Sports

Matmen: Cougars, Trojans combine for 3 titles

Central Kitsap’s Daniel Mayfield battles Bremerton’s Caleb Viruland in an early match during Saturday’s Central Kitsap Matman Tournament. Mayfield would go on to take first place at 189 pounds for the Cougars. - Jesse Beals
Central Kitsap’s Daniel Mayfield battles Bremerton’s Caleb Viruland in an early match during Saturday’s Central Kitsap Matman Tournament. Mayfield would go on to take first place at 189 pounds for the Cougars.
— image credit: Jesse Beals

epresented themselves well as the hosts of the 28th Annual Central Kitsap Matman Tournament. The tourney, which invites a total of 15 teams to compete, is regarded as one of the tougher events in the region.

CK fared well showing that they were interested in doing more than playing host to other victors.

The Cougars won two individual titles in route to a third-place finish (139.5 points) at Matman on Saturday at CK. Olympic finished ninth (81.5), while Enumclaw (214) won the tournament. Lake Stevens (155.5) finished a distant second.

“A lot of kids really stepped up,” CK coach Mike Harter said. “We matched up against South (Kitsap) a few times and did well there. No complaints from me.”

Part of the reason Harter had nothing to complain about was the effort of his team, which placed seven wrestlers overall. That included two first-place wins by Daniel Mayfield at 189 pounds and Ryan Nunez at 130.

“Daniel wrestled one of the best matches I’ve seen him in in the finals,” Harter said. “He was able to control the pace.”

Mayfield, who missed some time last month due to illness, was able to bounce back big, taking first with a 11-2 major decision over Tahoma’s Zack Novack. Harter said Mayfield has been regaining his stamina steadily since returning.

“He’s right where I would expect him to be,” Harter said. “He’s doing the necessary work. We’ve also talked about extra things he can do, like running in his free time.”

Nunez also had a great day, dropping Justin Rambow of Rogers, 15-6.

“I wasn’t surprised to see Ryan on top, but it wasn’t easy for him,” Harter said. “He had people wrestle really hard at him. Hopefully he’ll realize now that there is no one in the state he can’t go up with.”

The Cougars were close to adding a third individual title, with Kevin Manalo (140) finishing in second place. He fell to Enumclaw’s Zack Anderson in a tight 10-7 match.

“Kevin really did a great job of getting to the finals,” Harter said. “He was bit overwhelmed once he got there. It was his first finals. In the finals he was a bit timid, but I was very pleased.”

Tyler Crittenden (119), Jomer Calma (125) and JoJo Lancaster (145) finished in ties for third, and Jon Umali (112) finished tied for fifth. Harter said the addition of Umali, who gave CK its first 112-pounder this season, is what the team will need to stay competitive in team scoring situations.

“It makes a difference in tournament scoring,” Harter said. “It’s hard to place high when you don’t have someone at every weight scoring points for you.”

CK faced off with South Kitsap last night on the road, and will next grapple at home in a double-dual against Port Angeles, North Kitsap and Shelton at 4 p.m. on Thursday.

Olympic

The Olympic Trojans, who took ninth in the tourney, know that they can wrestle better as a team than they did. But that didn’t keep coach Rick Griffith from finding numerous positives in the team’s performance.

“I think our kids did not wrestle as well as they have in the past,” Griffith said. “I think our kids had higher expectations for themselves. But not to diminish anything. It’s still a tough tournament.”

Griffith said he’s still waiting to see the same kind of consistency from his younger competitors that he gets out of his veterans.

“Our kids that are our consistent placers are our juniors and seniors,” Griffith said. “Lots of our sophomores have had a lot of success, they just run into stronger kids. But there was lots of positive stuff that came out as a team.”

Perhaps the biggest positive on the day was the surprise performance by Joe Flores at 125. Flores, one of the youngest wrestlers on the team, battled his way to a fifth-place tie.

“Joe’s strength is on his feet,” Griffith said. “But he had a phenomenal tournament.”

Oly’s two largest wrestlers, 275-pounder Paul Kogut and AJ Weber at 215, each anchored Oly’s finish with first and second place finishes respectively. Kogut took down Zach Corbett of Shelton with a pin in 1 minute, 26 seconds.

Weber, who had missed a large portion of the season, lost a narrow 6-5 decision to Kevin Shields of Enumclaw.

“One of the things that has helped (AJ) is because there aren’t a lot of kids, he’s been forced to wrestle against coaches,” Griffith said. “He’s a senior that is experienced and seasoned, just like Jake (Switzer) and Paul (Kogut) and Ben (Pierce). They know what it will take to maintain.”

Switzer was Oly’s only other placer, taking a third-place tie at 171.

Overall, Griffith said his team won’t change.

“We’re not going to change anything else,” Griffith said. “Our game plan is still the same. We’re kind of where we figured we’d be.”

Olympic faced off with North Kitsap last night on the road, and will travel to Bremerton on Thursday for a 4 p.m. dual with the Knights and Gig Harbor.

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