Grizzlies at La Center
LA CENTER — Winning two titles, Hoquiam made a strong season debut in the La Center Invitational on Saturday.
Hoquiam’s Jesse Velez captured the 126-pound championship by pinning Hockinson’s Tyler DeLay in the first round of the championship match.
Kenny Huffman pinned Washougal’s Bailey Burk in the second round of the 182-pound final.
That helped the Grizzlies finish third — behind perennial 2A power Chehalis and reigning Evergreen 1A dual champion Forks — in the team competition.
Considering his team’s lack of previous competition, Hoquiam coach Fidel Sanchez was very encouraged by his team’s showing.
“We’ve been practicing for 20 days since the Aberdeen tournament was canceled,” Sanchez said. “There were a lot of unknowns but we came out and wrestled really well.”
Hoquiam’s Tristan Stutesman (132) and David Molitor (138) each placed second in their divisions. Stutesman was pinned by Forks’ Nanito Sanchez, while Molitor dropped a 10-5 decision to Forks’ Ricky Barragan.
Grizzly Tahj Malone tied for third at 160 pounds. The match to decide third and fourth at his weight was not contested because his opponent had met his one-day match limit.
The Grizzlies open Evergreen 1A League competition at home Wednesday with a double dual against Tenino and Rainier. Forks will also wrestle the same two opponents.
Bobcats at Fife
FIFE — Aberdeen registered a trio of third-place finishes in the Larry Brown Invitational on Saturday at Fife.
Bobcat heavyweight Jordon Logan tied for third, taking down Newport’s Albert Ballesteros in the final seconds to take a 5-3 decision in his final match. Because of 16-man brackets, the third-fourth place matches were not contested.
Aberdeen’s Grant Bowley was third at 138 and teammate Tavo Sanchez had a similar placing at 170 pounds. He pinned Bhek Simanago in 2:53 of their bout to decide the third-place finishes.
The Bobcats had only eight wrestlers participate due to illness.
“We were really hit with the flu this week,” AHS coach Chuck Veloni said. “We did pretty well. I’m proud of how they wrestled.”
He cited 152-pounder Kolby Shelton, returning to wrestling following a two-year absence, for his showing. Shelton lost to a pair of state veterans.
Aberdeen will open dual competition at Black Hills on Wednesday.
Franklin Pierce tourney
PARKLAND — Three Aberdeen wrestlers won titles in the Franklin Pierce tournament for varsity girls and junior varsity boys on Saturday.
Aberdeen’s Magen Haggerty, a student manager last season, made a sparkling competitive debut by sweeping all three of her matches in the girls 140-pound division.
Teammates Ali Morris, at 118, and Tayler Housden, at 140, each went 2-1 in the round-robin event to place second.
The Bobcats captured two junior varsity titles. Connor Horton went 3-0 at 148 pounds and heavyweight Kaleb Levao won both his matches in round-robin competition.
Port Townsend Invite
PORT TOWNSEND — Willapa Harbor wrestlers fared well against higher-classification teams in the Port Townsend Invitational tournament on Saturday.
Reigning state Class B champion Hunter Borden posted a 4-1 round-robin record in the 182-pound division. His only loss was to a state 1A placewinner from last season.
Matthew Boyes also went 4-1 at 195, as did Shiloh Boyes at 171. Willapa Harbor’s Joseph Lewis (126), Nick Betrozoff (132) and Marcos Perales (heavyweight) each had 3-2 records.
Montesano also competed in the meet, but Bulldog results were not reported.
“It was good quality competition,” Willapa Harbor assistant coach John Enslow said. “We were the only 2B team there.”
HHS girls at Warden
WARDEN — Hoquiam’s Taylor Walker finished second in her division at the Warden Girls Invitational on Saturday.
Wrestling at 170 pounds, Walker lost to a state placewinner from Kittitas in the championship match.
Hoquiam’s Mariah Nelle barely missed a medal, taking fourth against tough competition at 100 pounds.
“Everybody wrestled great,” Grizzly girls coach Alex White reported.