Trojans topple Lions in wrestling opener

Olympic’s Kevin Siperek waited and worked for more than three-and-a-half minutes before catching Bellarmine’s Dan Quarless off guard and getting him on his back for the pin Tuesday.  - Photo by Aaron Managhan
Olympic’s Kevin Siperek waited and worked for more than three-and-a-half minutes before catching Bellarmine’s Dan Quarless off guard and getting him on his back for the pin Tuesday.
— image credit: Photo by Aaron Managhan

Gearing up for its new tournament, the Olympic wrestling squad needed a warm-up after snow canceled the team’s jamboree.

The Olympic Trojans wrestling team got that nice warm-up for today’s Olympic Dream Duals Tournament, moping up the mats with Bellarmine 67-8 on Tuesday.

The Trojans fell in just two matches in the landslide.

“The kids wrestled very well,” Oly coach Rick Griffith said. “Even the JV kids. The biggest thing we’re trying to teach the kids is no matter what, just keep trying.”

No one acted on that message more than Jon Brower.

Brower, wrestling at 171, went up against Bellarmine’s Kevin Hale, with both wrestlers looking fairly even in ending the first round at 2-2. Hale got an escape point, but Brower was right there for another take, going up 4-3 in the second. Eventually, Brower lead increased little by little. But then, Hale caught him off guard, nearly pinning Brower.

Brower held off however, spending more than 30 seconds in a near-pin. before somehow rolling out just before the end of the match, taking the decision 12-6.

“It’s again, just that mentality,” Griffith said. “You keep going, keep going, keep going. Keep working, keep working, keep working. Good things happen when you do that.”

But in addition to that mentality, Griffith said the match also showed how far brower has come.

“Jon has done such a great job,” Griffith said. “He’s really becoming a good wrestler. He doesn’t want to be just a sophomore on the mat. He’s having the drive to be a wrestler. I’m really proud of him. That really is what the experience of wrestling is all about.”

While the Lions had to forfeit at 112-pounds, 125 and 130, having wrestlers at those weights would not have helped, especially considering the Trojans residing in those spots: Jeremy Huffman, Joe Flores and Mick Polillo, respectively.

Even without three of their key returners, the Trojans still rolled easily, pinning seven Lions in 14 matches.

“Every one of our kids wrestled well,” Griffith said. “When you’re behind, when the situation is adverse, you have to believe in yourself enough to win.”

Getting pins were Camie Yeik (103), Dan Cho (135), Patrick Kendl (140), Ivan Gaeta (152), Ryan Boddy (160), Conrad Pierce (215) and Kevin Siperek (275). Laurice Gerig won a 14-6 decision at 189.

Griffith said he also was very pleased with his sophomores, including Gerig, Gaeta and Yeik, who is said has had no problem blending in with the fellas.

“Wrestling has become a sport where we understand women and girls are a part of it,” he said. “She’s such a great kid but with such a great work ethic.”

Another reason for the early success on the mats has been the work of team volunteers and coaches, including Bobby Manglona and Steve Polillo.

“One of the biggest reasons the guys are having success is the guys helping us out,” he said.

The Olympic Dream Duals Tournament starts at 9:30 a.m. this morning at the Kitsap Fairgrounds Pavilion.

The 16-team lineup includes South Kitsap, North Kitsap, Brem-erton, Klahowya, Sequim, Shelton, Olympia, Foss, Bethel, Graham-Kapowsin, Auburn-Riverside, Marysville-Pilchuck, Prairie, Wenatchee and Central Kitsap.

Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children ages 6-12, students and seniors and free for children 5 and younger and Oly students with a valid ASB. Parking is free for the event.

“We’ll get a good look this weekend against some teams,” Griffith said of the tourney. “Our kids will really get a taste of what state-level competition is.”

The Olympic Dream Duals JV Tournament was yesterday. Results were unavailable at press time.

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