Stags fall short in bid for sixth-straight 2A wrestling title
TACOMA – The road to a six pack came up short for the Deer Park wrestling team.
The Stags were seeking to become only the second school in state history to capture six straight championships, and in the end they lacked depth.
The powerhouse was knocked off, but not knocked out of the neighborhood. Othello snapped the Stags’ streak, finishing with 133.5 points and the State 2A title at the Tacoma Dome on Saturday. Deer Park had 111.
Two stags captured state titles – Cole Harris at 132 pounds and Joe Grable at 145 while Jake Konzal fell short in defending his title at 126, losing 5-3 in overtime.
It was a second straight title for Harris. And it was one that seemed out of the realm of possibility when he tore his anterior cruciate ligament last summer.
Harris returned a week before district.
“It’s the coolest thing ever to repeat,” Harris said. “I tore it wakeboarding. I had to run a lot to get into shape. I didn’t have the wrestling matches everyone else did. I feel like I was a lot better last year. But this feels good since I missed more than half the year.”
Grable, second a year ago, had no difficulty, winning 7-1.
Cheney senior Eli Mason captured a state title, winning 3-0 over an opponent he pinned earlier.
Mason, who won as a sophomore and was third last year, won for his father, who died last summer.
“I dedicated it to him,” Mason said.
Mason wasn’t pleased with his strategy.
“I should have been much more aggressive,” he said. “If I’d been aggressive it would have been a much different match.”
Jace Malek of West Valley took second at 285. He seemed to be cruising along, leading 7-4 in the third period before falling 9-8 on a late escape and takedown.
Two Northeast A final qualifiers took second.
Adam Collins of Chewelah, second a year ago, lost 4-2 and Anton King of Medical Lake fell 5-3 in overtime.
Three Reardan wrestlers captured state titles.
They are Nathan Sorci (132), Charlie Eldred (152) and Ike Martinez (195).
Reardan took fifth with 65 points.
Sorci won with a pin; Eldred prevailed 11-10 in overtime; and Martinez topped Levi Seylor of Almira/Coulee-Hartline 8-6 in overtime with a takedown.
It was Martinez’s fourth win over Seylor this year. Martinez said he and his teammates believed they could take gold at the start of the season.
“We all had hope to do it,” Martinez said. “It’s great to bring three best friends in here and winning.”
It was a repeat title for Sorci. Eldred was second last year.
“Ever since I was 5 years old I’ve had the hope of becoming a state champion,” he said.
“It finally became real.”
Damon Dixon of Wilbur-Creston grabbed a state title at 285 with a pin.
Kain Feltwell of Liberty (113) finished second.