COUER D’ALENE, ID – In 40 years the Tri-State Invitational has grown into one of the top high school wrestling tournaments in the country. Hosted by North Idaho College in Couer d’Alene, five states were represented this year as wrestlers from Washington, Oregon, Montana and Arizona converged on the North Idaho campus.
Despite the fact that the tournament was open to schools from all sizes, Tonasket coach Dave Mitchell had hoped for more from the six Tigers entered into the tournament.
“Overall I think we could have done better, and so do the guys,” Mitchell said. “They learned a lot from the level of competition that they faced this weekend. Now we just have to work on getting better.”
None of the Tonasket wrestlers cracked the top eight in their weight classes, though five of them won a match.
Jared Stedtfeld (113 pounds) went 1-2, defeating A.J. Garcia from Hermiston, Ore., and losing his next two matches by decision.
Collin Aitcheson (120) won his first match against Kenny Jenks from North Central of Spokane, but got pinned by the eventual tournament champion and lost by major decision in his final match.
Jeff Stedtfeld (126) won his second match with a pin but was eliminated with a 3-0 loss to Tyson Galliac of 4A Auburn.
Ryker Marchand (also 126) lost both his matches.
Austin Booker (160) pinned his opening-round opponent but then was himself pinned in his next two matches.
John Rawley’s (195) three matches all ended with a pin, with Rawley winning his second match of the day over C.J. Lowery of North Central.
The Tigers next wrestle Thursday, Dec. 22, at Oroville’s NOHI tournament and Thursday, Dec. 29 at the Royal City Holiday tournament.
Tonasket 39, Liberty Bell 36
LIBERTY BELL – Liberty Bell gave the Tigers all they could handle despite giving away 24 points due to four open weight classes in a dual meet on Wednesday, Dec. 14.
The Tigers Aitcheson, Joel Cosino, Frank Holfelz and Tanner Good all earned wins just by showing up. Austin Knowlton and John Rawley each pinned their opponents and Austin Booker won an 8-4 decision.