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Raider wrestling team takes second in region; seven to state


Orrin Gross rolls a Liberty Bell opponent toward pin. - Scott Hunter photos

Raider wrestling finished second in the Region 2 Wrestling Tournament last Friday and Saturday at Reardan High School.

Lake Roosevelt scored 158 points to finish 10 points behind champion Liberty Bell. Of the 12 wrestlers present, the Raiders will send seven to compete at next weekend’s state tournament in Tacoma, with two more qualifying as alternates.

Head Coach Steve Hood said the regional meet was a “very successful” tournament at which Raiders were either in first or challenging for first all day.

At 106 pounds, two LR competitors wrestled at Reardan — Jacob Smith and Zack Erickson. Smith started off with a pin of Matthias Ferderer of Lind-Ritzville/Sprague. Next, he faced eventual regional champion Trent Skelton, losing by first-round pin. Smith rebounded against his teammate Erickson to face Smith of Oroville, who pinned him in the third round. For his final match Smith lost to Austin Stauffer of Davenport in overtime by pin. At sixth place, Jacob Smith will travel to Tacoma as an alternate.

Erickson wrestled a close match to start the day against Kyle Ritz of LRS, losing 11-15, but then pinned Issac Bobb of White Swan in just 59 seconds. Erickson faced off against teammate Smith, who won by second-round pin.

Oscar Pakootas and James Monaghan will both move on to state at 120, as they finished fourth and fifth respectively. Pakootas won his first two matches by pins before facing the always-tough Taylor Woodruff of Liberty Bell. After the loss, Pakootas took teammate Monaghan and won 10-2. Then he went up against Marin of Kittitas, losing 6-3 to take fourth.

Monaghan also started with a win against Tyson Rogers of Colfax, then lost to eventual champion Osburn of Mary Walker. Monaghan bounced back with two wins over Martin of White Swan and Gleason of Kittitas before facing teammate Pakootas. After the loss, Monaghan took fifth in the region, beating Askins of Garfield-Palouse, the number-one seed from the South. Askins also lost to Pakootas, who came from behind in the second round to pin him.

Coltin Williams had been sick all week and was sick the day of the tourney. But he insisted on competing and had a good showing at 126. Williams took his first match but then lost a tough-fought match to Kaleb Hafner of Liberty-Spangle. Williams rebounded, winning his next two matches before falling to Carlos Cruz of Pateros. Williams was not well enough to continue through the match for fifth place. With his sixth-place finish, Williams will go to state as alternate at 126.

Josh Jim, at 132, wrestled hard.

“Josh got some good postseason experience for a freshman,” Hood noted. “He has improved all season long and will be better prepared next season.”

At 138, Kodie Horn went on a hot streak, blowing through the early competition. Horn pinned the number-two from the South B League, Thomas Newton of St. John-Endicott. In a rematch against Jon Walling of Kittitas, Horn came away the victor, 8-3. Then in the finals match against Emery Maupin of Selkirk, in Coach Hood’s words, “He got thrown to his back and could not get out again.” Horn finished second at 138 and will move on to state.

Orrin Gross dominated the 145 bracket sweeping the field by pins. His best match came in the finals against Keanu Niezwaag of LRS. Niezwaag led until the third round when Gross fought back to tie, then take a 9-7 lead, until finally Gross pinned him with only 11 seconds left in the match. Gross is the Region 2 145-pound champion and is now poised to take home his second state medal this weekend.

Newcomer Jordan Allen faced a stiff competitor right out of the gate at 170 and had to fight for survival afterward. Allen rose to the challenge in his second match, beating Nanez of White Swan to set up a match against John Hylden of Tri-City Prep, to whom he lost 2-1.

Sean Waters made easy work of his first two matches at 182. Waters pinned Evan Lord of Colfax and defeated Ean Hobbs of Almira/Coulee-Hartline 5-1 before his rematch with Garet Sax of Selkirk. Sax got the better of Waters, who was unable to score and took a second-place medal. This weekend at state will be the last chance Waters will get to defeat Sax.

Sean Waters handles Ean Hobbs of ACH in the semi-finals.

Andrew McClure started the day at 220 with a win over Giovanni Rojas of White Swan by pin. Then after losing to eventual champion Reisdorph of Pomeroy and Klingensmith of Republic, McClure was in the do-or-die, fifth-sixth-place match. McClure decided that Saturday would not be the last day of his season, by pinning Reed Morgan of Kittitas in the first round and getting the 5th place medal. McClure, in his first season wrestling, will be wrestling at the Tacoma Dome for a state medal this weekend.

Octavio Alejandre has overcome a knee injury this season to compete for a state berth. Alejandre’s hard work was rewarded last Saturday as he defeated Hawks of LRS and Acord of Liberty Bell on his way to a fourth-place finish.

Looking ahead to Matt Classic this weekend in Tacoma, the Raiders will be fine tuning at practice.

“We will study the competition’s matches for adjustments and improvements we need to make in order to have our wrestlers ready to go at state,” Hood said.

The team will get a state send off on Thursday morning in the LR gym at 9 a.m. Competition starts Friday at 10 a.m. and will finish Saturday night.


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