Grapplers bow out at State

Jacob Hayashi (left) looks for the ref’s decision against Billy Weisgerber. - RYAN SCHIERLING/Staff Photo
Jacob Hayashi (left) looks for the ref’s decision against Billy Weisgerber.
— image credit: RYAN SCHIERLING/Staff Photo

Mat Classic XIV, the state wrestling championships, is a two-day event. Unfortunately, it proved to be Friday-and-out for the three Bainbridge wrestlers who qualified, as they were all eliminated by 9 p.m. that evening.

Jacob Hayashi, wrestling at 152 pounds, fell behind 8-0 after one period in his opening match, then lost in the next period on a technical fall. He came back with a dominating 11-2 decision in his second match, but was pinned with one second remaining in the first period of his third match.

Peter Mandell (189) was pinned at 3:11 in his first-round match. He began his second match with a takedown and was tied 2-2 after the first period before being pinned 33 seconds into the second period.

McCallum (215) had the most competitive first-round match, scoring an emphatic reversal in the first period as he trailed just 5-3 against one of the four regional top seeds. He was still within 7-5 late in the second period when he was pinned. Then he was pinned again 41 seconds into the second period of his second match.

“It was a combination of a much higher level of competition and all three being new to the game at this level,” said coach Steve Hohl, who is already looking forward to next year.

“We should be in pretty good shape,” he said, as the team loses just Hayashi, Brian Cook and Seth Paradox.

“Stevie Devine should be a real 103-pounder next year, and Alonso (Valenzuela) will be even more experienced,” Hohl said of his two lightest seniors-to-be.

Zach Smith, who won a team-high 31 matches as a freshman, will return at 119. He’s likely to make runs at Chris Shipp’s school-record win totals for both a single season (34) and career (103).

Sophomore John-Michael King (125) showed steady improvement as the season wore on, and Nick Sturza (130) will return for his senior year.

Freshmen Corey Guy and Angelo Ritualo plus sophomore Garrett Roe will be at 135 and 140.

Hohl noted the improvement of another freshman, Billy Thomas, at 145.

Sophomore Chris Lyons and juniors Justin Thorpe, Dan Bachen and Chris McKay provide depth and experience at 152 and 160.

Juniors Mandell and McCallum – who had 28 wins this year – plus sophomore Carl Webster give Hohl some depth and flexibility at the three highest weights, though he’d prefer to find a genuine heavyweight.

“And it looks like we’ll pick up some good kids from this year’s eighth grade team,” he added.

Hohl noted that several team members plan on attending the very intensive J. Robinson wrestling camp in California during August.

“They get 56 practices in two weeks,” he noted. “That’s almost like another year of wrestling, because we had 52 practices during our season. That’s why Zach (Smith, who attended as an eighth grader) looked like a seasoned performer this year.”

Hohl also anticipates ending O’Dea’s 12-year Metro League domination.

“They’re graduating six seniors,” he said. “And we won’t schedule them during Christmas vacation as happened this year.”

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