"Grapplers slip to Vikings, 34-33A doctor's note with a release form could have helped the Spartan cause."
June 9, 2008 · Updated 7:44 PM
"Referring to Thursday's wrestling score - North Kitsap 34, Bainbridge 33 - as a paper-thin loss could be dismissed as an overworked clich.In this case, it was true.As Brandon Nall prepared to take the mat in the 135-pound weight division, the North Kitsap coach challenged his entry. The reason: a physicians' release form hadn't been filled out. Nall had had a slight skin condition which had fully healed, and produced a handwritten note signed by his physician not only certifying Nall's complete recovery but also specifying its location - the precise information that the form required. Not good enough, said the Vikings' coach. The information had to be on the proper form.Spartans coach Steve Hohl spent over an hour on the phone, futilely trying to track down the area's head wrestling official to make a determination. So it fell to the meet referee.I hate to have to make decisions like this, he said. But I had no choice. The form wasn't filled out.The result was six forfeit points for the Vikings. While anything could have happened in the match, Nall's being pinned - the only way that the Vikings would have retained the six forfeit points had it actually been wrestled - isn't likely as he has the team's second-best record.The Vikings seemed to sense that. As the final six points clicked into place on the scoreboard after the customary Spartan forfeit in the heavyweight division, their celebration had all the fervor and emotion of a Texas poker player holding a pair of deuces.And Jacob Hayashi's match at 152 might have relegated the whole affair to an interesting footnote. Trailing 14-4, Hayashi scored a late third-round reversal and near-fall, and with five more seconds almost certainly would have scored a fall, the referee told him moments after the buzzer. That would have effected a nine-point swing (six more points for the Spartans, three less for the Vikings).As it was, Pat Taylor (160) recorded the only Bainbridge pin of the evening, scoring a pair of takedowns in the opening round and putting his rival on the mat at 1:34. Taylor is closing the season with a rush, his only loss in his last six matches a 2-0 decision to the eventual winner of his weight class at the Island Invitational.Travis Dever scored an easy 8-3 decision at 125, his opponent's only points coming when Dever chose to give him an escape and try for a better pinning position.Mike Roe (145) scored the only points of his match on a reversal 20 seconds into the third round and maintained the controlling position for the remainder of the round for a 2-0 decision.Nick McCallum easily won his match at 215, trading escapes for takedowns and emerging with a 9-4 decision. The Spartans also collected 18 points via Viking forfeits at 103, 112, and 130.The match proved costly for Bainbridge. Joey Mankes, trying to protect a hyperextended elbow, suffered what appeared to be a separated shoulder and left with his arm in a sling, likely ending his season - and Spartan wrestling career - several weeks prematurely.The Spartans have a double dual match this Saturday with Olympic and O'Dea before entering sub-regional competition next weekend. "