Deer Park’s arduous regular- season wrestling schedule was designed for this moment.
The Stags sent six wrestlers into the 2A Regional Tournament finals, won three championships at West Valley on Saturday, and qualified a total of 10 to Mat Classic XX next week
“Our whole year,” coach Matt Jorgensen said, “has been about next week.”
It included participation in three prestigious tournaments, during the season, so individual records of some Deer Park finalists may not seem imposing. But, Jorgensen said, are deceiving.
“We knew we wouldn’t win a lot in those tournaments,” the coach said, “but the kids were up for the challenge.”
For instance, 119 pounder Levi Zadorozny sported a 25-10 record into his title bout with Julian Romero of Toppenish who was 31-2. Zadorozny won by pin. Neither coach nor wrestler considered it an upset.
“This is our senior year, and we want to go for it all,” said Zadorozny, an unfulfilled third in state last year.
Drew Acorn, also third in state last year, won 10-4 at 103 pounds and Cody Miller, a state runnerup, beat Clarkston’s Gabe Hocum 6-0 at 152 pounds.
Three others – Blake Adams, losing on an escape with 4 seconds left; Brandon Leliefeld, to Pullman’s Matt David in overtime at 140; and Waylon Cork, to Riverside’s Jacob DesRoches on a reversal with 20 seconds left at 160 – all took second.
Those three weights and 171, where Ryan DesRoches pinned Clarkston’s Dan Dahl, were where much of the strength of the Great Northern League lay, advancing 13 wrestlers to state.
For sheer entertainment, the David-Leliefeld match was tough to top, a perpetual motion whirlwind that wasn’t decided until David survived an overtime scramble for the deciding points.
“He’s a terrific wrestler so he’s not going to give up anything easy,” said David of Leliefeld, who he lost to 16-4 last weekend for the district title.
Jacob DesRoches and Cork were scoreless until the Riverside wrestler parlayed an escape attempt into a two-point move as time wore down.
Deer Park ran away with the team title, outscoring runner-up Riverside 223 to 148 with Ellensburg third at 141.5 and Clarkston fourth with 125 points.
The Great Northern League had 13 finalists and seven champions. Clarkston’s Frank Willis at 189 was the other winner and Pullman 215 pounder Brandin Groat finished second.
All three DesRoches brothers advanced for Riverside, freshman Nick placing fifth at 152.
“This is a dream for us to have all three go like this,” Jacob said.
Region 3A: East Valley qualified all 10 of its regional wrestlers to state and beat host Eastmont 181 to 153 for the team title. Mt. Spokane was fourth.
Knights Nic Price (145 pounds), Dakota Lawson (171) and Clete Hanson (189) were champions and Keith Babington (103) and Matt Mehlbrech (119) reached the finals.
Lawson beat Mt. Spokane’s John Bergstrom in the title match for the second straight week, 17-1. Wildcats Justin Scott (130) and Corbin Richardson (152) were finalists.
North Central had three third-place state qualifiers, Jared Berlinger (103), Nathan Brown (112) and Tanner Robinson (119).
Region 1A: Lakeside had 10 finalists and eight champions advancing a total of 11 wrestlers to state in winning in the regional tournament in Cashmere. The Eagles scored 288.5 points to Omak’s 186. In an all-Lakeside final, Jacob Lauderdale beat Brian Baumgarden at 119 pounds.
Other champions were Michael Baumgarden (103), Ryan Nordstadt (112), Josh Lauderdale (125), Kyle Johnson (135), Wes McAdam (171), Reid Chivers (189) and Dustin Baldwin (215). Ben Fuson was second at 285.
Region B: Republic had six champions, but Reardan, with 251.5 points beat host Kittitas’ 235.5 for the title.
Republic’s winners included defending state champs Ryn Rollins (119), J.J. Gubler (135) and Jordan Hancock (152), state runnerup Landis Mills (171), state placer Levi Larson (112) and freshman Scott Bacon (130).
Reardan advances 10 to state including its regional champs, Derek Toney (defending state 285 champion), Rory Beckstrom (215) and Josh Eldred (140).
Girls region: Springdale won the Eastern Washington Girls Regional 76.5 to 74 over Warden. Central Valley’s Emily Juhre at 125 and Colfax’s Deidra Starret at 285 won individual titles.