Every few minutes on Saturday night a similar scene was played out on the mat of the Class 2A Championship.
The Orting High School wrestler will fight his opponent. Then – either by pin or by decision – add another separate title to the list of cardinals. He turned to the crowd and raised his hands in the air at the “O” sign as they greeted. Finally, jump into the arms of longtime coach Jody Coleman – in a full red suit and shiny golden shoes – for the holiday.
“It’s so good to end it – and it’s the perfect way to end the season,” said senior Owen Klein, who ended his career in high school with a title of 138 pounds.
“I can’t ask for a better group of boys. They have stones, man. Every day workout. It’s just wonderful. “
Orting sent six wrestlers to the Mat Classic XXXIII semifinals, six to the finals, and the program left Tacoma Dome with six individual state champions.
The Cardinals also completed their first team championship at School 2A after finishing second in the standings in four of the state’s last five meetings. (The program won four consecutive Level 1A titles from 2009 to 2012.)
Including six champions, in Orting 10 wrestlers climbed to the podium in the youth division, and the team title was secured even before the start of the exciting final rounds. By the time it was over, the Cardinal had scored 214.5 points, finishing well ahead of the other three finishers on the 2A podium in the Villages (157), Othello (136.5) and V.F. West (127).
“They just passed the test,” Coleman said of his band this season. “I am sure. There is no one invincible in our team because I exposed them to the hardest children I could find. I just knew they were confident and ready. ”
One by one they disassembled their brackets.
Orting drew four individual winners before any other school nominated one, bypassing the first four rounds of the 2A finals.
Freshman Alan Salger opened by bypassing Chris Lopez Gonzalez of Burlington-Edison with a 12-3 head-to-head in a match for the 106-pound championship.
Freshman Quentin Harding followed with a score of 8-0 over Mike Johnston of the Black Hills with a score of 113.
Sophomore Apollo Cruz eliminated his opponent with a score of 120, ahead of Aydin Peltier of Pullman with a score of 7-0.
Sophomore Brian Dickerson won 10-2 in the grand trial of Evan Benitez of Grandview – 126.
Orting did not have a finalist in the weight category up to 132 pounds, but Klein continued the trend of winning by 138 with a score of 6-2 over Ivan Acosta of Pullman.
Five classes later, junior Dalton Reed, wasting no time, completed an impressive series of Cardinal titles in a match weighing 182 pounds, defeating Michael Medran’s Nehemiah of Proser in 45 seconds.
What pushed Orting’s team to such a dominant finish?
“Just a heart,” Klein said. “They are the first to congratulate me there. I was the first to congratulate them. If you spend so many years shedding blood, sweat and tears that it finally pays off, it’s just a strange feeling. “
The feeling is that most of Orting’s state placers will once again be able to pursue. Eight of them are junior high students, which means that the figures of the Cardinals program will be just as difficult in the coming seasons.
“It’s going to be a good couple of years,” Coleman said.
Elsewhere in the team race, reigning champion White River (171.5 points) could not repeat in the girls’ division, but took second place after Toppenish (206). Curtis (81) and Elm (79) also finished in the top four.
Shelby Moore, the Hornets junior team that won the 130-pound individual title, said the work her team had done still paid off, regardless of the final finish.
The White River had seven finishers on the podium, including three reaching the final round.
“My team played for each other, we played for ourselves and I think it was a good tournament,” Moore said.
Moore, who finished third as a freshman in 2020, ended the season undefeated, killing each of his three opponents this weekend, including Juju Kilroy of Marysville-Pilchak with a score of 1:54 in the final to £ 130.
“It’s been a very long time,” she said. “I’m so happy to finally get what I wanted and I’m happy to follow the legacy of my dad and brother and be here and just fight with all my might, so I’m really grateful.”
Moore was also a member of The News Tribune 2022 class, which this season included 12 wrestlers from across the state who reached the state finals.
Eleven wrestlers in the class – Isaiah Anderson of Chivan (4A, 195 lbs), Gragers Gage Cook (2B / 1B, 285), CJ Hamblin of Mountain View (3A, 182), Darion Johnson of Ch. Javanese (4A, 182), Bremerton Michaelson (2A, 160), Kendil Mobley of North Central (3A, 120), Abel Nawa Jr. of Toppenish (1A, 152), K’Veli Quintanilla of the University (3A, 145), Moore , Isabella Morales of Toppenish (girls, 100) and Olivia White of Marysville-Pilchak (girls, 190) won the championship.
Led by three personal title holders, Chiawan won the 4A team race with 166.5 points, followed by Sunside (145) and locals South Kitsap (109) and Graham Capuchin (106).
South Keatsap became second-year champion Stone Hartford, who defeated Dylan Dalgord of Union at 5:58 in a 120-pound match, and junior Mitchell Neiner, who overtook Joshua Nevert of Gonza Prep 3-2 by 126.
In total, the “Wolves” took five places on the podium, and Graham Capuchin – six.
Topenish escaped with a title of 1A with a staggering 402 points – the most that the team has scored in any classification in the history of Mat Classic – sent 17 wrestlers to the podium and became 10 champions in 14 weight categories.
Ethanville (100 points) had five seats in the states and was the only local to take the podium in the 1A team race, leveling second to Deer Park. Mount Baker (99) closes the top four.
Granger (161.5) beat Tonasket (156.5) for the 2B / 1B team title, Lake Roosevelt (87) finished third and Forks (85.5) fourth.
Mead (236.5) decisively won the 3A team race, and Hermione (171), University (171) and Mount Spokane (162) also finished on the podium. South Sound Yelm’s power nearly hit the top four with 156 points, though senior Logan Platt won the individual title at 195 pounds.