State tournament tough on Valley wrestlers
October 2, 2008 · Updated 9:52 PM
Three wrestlers from Cedarcrest and ten from Mount Si made the
trek this last weekend to the Tacoma Dome to participate in Mat Classic XII.
Two from each school placed as tough competition took its toll on the
Topping the list of local wrestlers who faired well at the Tacoma
Dome was Cedarcrest's Eric Pedeferri. The talented senior worked his
way through his first match by defeating Sunnyside's Everardo Rivera by
pin at the 1:27 mark of the first round. The pin set him up for a
second-round match against Bryan Howson of Sedro Woolley, whom he also pinned,
although it took a bit longer at 4:53, well into the third round. The two wins
assured the senior of at least a sixth-place finish but obviously, the
championship was still on his mind.
In the semi-finals, Pedeferri faced Timberline's Josh Linder. Linder
had defeated Sequim's Robbie Walden, a contender in his own right, to
move into competition with Pedeferri. In the semi-finals Pedeferri controlled
the entire match from the beginning with Linder doing everything he could
to keep from getting pinned. In the end the kid from Timberline was sent
to the consolation bracket by a very determined Red Wolf wrestler.
The 5-0 win over Linder moved Pedeferri into the finals and into
competition with a tough wrestler, Lynnwood's Joel
Mittelman. Mittelman had defeated Pedeferri earlier in the season at a tournament
10-1, so the stage was set for a real battle.
Pedeferri scored first with a takedown but quickly lost his
hold, allowing Mittelman to reverse. The two battled tirelessly the rest of
the first round, with Pedeferri never quite able to escape.
Mittelman had position choice to start the second round but deferred
to Pedeferri who chose neutral. Eric took the first shot, getting the takedown
of Mittelman. Working inside on setting up a cradle, Pedeferri got a bit
too high, allowing Mittelman to reverse and tie the score. He then worked
to gain an advantage on Pedeferri, finally moving his shoulders near the mat
for the three-point nearfall and a 7-4 advantage going into the last
round. Mittelman chose down for the third round and quickly reversed
Pedeferri for two more points.
The look in Pedeferri's eyes was an indication of his intensity and
desire to win. He strained, finally scoring the reverse, but Mittelman
appeared to hold a slight strength advantage and escaped Pedeferri's grasp.
He then took Pedeferri to the mat, controlling him until the final
whistle sounded. The Red Wolf senior had been defeated by a score of six
to Mittelman's 12.
The loss quickly came to light on the Pedeferri's face as tears welled
up in his eyes.
"It's been a good four years," he was quick to add, sitting quietly
near the mat. "It was a great high school experience," Pedeferri said. "I
could have gone to Liberty but went to Cedarcrest and totally started
And, as his fans and coach will add, he is and has been
Cedarcrest wrestling, creating a legacy that will live on for many years. His
accomplishments include a KingCo championship, Region 2 champ and
state placer four years in a row. He is also Cedarcrest's first four-year,
three-sport letter winner. He can also lay claim as the only Region 2 wrestler
to make it to the finals this year.
In addition to the elder Pedeferri making it to the championship
round the younger, Aaron, placed a respectable sixth after losing to
Aberdeen's Mike Cady in the consolation finals. His first two matches ended with a
pin and a major decision, but in the semis against Nghia Nuynh the
young Pedeferri fell in a first-round pin. The loss moved him to the
consolation bracket and to the eventual
"It feels good to at least place, said Aaron after the match. "I need to
get in the weight room this summer," he added.
His teammate and fellow freshman Darren DeBoer lost his opening
match to Jenkins Chan of Issaquah then lost to Yelm's Matt Smith, but the fact
that he made it to state is an indication of his future plans.
Mount Si also had a few state placers, sending 10 to the competition.
At the top of the list was Andrew Ahmadi, the senior, wrestling in the
112-pound class. Ahmadi made it all the way to sixth, his best finish ever, earning
him a medal and bragging rights as a state placer. But his road to the medal
took him all the way through the consolation bracket after losing his
first-round match to Lake Stevens' Danny Kleven. Kleven would go on to take the
From there Ahmadi posted three wins before losing to his old
nemesis, Jenkins Chan, in the consolation semi-finals. The loss moved him to the
fifth-sixth match where he again lost to Franklin Pierce's Craig Fawcett.
Still, the loss did not discourage the senior from showing his excitement on
"It was a great season. I have been working incredibly hard and coming
here I had nothing to lose," said Ahmadi. "Although it was kind
of scary being in front of all these people. I wanted to put on a show for the
last time I wrestle."
Ahmadi has plans to attend the University of Washington after
Also placing for Mount Si was KingCo and regional champ
Blake Moore, who wrestled in the tough 135-pound class. Moore won his
initial match against Interlake's Michael Eav before losing to Clarkston's
The loss moved him into the consolation bracket where he again
defeated Issaquah's Truong Luu before losing to Andy Andrews of
Sedro Wooley. That loss moved him immediately to the seventh-eighth
category where he lost to Washington's Mike Pike, 14-2.
"I knew the competition was going to be tough, but I wanted to
place better than eighth," said Moore after the match. "It was a long day
mentally. I'm worn down with all the injuries.
"I wish it could have ended better" he added. The senior plans to
attend a mission for his church after graduation before making any
plans for the future.
Other Mount Si competitors at state were Kyle Cunningham in
the 119-pound class, who lost two successive matches; Chad Mills in the
130-pound class, who won one consolation match; Jeff Stone, who lost
two successive matches; Ryan Smith in the 152-pound class, who lost two
successive matches; Brad Davis in the 189-pound class, who lost two
successive matches; Dylan Seubert in the 215-pound class, who lost two
successive matches; Brad Connor in the 275-pound class, who won one
consolation match; and Sean Sexton, who also won one consolation match.
Both coaches appeared equally pleased about their appearance at
Mat Classic XII. "We brought the whole team down to hopefully get them
excited and wanting to be here, said Cedarcrest coach Josh Garcia.
"Make them a little bit eager, he added.
"We were able to bring 10 people that were going to be exposed to
the state tournament, two that had been here before and eight that hadn't,"
said Mount Si head coach Bruce Caldwell. "We had a number of kids win
a match, got a couple of placers, so we are very satisfied.
"State is as tough as it always has been," he added. "This tournament
has been his very best. If there was a right time to peek, Andrew found it.
Blake has been steady all season and he's in a really tough weight class."
Mount Si finished with 16 team points, for 41st place. Cedarcrest
finished 17th with 32 team points, the highest placement of any team
from Region 2.