In the finals Pedeferri faced Squalicum's Jace Cutrer who he pinned following a quick turnaround and takedown 51 seconds into the first round. The Cedarcrest senior now has his focus turned to state.

"It's endurance at this point because I'm not going learn anything new or any secret move in the last week. So I will just run real hard and get in super-good shape," said Pedeferri.

But there is also a realization that seven years of the Pedeferri brothers wrestling at Cedarcrest are coming to an end.

"It's kind of sad, because instead of working hard I want to goof off, joke around and have a really good time," said Pedeferri. "But I need to stay focused and stay serious."

He also wasn't quite sure what his parents will do now that the living room floor can take a break from the latest move.

"They are not going to know what to do with their time," said Pedeferri with a smile.

The champion wrestler is heading to the University of Oregon next year to wrestle for the Ducks at 125 pounds on a scholarship.

For the complete story, pick up a copy of this week's Valley Record

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