Despite illness and a season-ending injury for defending state champ Lucas Somera, the Hornets won a regional team title.
BONNEY LAKE — More adversity produced even more drive for Enumclaw. Down three wrestlers to injury, illness and grades, the two-time defending state champion wrestling team remained steady. And, stayed the course.
Despite only one individual champion — 106-pound freshman Kyle Opland — the Hornets still had enough firepower to turn back chief rival Decatur 233 points to 212 and win the team title on Saturday at the Class 3A Region II tournament at Bonney Lake High School.
Enumclaw, without two-time state champion Lucas Somera, qualified 12 wrestlers and two alternates for Mat Classic XXV next weekend. The top four wrestlers at each weight advanced. The Hornets are going for their fourth state title in five years.
“We lost three kids before we stepped on the mat,” said Enumclaw coach Lee Reichert, who was without Sefo Gill (195), Somera (145) and David Prince (138). “But we’re OK. It just shows that kids really stepped up. It surprised me that the margin (over Decatur) was bigger this week, especially without Lucas. Sometimes, you never know where you’re going to get points.”
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Last weekend, the Hornets edged Decatur 363 to 362.5 for the subregional team title. This weekend, they had the team race virtually wrapped up with a 227-197 lead heading into the finals.
“Last week was the closest ever for me,” Reichert said. “Anything little thing would’ve changed that outcome. I guess we were supposed to win that one.”
The season ended prematurely for Somera, a two-time state champion who was bidding to become the school’s only three-time champ. Somera dislocated his kneecap four weeks ago, then suffered a concussion in the finals at 145 last weekend when he butted heads with Bonney Lake’s Matt Yuste.
Somera lost that final by injury default and did not wrestle this weekend.
“For us, Lucas would be out there if he could, and we need to step up and regroup,” Reichert said. “On Monday, when I talked to him, he said he wasn’t feeling good and was getting dizzy. If he tried to do anything, he got headaches.
“He took a bigger shot than we thought.”
Somera, the state champ at 138 last season and ranked No. 1 at 145, will be missed sorely at state.
“It’s crushing, absolutely crushing,” Reichert said. “His big dream was to be a three-time state champion. He would have been our first.”
Host Bonney Lake put five wrestlers in the regional finals and earned a tourney-best four individual crowns. Decatur moved eight into the finals and won four titles. Enumclaw advanced six to the regional finals.
Decatur senior Nick Karis’ runner-up finish at 160 last year was the worst thing that could’ve happened to opponents at 170 this season. Karis, ranked No. 1 at 170 in 3A, improved to 36-1 by beating Enumclaw sophomore Falani Gill 8-5 in the final.
“I finished second last year, and that’s not going to happen again,” he said.
• There were two same-school finals. At 106, Enumclaw’s Opland pinned teammate and fellow freshman Levi Norton. At 113, Decatur freshman Leviticus Arizpe downed junior teammate Trysten Dawson 17-6 for a major decision.
• Lakes sophomore Andrew Ramirez scored a 13-4 major decision in the 120-pound title bout. Ramirez, ranked No. 2 at his weight in 3A, improved to 41-2.
• In a matchup of state runners-up, Bonney Lake junior Colton Tracy handled Enumclaw senior Tyke Reid 9-1 in the 126 final. Tracy, ranked No. 3 at 126 in 3A, lost two years in a row in the state finals, including at 113 to Kelso’s two-time champ Josh Newberg, who looms at 126 this season.
“He’s all I think about,” Tracy said of Newberg.
Reid, ranked No. 4 in 3A, lost in the 120-pound final last season at state.
• Also winning titles for the Panthers were seniors Matt Yuste (145) and juniors Cayle Williams (160) and Chili Sabin (182).
• In the most thrilling finish in the finals, Wilson’s Jake Ferris scored a two-point takedown with one second left for a 5-3 decision over Decatur’s Rowland Gaydosh at 195.
• Timberline senior Stone Hart, the defending state champ at 220, won his final with a pin in 1:40 over Enumclaw senior Garrett Grau. Hart improved to 30-0.
• Decatur 285-pounder Kyle Gleed got a pin against Shelton’s Ben Anderson in 2:22 in his final.