Sports

'Cats stay tough through holidays

The Wildcat wrestling team had two holiday meets, the first

locking horns at Mount Rainier High School over the holidays with the host

Rams and the Highline Pirates in a triangular meet. Even with a revised

line-up that saw a few junior varsity wrestlers competing and some old faces at

new weights, the `Cats triumphed easily over their outclassed Seamount

opponents.

The second meet at Lake Stevens, with several of the state's

top-ranked teams proved to be a bit tougher, with the `Cats finishing sixth.

Mount Si dominated Highline in the first match by a 57-18 score

and overwhelmed Mount Rainier by almost the same score, 55-16.

Jordan Prior collected a second round pin and forfeit at 103-pounds. With

Andrew Ahmadi moving up to 119, the `Cats forfeited 112. Wrestling tough at

119, Ahmadi went six strong minutes with a state qualifier from Highline,

only to get pinned in the overtime period. Another hard match against

Mount Rainier saw Ahmadi on the wrong end of an 11-3 count.

Ben Veyna had a short day of it at 125, winning by pin against his

Pirate opponent and collecting a forfeit against Mount Rainier. Jeff

Stone moved up to see some varsity action, taking a tied score at 8 after two

periods then pinning his Highline opponent in the third. Stone started

strong in his second match, but lost by a narrow10-7 score. Chad Mills saw

action at 135-pounds, winning his first match by an 11-6 margin and gaining a

forfeit against Mount Rainier.

Hiram Tame wrestled at 140-pounds against the Pirates, winning

by pin at 4:27. Against the Rams, Blake Moore stepped in and won 8-0.

Payton Thompson showed great technique in his 145-pound bouts, winning his

first match in a quick 50-second pin and finishing off his Mount Rainier

opponent at the end of the second period in 3:59. Ryan Smith collected a

decision and pin at 152, while Jed McDaniels slimmed down to 160-pounds, lost

to state placer Bobby Thompson of Highline by pin in his first match

and won a close 3-2 in his second match.

Bobby Taylor went 1-1 at 171 in two close matches. Brad Davis

bullied his Highline and Ram victims, winning both with easy pins. Not to

be outdone, Dylan Seubert also made quick work at 215, winning

both matches in first-round pins. In the 275-pound class, Sean Sexton and

Brad Connor both saw action with each gaining a first round pin to close

out the scoring.

The following morning, the Wildcats traveled to Lake Stevens to

compete in the 19th annual Viking Invitational tournament. With Lake

Stevens as the top-ranked 3A team in the state, and the likes of top ten teams

Ferndale, Anacortes, Monroe, Fife, and Squalicum, the squad had set

their sights on proving they belonged with these wrestling heavyweights.

Many of the weight classes not only had state placers, but a few even had dual

state champs. This would be the toughest competition the `Cats would likely

see until the state tournament.

Ahmadi was able to sustain an outstanding day of wrestling,

garnering a third-place finish at 112-pounds and barely losing a semifinal

match to a state placer from Selah. Jason Moe put it all together at 119-pounds

after losing his first match 6_0. Moe never tasted defeat the rest of the day,

beating a state wrestler and number two seed from Fife for a well deserved

and hard fought third. Seeded third, Mills kept to form and finished third at

130-pounds.

In a weight class that saw last year's state champ lose in the

finals, Moore finished third for Mount Si at 135-pounds. Stone also competed

at 135, gaining fifth place after a close loss to Moore. Tame lost his

first match of the year competing at 140-pounds, finishing tied for fifth.

Thompson lost some close, tough matches at 145-pounds. Spotting

his first opponent 10 points off two throws, he controlled the rest of

the match but could never catch-up, losing 10-4. In a battle for fifth

place, Thompson lost a heartbreaking 2-0 bout.

Smith went 1-2 at 152 in three close matches. In a weight class

that had three state championships, a second and a third, McDaniels gave it

his all but ended up 0-2. Taylor got some vital team points at 171 pounds,

showing that as the year progresses his improvement is steady, quick, and strong.

After a close loss in his first match, Davis found himself battling for

fifth place against last year's regional champ, Taylor Lopez of O'Dea.

As time expired, Davis found himself defeated 6-4, but confident in an

impending rematch at this year's regionals. Seubert was unable to

place at 215, but a loss to Towner of Selah set up a rematch this upcoming

weekend at the Wapato wrestling tournament.

Sexton showed well at 275-pounds, losing a close semifinal

match to the state placer and eventual tournament champ from Anacortes.

The team was put into a hole almost immediately as two

wrestlers, Prior at 103 and Veyna at 125, were unable to finish out the

tournament. Yet, even without these two, the Wildcats finished sixth with 134

points, ahead of ranked teams such as Fife (124), Monroe (92.5), and

Ferndale (66.5) and just behind powerhouse Sedro Wolley (143.5),

Anacortes (156.5) and Squalicum (159).

Wednesday night Mount Si returned to KingCo action, taking

on Skyline at home, then traveling to Newport on Thursday. On

Saturday the Wildcats go over the mountains to compete in the Wapato

Invitational Wrestling Tournament.

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