Now Andy Hilzer can wash his socks and retire his shoes. He’s done walking all over his brother.
The Ritzville senior won the 158-pound championship at Mat Classic VIII in the Tacoma Dome Saturday night, joining Chris Padayao, a senior from Lakeside at 115 pounds, as the only champions from the Northeast A/B district.
Jon Mackay, a senior from Liberty, lost in the 190-pound final.
Hilzer made state at 158 last year, so he kept the shoes that got him here. When he won the Bi-County title, he stuffed his socks in the shoes and pulled them out to win district, regional and state.
His name will also be above his brother’s on the board at school that lists state placers. Jason was fourth in 1992.
“That was my goal all year,” Andy Hilzer said after a takedown in OT gave him a 3-1 win over Quincy junior Brad Duda, who lost 4-2 to Hilzer in the region finals a week ago.
“We wrestle every day. He keeps getting better and better,” Jason Hilzer said. “I can’t keep up with him any more. I figured he’d beat me.”
Padayao beat Jason Ogle of Almira/ Coulee-Hartline 11-7, securing the title with a last-minute reversal. Ogle, fifth at 101 pounds as a junior last year, had beaten Padayao for the first time in three tries at regionals last week.
“A week of hard practices is what I say (is the difference),” Padayao said. “I think last week I was wrestling a little out of control, a little too fast to think what to do.”
Said Ogle: “It seemed like he overpowered me a little more. I didn’t wrestle as aggressively (as last week).”
Finishing second left Mackay frustrated.
“I’m real disappointed with my last match,” he said of the 11-3 loss to Jerid Sutherland of Cashmere. “I could have beat him. I’m kind of hurt and sore. I gave it my best. I sure would like a rematch, though.”
Sutherland, who pinned Mackay for the regional title a week earlier, clinched the team title for Cashmere. The Bulldogs scored 137, beating Blaine by 11 points.
It was a fitting present for coach John Durheim, a West Valley graduate who is stepping down as wrestling coach.
After eight years as an assistant at Cashmere, Durheim’s teams won five state titles in his 10 years as head coach.