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Jacob Smith continues to win tournaments


The only senior wrestler on the Lake Roosevelt team, Jacob Smith, continued to win tournaments as he took the gold at the Sgt. Justin Norton Invitational at Rainier on Saturday.

“Jacob Smith … had four pins on his way to the championship,” Head Coach Steve Hood said. Smith took the championship in his weight class in the face of stiff competition among 18 teams.

Smith moved down from the 120-pound bracket to wrestle at 113 for the first time this season. He swept the field to take first place, pinning Spillman of Klahowya, Buyas of Chelan, Matarazzo of Kiona-Benton, and French of Elma enroute to the gold medal, his sixth this season.

Hood is pleased with Smith’s success and is pushing him to continue it into the next weekend.

Last Tuesday, Jan. 12, the Raiders took part in the Wilbur Mix and Match with host Wilbur-Creston-Keller, Almira/Coulee-Hartline, Davenport, Oroville, Selkirk, Brewster, Pateros, and Republic/Curlew. The Raiders each wrestled two matches when possible.

“Good night of wrestling for all the teams,” Hood said.

At Rainier, Jan 16, the Raiders wrestled against some really tough competition from 2A, 1A and B schools, including Castle Rock, Forks, Kiona-Benton, Kalama, Eatonville, Elma, Klahowya, Rainier, Chelan, Vashon, Lake Roosevelt, Montesano, Bellevue Christian, Cle Elum, Ocosta, Rochester, Tenino, and Pateros.

The tournament had 16-man brackets at every weight, the first this season for LR.

At the 106-pound bracket, Kaleb Horn pinned Steele of Klahowya, then pinned Moen of Cle Elum-Roslyn. In the semifinals match, Horn lost by pin to Lenz of Rainier, the oldest guy in the bracket. Horn then lost his placing match to finish the day with fifth place.

Tony Nichols came home with fifth place at 132. Nichols started the day with a 3-1 loss to Sample of Elma. Nichols rebounded from the loss to defeat Johnson of Eatonville, 6-0; Lester of Rainier by pin; and Demorest of Forks, 5-0. In the placing match, Nichols got a rematch with Sample. It was a close one, but Sample won again, 3-2.

Taylor and Trevor Circle did not place, but each won one match at the biggest tournament of the year thus far. Brandon Long also did not place but, like the Circles, he won a match.

“We had a good trip to a very competitive tournament and wrestled well,” Hood said. “Our small (in numbers) but big (in ability and heart) team got good matches and wrestled well.”

The Raiders were scheduled to travel to Okanogan last night for a mixer with Okanogan and Liberty Bell. On Saturday, the Raiders will travel to the Kittitas Tourney, where many of the teams they will compete against for regional berths will be in attendance. The tournament at Kittitas High School starts at 10 a.m.

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