SK holds on to win CK Matman title

The South Kitsap wrestling team made their coach’s farewell tour even more memorable as they won the team title Saturday at the Central Kitsap Matman tournament.

The Wolves, which had 11 placers and two champions in 152-pound Pat Kelly and 189-pound Jon Potts, outscored Enumclaw for the title 208-205.

“We’ve won (the title) four, maybe five times,” said SK coach Ron Hudiberg who’s been at Matman 19 times. “We wrestled wonderfully and it was a good team effort. We got a lot of pins today so that helped us out.”

Kelly won his title when he knocked Bremerton’s Danny Smith’s head into the mat, sending the Knights’ only finalist out with an injury defeat. Smith was ranked higher than Kelly in a recent poll.

“He won’t be anymore,” Hudiberg said.

Smith said after the match he was planning on dropping down to 145 for subregionals but nixed those plans.

“I want a piece of him again,” the 17-4 Smith said. Kelly improved his season mark to 21-2. The Knights hadn’t had a finalist in Matman since 2001 according coach Jeff Barton. They ended up with five placers and ninth place in the team standings.

Potts improved to 3-0 against Central Kitsap’s Daniel Mayfield with a 12-4 decision for the title. “Potts had some of his best matches of the year,” Hudiberg said.

“Jon Potts is a tough wrestler and Daniel gets a little closer each time they meet,” CK coach Mike Harter said.

The host Cougars won their lone title at 125 when Jomar Calma pinned SK sophomore Chris Hogan in 3 minutes, 47 seconds.

“Hogan’s only had two matches at varsity before coming in here and he reached the finals so I’m proud of him,” Hudiberg said.

Calma was the top-ranked wrestler in his weight class and it showed.

“Jomar’s really stepped up in the last week in competition and practice and he’s thriving on that,” Harter said of the 2003 state qualifier. “He should be peaking just around time for the state tournament.”

Olympic got a big boost from unseeded 275-pounder Paul Kogut who won his first tourney title with a 4:21 pin of Rogers’ (Puyallup) Andrew Cropp after being down 4-2 in points.

Kogut also pinned the top-ranked Brit Puhl from Enumclaw in the second round.

“He’s been in the finals of several tournaments, but this was his first title,” said Olympic coach Darryl Smith who was making his final appearance at Matman. “That’s really good especially for a guy who didn’t get a lot of varsity experience last year (behind state-placer Josh Albee.)”

Oly’s Matt Gipson proved to be the story of the day after having to evacuate his apartment following a possible arson fire in his Bremerton apartment complex.

“Matt heard the fire alarm go off and he went out in the hallway and called 911 and banged on neighbors’ doors,” Smith said. “He comes here not knowing what’s coming or going and has a great day.”

Gipson, a 130-pounder who was named the lightweight of the tournament, defeated Tahoma’s Allen Wood with a 15-8 decision in the finals.

Olympic finished in sixth with seven placers. Andrew Brown (103 pounds), Jon Ford (119), Louis Dennard (125)were third in their weights. Josiah Mitchell (152) was fifth. Wrestling as an independent, Oly’s AJ Weber was third at 189 with his only loss coming on a 13-11 overtime decision to Potts.

Central Kitsap was fifth, also with seven placers including 215-pound Scott Jennings who had to forfeit his finals match with a minor shoulder injury.

“Scott got dumped on his shoulder and had tingling in his hand,” Harter said. “So we weren’t going to take any more risks.”

CK’s Ryan Nunez (119), Tyler Cowgill (160), and John Winsper (171) came in third. Taking fifth place for CK were Andrew Genetti (103) and Jojo Lancaster (145.)

North Kitsap was eighth in the team standings as Danny Harris tied Bremerton’s Dustin Heistand for third at 140. The Vikes’ Doug Piehl also was third at 152.

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