Mat Classic preview
Where: Tacoma Dome
When: Friday and Saturday
It’s shaping up like it’s the year of the individual for Greater Spokane League teams. Central Valley has the best chance to earn a trophy (top four teams receive trophies), but the Bears have little margin for error.
Colton Orrino and Blake Beard will be out to defend state titles and Bryson Beard, who took third, will challenge. Orrino and Blake Beard are ranked No. 1 at their weights. Others to watch are Dakota Numbers of Lewis and Clark and Mason Ju of Mead.
University is the defending champ, and many thought the Titans were in line for a repeat until they suffered some key losses at regionals. The Titans got just seven through arguably the toughest regional, but they’re sending quality.
“We were very disappointed,” U-Hi coach Don Owen said. “We’re sending seven alternates. We’d win a state title for alternates. We’ll have to have help from others. We’ll do our part – the question is will it be enough. We lost any cushion we possibly could have had.”
Decatur has been tabbed the favorite, qualifying 11. “If Decatur had to come through our region, it would have been cut to ribbons,” Owen said. Titans Cam Sorensen and Austin Stannard were state runners-up a year ago. They, along with Tate Orndorff, will challenge for titles.
Mt. Spokane could have the best chance to challenge Decatur. The Wildcats, who qualified nine, had their best finish last year when they took fifth, one spot out of a trophy. “We did everything we had to do at regionals,” Wildcats coach Travis Hughes said. “It looks like we’ll match up in about four matches with Decatur in the second round. That will tell a lot.” Wildcats Tom Harvey and Kiegen Schauer were state runners-up last year.
North Central pushed through six quality wrestlers, led by defending state champ Izaec Quintanilla. He along with his freshman brother, Clai, Cody Kiourkas and Bryson Pierce will challenge for titles. “If we have a good weekend we can hit the podium,” NC coach Luke Leifer said. “The GSL has a shot at a lot of (individual) titles.”
Great Northern League teams beat each other up last weekend. Previous state qualifiers and placers didn’t qualify for state. Colville knocked off defending state champ Othello. Colville qualified seven and perennial state power Deer Park had four regional champs among five qualifiers. Deer Park state champ Joe Grable is heavily favored and teammate Aaron Klauder will challenge along with Matt Miller. Dylan Beeler of Clarkston and Jace Malek of West Valley will likely collide at 220.
It’s been a storybook year for Freeman, starting with a state title in football. Several Scotties wrestlers were part of that magical run. Freeman, which qualified nine, won’t be challenging for a state title. But the Scotties figure to best their previous top placing (10th). Freeman captured league, district and regional titles, squeaking past 1A power Quincy by half a point last weekend. Markus Goldbach and Teigan Glidewell will challenge for a title. Lakeside also qualified nine, and Eagles Hootie Judd and Klint Brown will contend for titles.
No area team figures to contend for a state title, but a handful of wrestlers could challenge. They are Justin Chantry and Joey Dickinson of Selkirk, Kain Feitwell of Liberty and William Fager and Mark Dituri of Springdale.