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Matmen: Cougars, Trojans combine for 3 titles
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 Ive 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 Tahomas Zack Novack. Harter said Mayfield has been regaining his stamina steadily since returning.
Hes right where I would expect him to be, Harter said. Hes doing the necessary work. Weve 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 wasnt surprised to see Ryan on top, but it wasnt easy for him, Harter said. He had people wrestle really hard at him. Hopefully hell realize now that there is no one in the state he cant go up with.
The Cougars were close to adding a third individual title, with Kevin Manalo (140) finishing in second place. He fell to Enumclaws 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. Its hard to place high when you dont 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.
The Olympic Trojans, who took ninth in the tourney, know that they can wrestle better as a team than they did. But that didnt keep coach Rick Griffith from finding numerous positives in the teams 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. Its still a tough tournament.
Griffith said hes 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.
Joes strength is on his feet, Griffith said. But he had a phenomenal tournament.
Olys two largest wrestlers, 275-pounder Paul Kogut and AJ Weber at 215, each anchored Olys 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 arent a lot of kids, hes been forced to wrestle against coaches, Griffith said. Hes 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 Olys only other placer, taking a third-place tie at 171.
Overall, Griffith said his team wont change.
Were not going to change anything else, Griffith said. Our game plan is still the same. Were kind of where we figured wed 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.