Eagles prosper over Foster

Klahowya co-captain Ryan Fitts, top, had no problems against Foster’s Robert Vargas as he scored a 19-4 technical fall Thursday night in the Eagles 57-22 victory. - Photo by Rogerick Anas
Klahowya co-captain Ryan Fitts, top, had no problems against Foster’s Robert Vargas as he scored a 19-4 technical fall Thursday night in the Eagles 57-22 victory.
— image credit: Photo by Rogerick Anas

It wasn’t so long ago (a year ago to be exact) that the Klahowya wrestling team shook off their legacy of being pushovers with their first-ever duals match win against fellow Nisqually League members Foster.

Now the young Eagles team can boast that they are winners, having posted a 6-2 season duals record with a 57-22 defeat of Foster Thursday night.

Bolstered by six forfeits by the Bulldogs, the Klahowya boys still had to shake off the effects of a 39-22 loss to Steilacoom only 24 hours before.

“We didn’t want to lose a second match in a row,” said co-captain Chris Davis, one of the Eagles two seniors and the only one to see action against Foster.

Davis survived a couple of early takedowns in his 130-pound match against Grago Huseynov to score a pinfall in 3 minutes, 14 seconds.

“Chris wrestled one of the tougher matches I’ve seen him wrestle the past couple of years and I’m really proud of that,” KSS coach Rob Hawley said. “I thought that was a nice way to finish up his last match at home.”

Fellow senior and co-captian Rory Lee won by forfeit at 189 pounds.

“I told everyone to come out and see me,” said Lee, who has hoping to get bumped up to 215 . “I was disappointed, but I took the forfeit with a smile.”

The Bulldogs held an early lead as Jeff Vick (215) scored a 15-0 technical fall on Eric Large and Patrick Buckmaster (275) pinned Justin Murray in 4:25.

The teams split their next four matches. Klahowya co-captain Ryan Fitts lit up Robert Vargas for a 19-4 technical fall at 112. Foster’s 119-pound Rob Tazer chicken-winged Jason Hippe into a second-round pin. Davis’s pin at 130 was followed by Foster’s Odel Torres scoring a 20-4 technical fall on Travis Hunter. The final two matches went to Klahowya sophomores as 145-pound Zac Becker scored a 2:42 pinfall and 171-pound Jarid Sturmin wrapped it up with a 9-0 major decision.

Klahowya’s future looks bright as they hope to return 12 of their 14 starters next season.

“There’s a lot of sophomores on this team that take wrestling seriously,” Lee said.

The Eagles have one more tournament to get ready for the postseason as they go to Meridian (near Bellingham) on Saturday, Feb. 1, to compete against some of the toughest Class 2A and 3A schools in the North Puget Sound.

“The Meridian Tournament will be a good challenge for us,” Hawley said. “We’ll see some of the teams we don’t normally see during the year, but then we compete against them at regionals (Feb. 14).

“With the success we’ve had, the guys are feeling good about that to see how far they get,” in the postseason.

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