Raider wrestlers had their last multiple match week as they travelled to Kettle Falls for a mix and match on Jan. 8, hosted Okanogan on the Jan. 10 for senior night, then travelled to Rainier for last Saturday’s Sgt. Justin Norton Memorial Tournament.
At Kettle Falls, the Raiders went up against five other squads; Kettle Falls, Selkirk, Republic, Oroville, and Colville’s JV.
At Kettle Falls, Raider Zack Erickson recorded his first pin ever by defeating Meric Merkley of Selkirk in the first round.
“Zack went out and got a takedown and then kept collecting his opponent until finally he was able to work around his head and took him (Merkley) to his back and pinned him toward the end of the first round,” Coach Steve Hood said.
Oscar Pakootas, James Monaghan, Coltin Williams, Kodie Horn, Orrin Gross, and Alexa Hanway all recorded pins at Kettle Falls.
For Senior Night, several of the wrestlers donned retro singlets. Senior Skye Gooler wore one from Grand Coulee Dam Juinor High. Coltin Williams wore an early 90s singlet. Kodie Horn, Orrin Gross, Sean Waters, and James Monaghan all wore singlets from the early 1980s, which is a style Coach Hood said he would like to bring back.
Against Okanogan, the Raiders wrestled 24 matches, which Hood said was the most they have wrestled in a dual for a couple of years.
In exhibition matches, Lukas Hermetz pinned Lars Weigel in the second round. Senior Skye Gooler received an Okanogan forfeit at 138, but wrestled both their 145s instead. He defeated Austin Eastridge Gooler 9-4 in the third round, then lost 8-4 to Marcos Fonseca, the varsity 145 for the Bulldogs.
Dominant at 152, senior Raider Orrin Gross pinned the challenging Corbin Ranck in the third round when racked up over eight points. Gross also wrestled Luis Escamilla a 170 pounder for Okanogan and pinned him in the first round.
Senior Sean Waters pinned Joe Mintzer in the first round. Waters then wrestled the Bulldogs other 170, Austin Warren, and again made short work of him with a first-round pin.
Senior Andrew McClure accepted a forfeit from Okanogan at 220.
Senior Lucas Beneditti lost to Ethan Clark at 160 in a first-round pin.
Erickson made it to the third round before being pinned by Anthony Payton.
Alexia Hanway wrestled up at 113 to take on Andrew Guzman. They were neck and neck the whole way with Guzman just edging her out for the win, 11-10.
Oscar Pakootas pinned Tony Klepec in 48 seconds. Coltin Williams also racked up a second-round pin against Lars Wiegel. James Monaghan’s match against Wiegel went into overtime, when Monaghan carried the day 9-4.
Josh Jim at 132 attacked Jesus Menchasca and had him on his back about to pin him when Menchasca rolled out and attacked Jim to get the first-round pin.
Kodie Horn’s match at 145 was stopped several times due to possibly dangerous situations. In the end Horn was not distracted and won 9-4. In his exhibition match, Horn overwhelmed his opponent en route to a second-round pin.
Tristan Goss, at 285, accepted an Okanogan forfeit to seal the dual meet win for Lake Roosevelt, 45-27.
At Rainier, the Raiders faced 1A wrestling powerhouses in a tough tournament.
Coach Hood likes scheduling this tournament for that reason, he said.
“We have this tournament on our schedule so we as a team raise our level of performance to get ready for the post season,” he said.
The Raiders finished fifth, behind Montesano in overall team standings.
Oscar Pakootas took home third at 120 by defeating David Dangleis from Castle Rock in a first-round pin. Pakootas’ only loss on the day was to the eventual tourney champ and state 1A placer Carson Horton, also of Castle Rock.
Orrin Gross took home second after sweeping the field at 152 — until he faced a fellow defending state champ, Pacer Said, of Castle Rock, who defeated Gross after an incredible match, 16-5.
At 182, Sean Waters faced the same problem. After sweeping the field, he also faced a defending state champ in the form of Cruz DelAngel from Kiona-Benton. Waters had to accept second after a second-round pin.
Three other Raiders were only one match away from placing, finishing with a 2-2 record at the tournament: Williams at 126, Gooler at 138, and McClure at 220.
With the season winding down, the Raider wrestlers continue the high level of competition at the Dream Duals this Saturday at East Valley High School in Spokane Valley, starting at 8 a.m.
LR will be facing off against the 2Bs for a team title. The other 2Bs attending for the boys will be Selkirk/Liberty-Spangle and Springdale.
On the girls’ side, Warden will be there and the Raider girls will wrestle on a tournament All-Star squad made up of girls from the squads too small to dual.