U-Hi’s Dusty Roberts Grabs Another State Title
Titan wrestler compiles 120-10 record over high school career A year after having won his first state wrestling championship as a sophomore, University High School’s Dusty Roberts was forced to face reality.
He found that anyone is beatable, last season losing for the only time in the state semifinals.
If he were to lose again, he told himself, it wouldn’t be because he wasn’t prepared.
“I made sure I was working harder than any of my opponents,” the Titan senior said, two days after completing a perfect 33-0 season and becoming U-Hi’s first two-time state wrestling champion. “I went into practice with the attitude that I would get as much out of it as I can.”
That resolve was evident in the way he manhandled his opposition en route to this year’s championship.
These may have been matches against the best 148-pounders the state could provide, but Roberts was dominant in wins of 19-1, 13-5, 13-4 over the state’s third-best AAA wrestler and 16-8 over runnerup Travis Morgan of Puyallup.
“He looked like he was a good mat wrestler,” said Roberts. “If I was explosive, I knew I should be able to take him down as much as I wanted. I broke him after I took him down the third time.”
That is the style that personified Roberts’s four-year career. Ever the aggressor, he would take his opponents down for two points, let them up for one and take them down again. If he ever had troubles, it was because of his aggressiveness.
Not that he was troubled often. Roberts had a 120-10 record at University, losing just four of his last 104 matches, only once over the past two years and nary a match this year.
“I wrestled a lot more under control,” Roberts said. “I was better conditioned and wrestled more slick than aggressive.”
The memory of that lone loss last year spurred him on. A letter from his former coach, Rick Sicilia, reminded him of how badly it hurt to lose and how hard he had to work.
“I made sure before the season started I would do whatever it took and work as hard as I could not to lose,” said Roberts. “There was never a doubt in my mind anyone would beat me.”
No one did.
Weight class leaves him prepared
Only a freshman, Central Valley’s Shane Cunanan has already set for himself an ambitious standard.
Seasoned by the incredibly tough Greater Spokane League, he finished third in state at 108 pounds.
The GSL produced the state’s top three finishers even though the district champion stayed home.
Cunanan lost only once in league. But he finished third and fourth in district and regionals to barely qualify for state.
Once there he won four of five matches, losing only to eventual champion Cory Brannon of Gonzaga Prep, 6-4 in overtime.
A matter of bad timing
Beset by a viral infection and facing the ultimate state champion in his first match, Scott Garcia never had a chance.
Weakened by illness, the University 141-pounder lost his opener by injury default before winning three in a row and ultimately placing sixth.
Teammate Josh Knowles finished fourth at 115 pounds, reaching the semifinals.
Other entrants included Central Valley 158-pounder Rick Giampietri, who was 2-2, losing to the third and fourth placers, Titan 101-pounder Jared Osborn, who won one of three matches, and Bear Joel Gehrett who went out in two straight at 135.