TONASKET – Tonasket’s wrestling team earned a fifth place finish at its Apple Pie Invitational on Saturday, Jan. 14, while Oroville wrestled to a sixth-place finish.
Warden ran up 277 points to win the big apple pie as the team champion, beating Rogers of Spokane by 85 points. Chewelah finished third with 151.5, Liberty Bell was fourth with 147, Tonasket had 135.5 points and Oroville had 82. Ten teams participated.
Rogers is coached by Tonasket coach Dave Mitchell’s son Martin (with Kevin serving as one of his assistants), while Patrick Mitchell is the head coach at Chewelah.
The Tigers were hurt by the loss of Austin Booker, whose injury at Warden last week will cost him the rest of the season.
“Had he been wrestling, I believe we would have finished just ahead or behind Chewelah,” Dave Mitchell said. “Our young team wrestled tough and represented themselves well.”
Jared Stedtfeld (113) was Tonasket’s lone champion, though several Tigers reached the championship match for their weight classes. Stedtfeld edged Chris Douglas of Rogers 10-6 in the final, avenging his defeat to Douglas in last year’s Apple Pie final.
“Jared’s finals match was especially rewarding,” Mitchell said.
Jeffrey Stedtfeld (126) Dalton Wahl (138) and John Rawley (182) all finished second. All three lost to Warden wrestlers in their finals matches. Wahl came closest to pulling out a victory as he was trailing 8-6 in the third period of his match before getting pinned.
Collin Aitcheson (120) took third place and Frank Holfelz (195) finished fourth. Non-placers who wrestled well included Christian Diaz, who earned three victories, and Ryker Marchand and Austin Knowlton, who each won twice.
It was the second straight year that Rogers and Chewelah made it a Mitchell family coaching reunion.
“It was awesome to watch my boys coach and work with their wrestlers,” Mitchell said. “I think they are all doing a fantastic job. I’m very proud of them.”
Oroville coach Chuck Ricevuto said the Apple Pie was the toughest tournament his team had been in this season.
“For some of our kids this was exactly what was needed after having it their way in predominantly B competitions,” he said.
Alex Kelly (132) was the only Hornet to make it to the finals, losing a hard-fought 11-8 match to Liberty Bell’s Emmett Fink.
Mike Lynch (145) won three of his four matches to take third place, finishing off the day with two pins, and Eric Herrera (285) took fourth place with a pin of Tonasket’s Tanner Good in the consolation semifinals.
Alex Alvarez split his four matches and finished in a tie for fifth place (fifth and sixth weren’t wrestled off). He lost 10-0 in a quarterfinal match against Republic’s two-time state champ Kyle Kirkendall. In the consolation semifinals he lost 11-7 to Liberty Bell’s Jonathan McMillan.
“Alvarez had never come this close to McMillan,” Ricevuto said. “For one five-point mistake could have launched his way into the medal round. So far this season Alex is by far a very improved wrestler from last year.”
Leo Curiel (126) also picked up a win, while Ivan Rodriguez (160) shook off some rust in only his second appearance of the year in losing his two matches.
Duke Sykes (170) had a 6-1 lead in his semifinal match against Josh Whitaker, but Whitaker came from behind to score a 12-7 victory. Sykes failed to show for his consolation semifinal match.
Nick Perez didn’t wrestle after suffering from the flu most of the week.
“As a team we finished exactly where I thought we would,” Ricevuto said. “One place under the big five teams in sixth place.”
Mitchell wanted to acknowledge the long list of people that helped the tournament come off successfully.
“A big thank you to all who helped make the Tonasket Apple Pie tournament a success,” Mitchell said. “The Lofthus family and the Father’s Ranch did a wonderful job of running our concession stand. Our timers and scorers (Loren Wahl, Rennee McCormick, Richard Rawley, Bob Anderson, Gary Garner and Dustin Silverthorn) were awesome. Our Little League wrestlers and Kalee Denison did an outstanding job of helping the scoring tables and refs. Carl Strotz and his wife did a great job of running the tournament and dealing with all of the unexpected computer glitches … The refs and numerous coaches commented on what a fantastic hospitality room we had. Thanks to all of you who contributed.”
And, of course, there were Kelly Denison’s apple pies that served as trophies for all of the individual and team winners.
The Tigers traveled to Cashmere on Wednesday and host Brewster for a dual on Saturday. Oroville had a Wednesday meet at Eastmont, is off this weekend and travels to Liberty Bell for a dual on Tuesday, Jan. 24.
Tigers split CTL duals
OMAK – The Tigers split their first Caribou Trail League duals of the season on Wednesday, Jan. 11, falling 40-39 to Omak and defeating Okanogan 54-15.
Against Omak, Frazier (106), Wahl (138) and Rawley (182) each won their matches, while Collin Aitcheson (120), Marwin Baron (126) and Holfelz (195) picked up forfeit wins. In the Okanogan match, Jared Stedtfeld (113) and Wahl won on the mat while Aitcheson, Baron, Dyllan Walton (132), Rawley, Holfelz and Tanner Good (285) won by forfeit.