Homer takes Round Robin Rumble, looks forward to strong season

  • Kenai’s Seth Kruse struggles to get free from Homer’s Levi King during the Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017 Round Robin Rumble Tournament at Homer High School in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
  • Homer’s Alex Moseley works on Kodiak’s Tristen Klier during the Round Robin Rumble Tournament on Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017 at Homer High School in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
  • Voznesenka’s Anthony Kalugin fights to break free from Homer’s Chris Cudaback during the Round Robin Rumble on Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017 at Homer High School in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
  • Voznesenka’s Maxim Kusnetsov works on Soldotna’s Ben Booth during the Round Robin Rumble Tournament on Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017 at Homer High School in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)
  • Voznesenka’s Prokohpy holds down Nikiski’s Malcom Yerkes during the Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017 Round Robin Rumble Tournament at Homer High School in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Megan Pacer/Homer News)

Members of the Homer wrestling team showed they mean business this year by capturing the top spot in a weekend tournament for the second time in two weeks at the Round Robin Rumble, held at Homer High School on Friday and Saturday.

The Mariners defeated six other teams at the tournament to take first place with 155.5 points. Soldotna High School and Kenai Central High School came in at second and third place, respectively, with 102 points and 98 points. Voznesenka came in sixth with 51.5 points.

The tournament started out with duals on Friday night in the Alice Witte Gymnasium. The Mariners topped both Kodiak and SoHo in the duals, 47-34 and 50-24, according to a round-up on the event from assistant coach Chris Perk.

Homer athletes who nabbed first place in their respective weight classes at the tournament Saturday were Seth Inama in the 120-pound class, Wayne Newman in 126, Luciano Fasulo in 132, Chris Cudaback in 170, Tristen Cook in 182, Levi King in 195, Kyle Wells in 220 and McKenzie Cook in the girls 152 class.

It helped having several football players back, Perk said after the tournament, including Cudaback in the 170-pound weight class, King at 195 and Wells at 220.

“I mean they literally played football last Saturday, had to come to multiple morning practices last week so they could have enough practices,” Perk said. “And so you got guys like Levi King and Chris Cudaback and Kyle Wells, for those few guys to make that sacrifice … a lot of people would want a week off, you know, to rest your body, rest your mind, do some kid things. And they said, ‘no, we’re dedicated to this team, we’re going to practice every day.’ And it showed.”

The team’s first few weeks have been about strength and endurance building, Perk said. As the team gets farther along in the season, that’s when he said the focus will shift to more technical skill building.

“Right now our focus is on a lot of strength and conditioning,” he said. “And so we tried early on to develop high paced practices to build up so that A, we aren’t winded, and B, we’re, you know, try(ing) to reduce the chance of injuries as well.”

Perk said this strategy can be seen when the Mariner wrestlers continue to excel in the third period and finish their matches strong, which he said they did in the Round Robin.

As far as the overall season goes, Perk said the team is right where it needs to be. The first two weekends were a good building up for the wrestlers, who will not go on to face off against bigger, tougher teams for the next few weeks.

“Right now the team pretty much impresses us every weekend,” Perk said. “Like at practice every day we’re just going, ‘Wow!’ We have a group of kiddos that have dedicated their lives to the sport of wrestling and it really shows, and so that commitment is really paying off.”

If there’s an area for improvement, Perk said it’s that the team isn’t quite as deep in a few weight classes as the coached might have hoped, with a few sophomores who didn’t come out for the team this year. Additionally, 285 pounder Richard Brock hurt his ankle and could be out for another two weeks of the season, and Jadin Mann is also injured and not sure if he can return to the team, according to Perk’s round-up.

The team will head to South Anchorage this weekend for a series of duals at the Monster Mash. Homer will dual all eight of the top 4A teams and 3A defending champion, the Bethel Warriors, according to the round-up. While at the mash, the team will see a number of big schools, like Colony and Lanthrop.

“That’s going to be a real challenge for us, which we look forward to because we’re ready,” he said. “We’re ready for that, you know, level of wrestling. We want to wrestle six-minute matches, not pin people in 45 seconds. We really want to do our best to wrestle the best in the state.”

