ILWACO - After a 24-day layoff the Fishermen shook off the cobwebs and managed 15 wins in 30 bouts against opponents from Warrenton, Knappa and Ocosta at Carl Aase Gymnasium Wednesday. Coach Kevin McNulty said, "I was pleased with our performance after such a long layoff due to weather-related cancellations and Christmas vacation. Our kids are steadily improving and the more mat time and competition our kids can get, the better they will become."
Blake Bradshaw (140 pounds), Tayler Odneal (152), Joe Fjeldheim (171) and Bobby Richards (215) each won both of their matches and McNulty said, "Blake, Tayler, Joe, Bobby and Terry Elliott all had strong performances." Bradshaw pinned Ocosta's Christian Sperline and Kenneth Kautzman and Odneal put Knappa's Cutler Pember and Ocosta's Isaak Yi on their backs.
Fjeldheim pinned Cache Kirshenman of Ocosta and T.J. Soto of Knappa, Elliott (171) split matches with John Young and Dallas Oja of Knappa and Richards (215) pinned Tim Helman of Ocosta and Devon Jacobs of Knappa. Rudy Alvarez (103) split matches with wrestlers from Warrenton, Josh Berteaux (125) lost a pair to Knappa and Warrenton foes and Zach DeSimone (130) split bouts with Warrenton opponents in his initial effort on the mats for the Fishermen.
Taylor Zinn (135) pinned a Warrenton wrestler, but was put down by an Ocosta foe. Stephan Hilton (171) lost to Knappa and Ocosta grapplers and Marcus Elliot (189) lost twice to Ocosta opponents. Rey Sanchez (215) pinned Jacobs in a mere 28 seconds to record the quickest victory for the Fishermen on the evening.
Ikaika Thomas (285) was pinned twice by Warrenton and Knappa wrestlers, as was Dylan Short, but he defeated Knappa's Sean Pomeroy. In the main event Ocosta's 285 pound Kyle Strobe defeated Knappa's John Benthin 8-3. Strobe was second both his sophomore and junior year at the Mat Classic and Benthin is the defending Oregon state champ. They were tied 3-3 with 30 seconds remaining when Benthin apparently had a take-down, but Strode landed a whisker outside the mat so the points were negated. Seconds later he put Benthin down and then had a near fall to end the exciting tussle. The pair is slated for a rematch at the Fishermen's Beach Brawl Jan. 30 in Ilwaco.
Because of a nasty mudslide and water over the roadway on Highway 101 and other flood-related road closures the Ocosta team was forced to spend the evening in Ilwaco and attended an anti-smoking seminar the next day put on by Sarah Taylor. Other schools were not able to participate due to the same travel problems, so the wrestling team and Ilwaco students took advantage of the presentations.
The Raymond boys' basketball team was also stranded in Ocosta Wednesday evening. The double-dual meet Ilwaco was to host Thursday against Castle Rock and Stevenson was cancelled due to the flooding.