It was a big Saturday for 10 Homer Middle School wrestlers participating at Boroughs competition at Skyview Middle School in Soldotna.
“We did great,” said Coach Daniel Rios. “Our season was hard, but it all turned out well in the end. Ryan (Hicks) and Wayne (Newman) were my two surprises. It was an awesome year.”
Wrestling in the 100-pound division, Wayne Newman, the team co-captain, earned the borough champion first-place title.
“Ryan (Hicks) made it to finals and got second place in Boroughs,” said Rios. What the first-year wrestler may have missed in terms of a first-place finish, he made up for in commitment.
“He weighed in at 183 at the beginning of the season and dropped down to 167,” said Rios. “He disciplined himself really well and worked hard during practice. This kid is really dedicated to this sport.”
Other HMS wrestling results included:
Ian Stovall, 95 pounds, third place;
Cole Bernier, 125 pounds, third place;
Team captain McKenzie Cook, 142 pounds, third place.
“I took five more kids that fought hard, but didn’t place,” said Rios.
Those wrestlers included Mina Cavasos, 115; Mose Hayes, 120; Damion Kerr, 132; Dominic Pitman, 125; and Johnny Rummery, 145.
Also competing at Boroughs were athletes from Chapman, Kenai, Nikiski, Seward, Skyview and Voznesenka, for a total of 50-60 wrestlers.
Chapman School was represented by a team of four wrestlers coached by Bubba Wells. Each of the four wrestlers medaled. Among them was Luciano Fasulo at 115 pounds, maintaining his undefeated title and bringing home a first place.
Allison Wells, 115 pounds, fourth place;
Ro’en Bice, 145 pounds, fourth place;
Hunter Harrington, 155 pounds, second place.
This is the final event of the middle school wrestling season, but many continue with Popeye Wrestling.
“That keeps them physically well balanced,” said Rios of an opportunity to stay involved with the sport.
This is Rios’ third year coaching.
“For me, wrestling is like the hardest sport and the most dedicated you have to be to be successful,” he said.
This week Wells is taking six Homer and Chapman wrestlers to the 50th middle school state tournament at Tanana Middle School in Fairbanks. They are Chapman wrestlers Fasulo, Wells and Harrington and Homer wrestlers Newman, Cavasos and Cook. The competition is Friday and Saturday.
McKibben Jackinsky can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.