by John R. McNeil II
The Raider wrestlers took fifth at the Cashmere tournament last Saturday in a field that featured mostly larger schools and only two 2B schools, LR and Kittitas.
“We wrestled well,” Head Coach Steve Hood said. “Felt good to finish ahead of Kittitas and Omak.”
The tourney winner was 1A Mount Baker from the Northwest Conference with 181 points. Teams finishing ahead of the Raiders included Caribou Trail League representatives Quincy in second and host Cashmere right on their heels at third. Medical Lake of the Northeast A League edged out the Raiders for fourth place.
Leading the charge for the Raiders were Orrin Gross and Sean Waters who were both weight class champions. Gross, at 152 pounds, swept the field, pinning Teelan Rodriguez of Cashmere and Andy Vargas of Quincy before beating Sammy Trudeaux of Omak by major decision 12-4 in the championship round.
Waters took a similar route to first place at 182. First, Waters pinned Steven Gomez of Quincy, and in the championship pinned another Jackrabbit, Jayden Elmore, to take home his first championship of the season.
Coltin Williams continues to impress as he beat Seth Rojas of Medical Lake by technical fall 18-3 in his first match at Cashmere. In his second match Williams fought hard and kept his focus to beat Nathan Thompson of Cashmere 6-4. Williams lost to Hunter Schenk of Mount Baker in the championship match to take home a second place at 126 for his third placing in as many weeks.
James Monaghan and Oscar Pakootas both placed at 120, taking home fourth and third, respectively. Each won his first match, then lost the second. Monaghan had to face Abraham Avalos of Quincy in his third match, whom he dispatched easily by the score of 15-7. Pakootas had to face Jonathan Blake of Cascade. He was no match at all for Pakootas, who breezed to a 13-0 victory. Then in the third-fourth place match, Pakootas and Monaghan had to face each other. Pakootas showed his extra year of experience and wisdom and beat Monaghan 12-4 to claim third place. Monaghan will now look forward to his chance to beat Pakootas for the higher place at the next tournament.
Kodie Horn recovered from an early loss to beat Garrett Burris of Cascade by pin to set up a third-fourth place match against Jacob James of Cashmere. Horn, fought hard by James, came away the winner 6-4 in overtime. Horn still took home a fourth place at 145.
Andrew McClure overcame two losses to beat Christian Keole of Medical Lake 5-3 to take fifth place at his new weight class of 220. McClure has been working to get down to the 220 weight class to help the team compete better at duals.
Skye Gooler (138) fought back from an opening-round loss to whip Luis Camacho of Quincy 17-1. Gooler lost to Dylan Powell of Cle Elum, and eventually came away with sixth place.
First-year wrestler Zach Erickson accomplished what every wrestler wants to do every weekend: placing at a tournament. For his first placement in a tournament, he took home sixth place at 106.
The Raider girls went to Warden for the Warden Girls Invitational.
“Every girl from Eastern Washington was there,” noted Coach Lee Largent. “We saw a lot of good stuff from our girls against that tough competition.” Leading the way was Alexia Hanway, who took home a fourth place at 106. Jazmyne Marchand, in her first season wrestling, placed for the first time with sixth at 124.
The Raiders do not have a tournament this weekend which Coach Hood said will be used to get the team healed up for their own Powerhouse Tourney on Dec. 28, starting at 10 a.m. at Lake Roosevelt. It will feature many squads from the area, including Omak and Brewster, while also hosting South Sound squads like Rainier.