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Wildcats take second title
For the second time in as many years the Mount Si Wildcat
wrestling team captured the KingCo tournament title 40 points ahead of the
closest competitor, Liberty. In the process they sent six wrestlers to the
finals, crowned one KingCo champ and will launch 18 wrestlers at the district
tournament to be held next week.
The two-day competition, held at Liberty High School near
Renton, only had 3A teams this year as the 4A squads held their own event
elsewhere. With the split in venue, outstanding wrestling by 3A competitors was
the order of business and Mount Si didn't disappoint.
Going into the competition many predicted that league champs,
Liberty, would take the title, with one Eastside daily newspaper also throwing in
their hat for the Patriots. But anyone who knows anything about
wrestling knows the Wildcats have twice the depth and experience of any team
in KingCo 3A. It was certainly evident after the finals.
The star of the 103-pound class for Mount Si was Jordan Prior. Prior
made it to the finals with a first round bye, then pinned Bellevue's
Dominique Simone. In the finals he faced a very determined freshman from
Cedarcrest in Aaron Pedeferri. Prior did all he could to hang on in the finals but
fell short in a second round technical fall, 15-0.
Senior Andrew Ahmadi also made it to the finals in the 112-pound
class. In the first round he pinned Interlake's Kevin Baum at the 1:42 mark
then followed up with a 16-0 technical fall over Bellevue's Dart Hagen. In
the next round Ahmadi wreaked havoc on Cedarcrest's Darren DeBoer,
winning a 12-5 decision.
In the finals Ahmadi faced off with reigning league champ Jenkins
Chan. Chan scored first with a takedown, but Ahmadi notched a reversal
midway through the round. Chan then pulled a reversal, giving him a 4-2 lead.
The `Cat grappler would score another reversal in the second round, but
Chan dominated the rest of the way and recorded the 11-4 match win.
The 119-pound class saw two Mount Si wrestlers competing,
Kyle Cunningham and Nick Martindale. Cunningham made it to the
semi-finals where he faced defending champ Eric Pedeferri, losing by a pin.
He went on in the consolation bracket to take fourth after losing to
Liberty's Mark Rowe. Martindale also went to the consolation bracket, notching
one win against the Totem's Ash Gorman before losing to Skyline's
Justin Eballar 10-8 in overtime.
Mount Si also sent two to the mat in the 125-pound class, veteran
Jason Moe and Jae Mandanas. Notably absent from the lineup was last
year's state placer, Ben Veyna who did not compete for unknown reasons.
Moe defeated Skyline's Graham Ranson with a pin at the 3:49 mark
of the second round and then faced defeated Interlake's Fumi Nagahisa,
19-2. But the road to the finals had a chuckhole and his name was
Sean Keveran, also from Skyline. Keveran pinned Moe late in the third round
and eventually won the league title. The loss moved Moe to the
consolation bracket where he placed a respectable fifth, earning a spot in the district
Mandanas lost his first round match to Issaquah's Jeff Smith but
beat Cedarcrest's Bobbie Scholander with a 15-second pin in his first
consolation match. But the Red Wolves' Alan Shults avenged his teammate's
loss, pinning Mandanas at the 1:59 mark of the first round and knocking
the young Wildcat out of the competition.
Veteran 130-pounder Chad Mills scored three first-round pins
before losing 7-6 to Issaquah's Zach Hyatt in the finals. Mills was up 6-5 late
in the final match but Hyatt pulled out a quick reversal for the win. Jeff
Stone also competed in the 130-pound class for the Wildcats, losing an
opening round to Skyline's Kevin Burton but recovering for fourth place in the class.
The Wildcats also had two wrestlers in the 135-pound class as
well, Eddie Roberts and powerhouse Blake Moore. Moore pinned his first
opponent, Interlake's Ben Zollner, at the 2:34 mark of the second round.
He then went on to pin Bellevue's Ken Stansbury at 5:38 in the third
round. In the semi-finals, he defeated Liberty's Scott Rowe 13-7, earning
a spot in the finals where he faced another Issaquah powerhouse,
Truong Luu, who was favored to win.
Luu scored first with a takedown, but near the end of the first
round Moore escaped. In the second round Luu deferred position and
Moore chose down, eventually escaping for a 4-2 advantage. In the third,
Luu chose down and reversed Moore; Moore reversed again but Luu
escaped. The waning moments of the 6-5 match were ticking when
Moore took Luu to the mat to seal the victory. It was Moore's first league
title ever and the only one recorded by the Wildcats this year.
"I felt as though he had a shot at it," commented coach Bruce
Caldwell. "He has lost to that guy three
other times and it was pretty decisive during the dual meet we had
with Issaquah. But Blake stuck with him, controlled the match and it worked
out for him."
"It feels good," said Moore. "I
have been wrestling tough. He beat me once in the regular season, four times
total, and that was the first time I had beaten him. Stay tough, and had to stay
in with him in the takedowns and then get him after that. He is good
Sophomore Eddie Roberts will also travel to the district
tournament for Mount Si after recording a fifth. To get there, Roberts racked up
two pins and a decision, an impressive showing from a young wrestler.
Hiram Tame made it to the finals for Mount Si in the 140-pound
class, pinning in sequence Newports' Charlie Wenger, Skyline's
Jamie Birrell and Sammamish's Alan Itkin before facing the Knights'
Both wrestlers received a warning for stalling in the first round; so
Tame took matters into his own hands and recorded a takedown. Andrie
responded by reversing Tame's hold and then moving his shoulders near
the mat for a two-point nearfall. In the second round each wrestler
scored several reversals, leading to a tough third frame where Tame got
another reversal to tie the score. Both wrestlers looked dog-tired as
seconds slipped away but Andrie had just enough strength to wiggle free
of Tame's grasp for the escape and the 12-11 win.
Freshman Chris Ippolito also competed for Mount Si in the
140-pound class but departed further competition following two successive losses.
David Crotts and Kyle Jacobsen competed for the Wildcats in the
145-pound class. Crotts was on a roll in the consolation bracket after a
second round loss but injured his foot late in his match with Bellevue's
Jeremy McCormick and had to bow out. Still, despite the injury he finished sixth
and will travel to the district tournament. The young sophomore Jacobsen
finished seventh after an initial first round win and two wins in the
Veteran Ryan Smith took third in the 152-pound class after losing
to Skyline's Eric Reed in the semi-finals. Smith then defeated Newport's
Matt Calendar with a pin and Mercer Island's Roland Hawkins with a
decision to take third. Mount Si sophomore Carlin Faultersack also competed
in the 152-pound class, recording one pin before losing and dropping to the
Kasey Robinson and Bobby Taylor took to the mat for Mount Si in
the 160-pound class with Taylor ultimately finishing sixth, earning
his ticket to the district tournament. Robinson lost his opening
round match but notched two technical falls before losing to his teammate, 11-8.
Up and coming junior Jed McDaniels took to the mat for
Mount Si in the 171-pound class, along with teammate Nick Ippolito.
McDaniels lost his opening round match but then recorded three straight pins before
losing to the Totems' Aaron Peterson for a fourth-place finish. Ippolito also
lost his opening match then lost to Jake Goetz of Skyline by pin.
The bruiser, Brad Davis, was the Wildcats' chosen one at
189-pounds, enjoying an opening round bye before dominating Liber