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`Cats win Sea-King

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RENTON — Mount Si High School wrestling coach

Bruce Caldwell's team hasn't lost all season, and they probably don't

plan on it. The wrestlers, who were undefeated in 3A KingCo

league play and recently won the league title, took to the Sea-King

regional tournament last weekend and came away with another

trophy.

The Wildcats got off to a great start on Friday, the first day of

the tournament. By the end of the day, the team led the meet with a

score of 83, eight points higher than host Liberty High School.

Kyle Cunningham, 119 pounds, advanced to the quarterfinals with a bye

and pinned Stefan Schmidt of Nathan Hale in 5:32. Nick

Martindale, 125 pounds, recorded pins in the first round and the

quarterfinals to advance to the championship finals on Saturday, where he

lost by decision to Jimmy Akiyama from Newport 5-4.

Puget Sound Wrestler of the Year Jeff Stone, 135 pounds,

advanced to the semifinal with a bye and a 5-0 decision over

Mount Rainier's Chad Sonderson. Chad Mills, 140 pounds, pinned

Joe Larson of Nathan Hale in 3:43 and advanced to the

quarterfinals, where he won by decision over Artem Babayan of Highline

12-1. Hiram Tame, 145 pounds, defeated Darrin Hollibaugh

of Mount Rainier in the quarterfinals 6-5.

David Crotts, 152 pounds, won both of his matches

against Nyal Rheaume of Highline and Curtis Abbott of Eastside

Catholic. Bobby Taylor, 160 pounds, won by decision against

Jon Martinez of West Seattle, only to be defeated by Jacob

Sandiford of Hazen in the quarterfinals.

Kyle Davis, 189 pounds, won by injury default in

the quarterfinals against Highline's Joe Collins. Dylan Seubert,

215 pounds, pinned George Tramountamus of Blanchet

in only 22 seconds and won by decision in the quarterfinals

against Evergreen's Juan Cigarroa. Brad Connor, 275 pounds, advanced

to the semis with a bye and pinned Luke Gunther of Hazen in

only 1:46. Freshman Kyle Davis, also wrestling at 275, was pinned

by Hazen's Daren Weaser and did not advance to the quarterfinals.

Going into the finals at the Sea-King regional

tournament, the Wildcats had six wrestlers, while Valley rival

Cedarcrest High School had one.

Wrestling in the 112-pound class, Cedarcrest's Aaron

Pedeferri faced Renton's Mike Good. The Red Wolf sophomore

controlled the match from the start and pinned Good at the 1:28 mark

of the first round. It gave him his second Sea-King title and

another first-place berth to the state tournament at the Tacoma Dome.

The next Valley wrestler was Kyle Cunningham in the

119-pound class. He was pitted against Tyee's Marlon Zapeda.

Zapeda scored quickly with a takedown and four-point near fall. The

near fall came as Cunningham's nose began to bleed. The Wildcat

came back with an escape, though, to end the round.

In the second round, Zapeda took the down position

and quickly escaped. Cunningham came back and took him to

the mat again, turned his shoulders to the mat and tried to

squeeze out the pin. Zapeda wiggled free and scored on an illegal hold

by Cunningham to end the round.

In the third round, Zapeda again started from the down

position but escaped quickly. Cunningham took him to the

mat late in the round but couldn't turn him for the winning points. As

the clock ticked down, both wrestlers appeared exhausted

with Cunningham losing by one point, 9-8.

In the 135-pound class, the Stone found himself

pitted against Anthony McRae of Chief Sealth. McRae took a

first-round lead with two takedowns to Stone's one escape. In the

second, Stone came back to tie up the match with a reversal and

three-point near fall. With Stone pressing McRae's shoulders to the

mat, the Sealth wrestler signaled that he was hurt. Simultaneously,

the official signaled a dangerous hold. A quick conference with

the coaches on the edge of the mat gave Stone the three-point

near fall instead of the rule-required four-point near fall, given when

a wrestler signals a problem as he is being pinned. The

technicality put McRae one point behind Stone going into the final round.

McRae started from the down position in the third and

reversed late in the round to take the lead. Stone, with seconds ticking

by, didn't have enough time to recover and lost the match 7-6.

Hiram Tame faced O'Dea's Tim Storey in the

145-pound class. Storey controlled the match from the beginning, scoring

a takedown, two-point and three-point near falls in the first

round. In the second, he scored an escape and takedown to take a

10-0 lead going into the third. Tame showed heart, though, and

came back to score an escape and takedown for a final score of

10-3.

Next up for the Wildcats was Brad Davis in the

189-pound class. Davis showed tremendous intensity as he stepped onto

the mat, pitted against Mercer Island's Grant Guidinger. Davis had

defeated Guidinger during the regular season, with the Islander

wrestler taking second in KingCo and Davis first.

Davis opened the match with a quick takedown and never

let Guidinger up the entire first round. In the second, Davis

deferred position for the second, and Guidinger chose down. It

appeared the move might score him some points, but for every

escape, Davis was there to take the Islander to the mat again. At the

end of two, Davis led 6-2.

With both wrestlers starting from a neutral position for

the third round, Davis took Guidinger to the mat. The

Islander reversed, quickly followed by the Wildcat scoring an

escape. Guidinger then took Davis to the mat, but the "Bruiser"

escaped again to finish the match with the 10-6 win. The win gave Mount

Si its first Sea-King regional champ, but it wouldn't be the team's last.

Dylan Seubert faced a tough Bryan Anderson of Liberty in

the finals for the 215-pound class. The big Liberty wrestler did

just enough to stave off Seubert, with a takedown and reversal his

only moves. Seubert scored an escape and reversal of his own, but

it wasn't enough as he took second 4-3.

In the 275-pound class, Brad Connor of Mount Si took on J.

P. Vasjcek of O'Dea. Connor came out strong from the start,

scoring a takedown and three-point near fall. But Vasjcek wasn't going

to fall easily, escaping the grasp of Connor and scoring a

takedown of his own. In the second round, he scored another escape to

trail 5-4 going into the third.

Connor started from the down position in the third round

and reversed about midway through the round. Vasjcek creeped

back, though, scoring one point on an illegal hold by Connor and

then a late-round escape. The extra points made the match

appear closer than it really was. Connor took the win and the

Sea-King championship 7-6.

With all the rounds over, the Wildcats captured a narrow

win over their league rivals, the Liberty Patriots, with 185.5 points

to 179.5. The Wildcats will take 10 wrestlers to state, and

Cedarcrest will take three. In addition to Connor and Davis, Mount Si

wrestlers who qualified for state include Cunningham,

Martindale, Stone, Mills, Tame, Crotts, Taylor and Seubert.

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