Round Robin Rumble Tournament Results

Team scores: 1. Homer, 155.5; 2. Soldotna, 102; 3. Kenai Central High School, 98; 4. Kodiak, 81; 5. Nikiski, 60; 6. Voznesenka, 51.5; 7. Su Valley, 21

Varsity - 106

1st Place - Justine Asuncion of Kodiak

2nd Place - Logan Craig of Soldotna

3rd Place - Daniel Padilla of Kodiak

Varsity - 120

1st Place - Seth Inama of Homer

2nd Place - Maxim Kusnetsov of Voznesenka

3rd Place - Seth Segura of Kenai Central High School

4th Place - Ben Booth of Soldotna

5th Place - Noah Blackmon of Kodiak

Varsity - 126

1st Place - Wayne Newman of Homer

2nd Place - Gideon Hutchison of Soldotna

3rd Place - Troy Gilbert of Kenai Central High School

4th Place - Alex Moseley of Homer

5th Place - Tristen Klier of Kodiak

6th Place - Austin Escott of Soldotna

7th Place - Mina Cavasos of Homer

Varsity - 132

1st Place - Luciano Fasulo of Homer

2nd Place - Sammy Baker of Kenai Central High School

3rd Place - Mason Payne of Nikiski

4th Place - Riley Birbilis of Kodiak

5th Place - Keaton Logston of Kenai Central High School

6th Place - Madison Worth of Soldotna

7th Place - Vydell Baker of Soldotna

Varsity - 138

1st Place - Dia Martishev of Voznesenka

2nd Place - Mose Hayes of Homer

3rd Place - Justin Cox of Nikiski

4th Place - Tucker Vann of Kenai Central High School

5th Place - Simon Swanson of Kodiak

Varsity - 145

1st Place - Brandon Kroto of Kenai Central High School

2nd Place - Aiden Willets of Soldotna

3rd Place - Prokohpy Konev of Voznesenka

4th Place - Malcolm Yerkes of Nikiski

5th Place - Emily Lorring of Kodiak

6th Place - Eli Kniaziowski of Kodiak

Varsity - 152

1st Place - Bechler Metcalf of Soldotna

2nd Place - Gabriel Nummer of Kodiak

3rd Place - Koleman McCaughey of Nikiski

4th Place - Donovan Smith of Nikiski

Varsity - 160

1st Place - Sean Babitt of Soldotna

2nd Place - James Goodman of Kodiak

3rd Place - Kaden McKibben of Kenai Central High School

4th Place - Dalton Pinard of Su Valley

Varsity - 170

1st Place - Chris Cudaback of Homer

2nd Place - Anthony Kalugin of Voznesenka

3rd Place - Hudson Metcalf of Soldotna

4th Place - Levi Wahl of Soldotna

Varsity - 182

1st Place - Tristen Cook of Homer

2nd Place - Aiden Jolley of Su Valley

3rd Place - John Grossl of Kenai Central High School

4th Place - Dylan Parker of Kodiak

Varsity - 195

1st Place - Levi King of Homer

2nd Place - Byron Dunham of Kenai Central High School

3rd Place - Seth Kruse of Kenai Central High School

4th Place - Alex Miller of Homer

5th Place - Brad Chaffee of Kenai Central High School

6th Place - Aidan Skura of SoldotnaVarsity - 220

1st Place - Kyle Wells of Homer

2nd Place - Tyler Litke of Nikiski

3rd Place - Christopher Wesolowski of Kodiak

4th Place - Joshua Miguel of Kodiak

5th Place - Eli Floyd of Soldotna

6th Place - David Johnston of Su Valley

7th Place - Daniel Gonzalez of Kenai Central High School

Varsity - 285

1st Place - Joshua Smith of Kodiak

2nd Place - Ethan Hack of Nikiski

3rd Place - Jacob Grant of Kenai Central High School

4th Place - Aj Barton of Kodiak

5th Place - Richard Brock of Homer

JV - 120

1st Place - Pierce Peterson of Kenai Central High School

2nd Place - Jordan Fleming of Nikiski

3rd Place - Dalten Hulsey of Soldotna

4th Place - Lexi Gridley of Soldotna

5th Place - Sadie Blake of Homer

Girls - 152

1st Place - McKenzie Cook of Homer

2nd Place - Amanda Wylie of Soldotna

3rd Place - Destiny Solomona of Soldotna

4th Place - Sierra Clark of Homer

JV - 170

1st Place - Benjamin Grossl of Kenai Central High School

2nd Place - David Weisser of Homer

3rd Place - Anthony Melkomukov of Homer

JV - 182

1st Place - Gage Johnson of Kodiak

2nd Place - Max Rogers of Soldotna

3rd Place - Joseph McLeod of Nikiski

4th Place - Rocky Sherbahn of Kenai Central High School

Reach Megan Pacer at megan.pacer@homernews.com.

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