Cougars can’t stop SK’s streak

Cougar Howie McDonald battles for position against South Kitsap’s J.C. Parker. McDonald won the match at 189 pounds, 9-4, but Central Kitsap dropped the dual, giving the Wolves their 160th consecutive league victory. - Jesse Beals/staff photo
Cougar Howie McDonald battles for position against South Kitsap’s J.C. Parker. McDonald won the match at 189 pounds, 9-4, but Central Kitsap dropped the dual, giving the Wolves their 160th consecutive league victory.
— image credit: Jesse Beals/staff photo

Kyle Fenton was 2 years old the last time South Kitsap lost a Narrows League dual match.

He watched as the Wolves’ streak extended while his older brother, Kurtis, competed for the school and now will pass it along to his younger brother, Kris, when he graduates in June.

“It’s pretty cool to be a part of something like this,” Fenton said.

Fenton needed just 51 seconds to pin Thomas Gillespie at 135 pounds Wednesday night to clinch South’s 16th consecutive undefeated league record with a 39-26 win at Central Kitsap. The Wolves have won 160 straight Narrows League dual matches. Their last league loss came in December 1992 against North Thurston.

“He seemed really worried,” said Fenton, referring to coach Chad Nass. “I think he was anxious, really anxious.”

Fenton’s win gave South a 36-23 lead with two matches remaining to secure the victory. Besides a 38-28 nonleague win against Rogers on Dec. 30, it was the closest any team has come to beating the Wolves this season.

“If you look at their scores versus other teams and our scores versus other teams, we were pretty evenly matched,” said Nass, who was a freshman at Pacific Lutheran University the last time the Wolves lost in league. “I knew on their home mat that they were going to come after us — and they did. I thought they wrestled really well. They wrestled hard.”

The Cougars (9-1) fell behind early when Brady Zurn won a decision against Connor Worthington at 152 and Conner Hartman and Michael Neiner followed with pins to give South a 15-0 lead. Hartman, a sophomore, previously lost 6-4 against CK senior Chase Huntley at the Jan. 17 Matman Classic.

“I really thought Chase would have the edge, but that kid’s tough,” CK coach Mike Harter said. “Chase made an error and got caught.”

But CK responded by winning the three heaviest classes. Howie McDonald and Ryan Sayers won by decision and Morgan Yarber pinned Tom Decker in 5:02 at 285.

South (10-0) earned its quickest win of the event with a forfeit at 103 — a spot Harter said his team hasn’t been able to fill all season. That gave the Wolves six points and a 21-13 lead.

For a while, it appeared the forfeit might determine the match. CK’s Joey Troyer went into overtime with Terrill Wilson at 112, but was awarded the win. The match was tied, 8-all, but Wilson was disqualified for his fourth technical violation of the match when he was cited for stalling during the overtime. That effectively was the same as a pin as the Cougars were awarded six points.

CK then took its first lead, 23-21, when Trevor Stanburg captured a 17-11 decision against Simon Kipperberg.

“They were right back in it and kind of stole the momentum from us,” Nass said.

It was the only time the Cougars led as South won four of the final five matches to earn the win. Cody Barich started it with a 6-3 decision against Evan Beck at 125 to give the Wolves a 24-23 lead and Adam Ferguson followed by pinning Ethan Beck in 5:04. Fenton’s win mathematically clinched the victory for South.

“We were fortunate that our two seniors — Kyle and Adam — went out there and took care of business,” Nass said.

The teams split the final two matches as CK’s Karl Koemmpel claimed a 13-12 decision against Jordan Borcherding at 140, while the Wolves’ Taylor Lyman earned a 7-1 decision against Tyler Kahl at 145.

Harter said the Wolves have built their tradition through strong coaching, but also notes that they have benefited from location.

“They have huge numbers,” he said. “They have three feeder schools the same size as my one.”

Nass was happy to maintain the streak, but said the win means more for other reasons.

“A lot of people think the streak means more than the league title,” Nass said. “And that’s not the case. Any time you go on the road like this and get a big win against a team with a lot of experience like they do, it’s big.”

Three Olympic wrestlers placed first and the team finished third overall at Saturday’s South Kitsap Invitational.

Jesse Borcherding pinned Barich in 1:48 at 125. Brandon Yeik needed just 47 seconds to pin East Valley’s Tyson Cook in 47 seconds at 140, while Mike D’Astole also pinned his opponent in 1:41 against Decker at 285.

The Trojans finished with 163 points, behind South (229) and Kentlake (182) in the eight-team tournament.


South Kitsap 39, at Central Kitsap 26

103—Pedro Amador (SK) wins by forfeit. 112—Joey Troyer (CK) wins by disqualification over Terrill Wilson. 119—Trevor Stanburg (CK) d. Simon Kipperberg 17-11. 125—Cody Barich (SK) d. Evan Beck 6-3. 130—Adam Ferguson (SK) p. Ethan Beck 5:04. 135—Kyle Fenton (SK) p. Thomas Gillespie 0:51. 140—Karl Koemmpel (CK) d. Jordan Borcherding 13-12. 145—Tyler Lyman (SK) d. Tyler Kahl 7-1. 152—Brady Zurn (SK) d. Connor Worthington 8-1. 160—Conner Hartman (SK) p. Chase Huntley 2:52. 171—Michael Neiner (SK) p. Mike Crowley 4:27. 189—Howie McDonald (CK) d. JC Parker 11-4. 215—Ryan Sayers (CK) d. Charlie Murray 16-8. 285—Morgan Yarber (CK) p. Tom Decker 5:02.

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