At the time of the year when wrestlers need to either “come big or go home early,” the Wahkiakum Mule team showed up as large as life.
With five wrestlers in the finals and eight advancing to the regional tournament at Chief Leschi this weekend, the team has put in the necessary work to compete at the tournament time level.
Junior Blayne Edwards continued his dominating streak, pinning his opponent in the first round at 103. Freshman Mason Mackey gave the team its second champion at 119 with a repeat performance, first period pin.
Jesus Crawford (112) won his first match, then lost in the finals bringing home a second. Ben Miles (140) also advanced to the regional tournament with a pin and a loss. Adam Vasion (152) has come on strong at the end of the season and claimed a second, losing his second match in a knock down battle.
"Early in the year this same opponent (Kautzman from Ocosta) was dominant over Adam, but in this last match Adam wore Kautzman to an exhausted frazzle," commented Mule Coach Matt Stacey.
Another exciting challenge came at 145 for Nate Cothren.
"Nate has continually struggled with Carter from Ocosta," Stacey said. "However, at the sub-regionals in the semi-finals, Nate took Carter to a close decision and had Carter on his back three times, but was never able to finish sealing the deal. Nate ended up advancing with a fourth place."
Also advancing at fourth are Mitchel Vik and Dylan Hansen.
"Mitchel has gone up two weight classes this year and found the competition stiff," Stacey said. "Dylan has been fighting illness and had to injury default out of Saturday's tournament, but he is still eligible for the regionals."
Freshman Brandon Burdick will also be traveling with the team as the alternate at 152. Brandon came in fifth Saturday.
First year wrestlers Jr. Ramirez and Jessie Lee also fought for the Mules Saturday and continue to practice with the team, helping them stay sharp, Stacey said. Senior Cameron Elliot who has been fighting illness was unable to attend last Saturday's tournament.
Look for Wahkiakum and Naselle fall sports schedules in late August!