TONASKET – The Tonasket wrestling team finished the Regional Wrestling Tournament in third place last weekend and will be sending eight wrestlers to the State Wrestling Tournament this weekend at the Tacoma Dome.
Tonasket came in behind Omak in first place and Cashmere in second place with two champions, two second place finishers, three third place finishers and one finisher in fourth.
“I have been racking my brain to come up with as many cool adjectives as I can think of to describe how awesome the Regional was last weekend,” Dave Mitchell, head coach, said. “It all started Friday night when all three of our wrestlers in the ‘pig-tail’ matches went out and dominated their opponents to earn a berth into the Regional tournament on Saturday. Those three were Ryker Marchand at 112, Austin Booker at 135 and Derek Rimestad at 145. I am so proud and pleased with how all of our wrestlers competed on the mat. No, we didn’t win every match, but our guys all fought very hard and showed great sportsmanship.”
The two regional champions were junior Tyler Laurie at 130 pounds and senior Andrew Grillo at 160 pounds.
“We had a full gym for the finals matches and when Tyler reversed his opponent with 20 seconds left in the match to go ahead and win, it was the loudest I think I’ve ever heard the noise level in our gym. Andrew dominated his opponent for a 9-5 win. Placing second for us were Jared Stedtfeld at 103 and Keegan McCormick at 171. The top four in each weight class qualify for state and besides our four wrestlers in the finals, we had four other wrestlers qualify for state. Peter Williams at 140, Lee Leavell at 145 and Brandon Hudson at 215 all placed third and Enrique Ortega was fourth at 130. Riley Buzzard was fifth at 135 and is an alternate to the state meet. Placing sixth were Dalton Wahl at 119 and Corey McCrarey at 189.”
Hudson, a junior, said he thought the tournament was pretty good.
“It was touch with a lot of guys,” Hudson said. “Tonasket wrestled well and we’re all prepared for state and ready to give it our all.”
Mitchell said he received numerous compliments from other coaches, the referees and fans from other schools about how well Tonasket ran the Regional tournament.
“That would not have happened without the help and support from our entire community and especially from some key volunteers,” Mitchell said. “I want to give them all a big heart-felt thank you. I hope I don’t forget anybody. First, our athletic director Kevin Terris, he was able to make a presentation to all of the region’s athletic directors and convince them that Tonasket could adequately host Regionals. He spent countless hours preparing for and then running the tournament and the tournament ran like a Swiss watch. Scott Olson was on the computer all day entering names and up-dating the brackets. Randall Newton did an outstanding job as our announcer. Our timers and score keepers were excellent, thank you Gary Garner, Gary Grillo, Bob Anderson, Richard Rawley, Loren Wahl and James Monroe. Our middle school wrestlers had fun and did a great job helping the timers and moving wrestling mats.”
Mitchell added that the concession stand, run by Craig and Sharon Lofthus and Our Father’s Ranch, was the best he’d ever seen and that the coaches and referees were extremely pleased with the food.
“So, the state meet is this coming Friday and Saturday,” Mitchell said. “It starts Friday morning at 10 a.m. and the second session starts at 4 p.m. Saturday also starts at 10 a.m. and the finals start at 5 p.m. Our wrestlers will leave for Tacoma Thursday morning at 8:45 a.m. Thank you all for your support; I hope that you are all as proud as I am that we have great wrestlers who are also hard working and great individuals.”
Finally, Mitchell said he wanted to thank Cole Denison for being the best assistant coach a guy could ask for.
“He’s awesome and puts in a lot of time outside of practice helping our guys and helping me keep my sanity,” Mitchell said. “Adam Swedberg and Trampus Stucker have also been a big help this year and I appreciate their help.”