When Rogers freshman Ryan Anstrom was younger, his dad used to wrestle with him in the family home.
“Tom was a state placer in 1969 from Kent-Meridian,” said former Pirates coach Ken Pelo. “It would be state champion Kent-Meridian against that lousy Rogers.”
The two would wrestle into the night, the score 210 to 208, dad always winning, Pelo said.
Those living room losses paid off with a District 8 158-pound championship for Anstrom in his first varsity season.
He is one of nine Pirates who will compete in this weekend’s Region IV tournament Friday and Saturday at Central Valley High School.
The strong showing by the Pirates didn’t surprise first-year mentor and GSL coach of the year Walt Arnold.
“We’re looking at possibly up to 10 who could pull through district,” he had said prior to districts. “We’re competitive enough, providing the breaks go with us.”
The Pirates led all North Side schools during district competition, finishing fourth with 202-1/2 points.
Included were champions Anstrom and 141-pounder Daryn Steeneck and second-place finisher Nick Fuller at 135 pounds.
Taking third were Ben Houk at 108, Daryl Groom at 122, Kris Clarke at 148, surprising Jesse Ross at 190 and Marshall Sims at 275. Fourth was Rogers’s other entrant at 141, Matt Burnham.
“Matt’s pretty respectable,” Arnold had said before the meet. “He could be a spoiler.”
The coach proved a prophet once more.
Mead advanced four wrestlers, all from the finals. Joe Collier beat teammate Art Avalon for the 275-pound championship. Jon Rugan, 115, and Mark Denholm, 101, took second.
North Central got back-to-back champions in 190-pound David Sandberg and 215-pound Brian Burrow. Brian Thatcher was second at 168 pounds and Brian Mack was fourth at 158.
Shadle Park advances two wrestlers, fourth place finishers Kevin Olson at 178 and Casey Laughary at 148.
Lakeside by a landslide
It was a banner weekend for Lakeside High School in the Northeast A League.
Both the boys and girls basketball teams clinched first place in league and the wrestlers overwhelmed their foes in the district tournament.
Lakeside’s multi-faceted boys won twice while runnerup Medical Lake lost a game. That secured top seed for the Eagles in the district playoffs, which begin Feb. 18.
Against Newport, five players finished in double figures, led by Mike Dasenbrock’s 19 points. Against Freeman, four scored in double figures, Bill Bender firing home 26.
The girls throttled runnerup Newport 73-46 to lock up their third straight title, with Brianne Jolley scoring 23 and Nikki Petticrew adding 19.
The wrestlers, meanwhile were just as stunning. It was, said coach Scott Jones, the best his team had wrestled all season.
Scoring 296-1/2 points to runnerup Medical Lake’s 153, the Eagles had 11 finalists and 7 champions.
No. 1 seeds Anthony Layton, 129, Jason Christen, 135 and Nate Bohl, 141 all won championships as did number twos Jason Belyea, 108, Tim Weisser, 122, and Scott Wheeler, 158.
Matt Westenfelder, whose season was limited by injury, came through to win at 148 pounds over teammate Aaron Laughary.
Reaching the finals as expected were Trevor Blackwell, 115, and Randy Brownell, 215.
Joining them were fourth-seeded Adam Christen, who lost to teammate Layton at 129.
Joining them at regionals in Chelan this weekend are thirdplacers Shawn Close, 115, Jason Cummings at 190 and Todd Kenny at 122.
Seeded just fifth out of the Northeast A League, Kenny was Lakeside’s surprise in the tourney.
Deer Park has advanced five to regionals, champion Heath Berger, 168, second-placers Jon Waunch, 135, and Jerred Berger, 178, Jeb Race, 148, and Jeremy Race, 122.
Riverside’s Region IV AA qualifiers are Joben Nuesse, 129, Paul Murray, 141, and Jared Bailey, 168.
Gymnasts advance to regional
Mead’s Greater Spokane League gymnastics team and several North Side individuals will compete this Saturday in the Region IV gymnastics tournament at University High.
One team, two all-around athletes and seven individuals per event advance to state.
Among members of Mead’s fourth-place team were Heather Salo, Marki Stewart and Kelly Herron.
North Central advanced all-arounders Heidi McCullough, Shelly Betts and Emily Jones, plus individual events performers Janna Kruger, Heather Brotherton, Kristin Walters and Kari LeBret.
Rogers advanced Brandy Shea in three events, Cora Gaines in two, Crystal Bettencourt, Carlene Krebs, Sandra Kanan and Arlene Dawe.
Shadle advanced Mary Bass in four events, Andy Hannon and Stephani Schirman.
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