TACOMA – Bryson Beard hadn’t been taken down all season until Saturday.
And, frankly, the Central Valley senior, a defending State 4A champ, was quite concerned.
It took until the final minute before he put Nick Whitehead of Tahoma away with a combination takedown and back points, as Beard pulled off a repeat at Mat Classic at the Tacoma Dome.
Beard pulled out a 10-6 win.
“He got that single in and we’ve worked every day on defense to singles,” Beard said. “I just had to get back a little farther and push his hips away. Once I did I just knocked his head down, got behind and just took it.”
Beard thought it might be his last opportunity to score.
“It was now or nothing,” Beard said. “I gave everything I had.”
Then Beard rolled Whitehead over for some needed insurance at the end.
“He came out fast and took me down,” Beard said. “That was the first time all season and I was kind of scared. I just knew that all the training I put in was more than his. I worked harder than him and I deserved it more. So I had to fight twice as hard to get it.”
After missing out on a state title as a freshman and sophomore, Beard has had laser-like focus the last two years.
“I wanted to get two of them (state titles),” he said.
Lake Stevens captured the state title with 121 points, 18 ahead of defending state champ Moses Lake. CV was the highest-placing Greater Spokane League team at eighth (61).
Freshman Chase Tebbets (106) of Mead, Bridger Beard (126) of CV and University’s Levi Meinzinger (182), a defending state champ, each finished second.
Tebbets fell 9-5 to Ethan Rotondo of Union; Beard was shut out 9-0 by Josh Franich of Puyallup; and Dylan Morris of Moses Lake edged Meinzinger 6-5.
Morris picked up a late stall point and then got a takedown in an evenly contested match.
Franich worked over Beard after pinning Cam Sorensen of U-Hi in the semifinals.
Sorensen finished third, becoming a four-time placer.
Tebbets wrestled beyond his years throughout the tournament before running into the seasoned Rotondo.
Greater Spokane League 4A teams lacked depth this season, and that point was driven home at state.
Nine other area wrestlers placed.
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