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 pounds) split matches with John Young and Dallas Oja of Knappa and Richards (215 pounds) pinned Tim Helman of Ocosta and Devon Jacobs of Knappa. Rudy Alvarez (103 pounds) split matches with wrestlers from Warrenton, Josh Berteaux (125 pounds) lost a pair to Knappa and Warrenton foes and Zach DeSimone (130 pounds) split bouts with Warrenton opponents in his initial effort on the mats for the Fishermen.

Taylor Zinn (135 pounds) pinned a Warrenton wrestler, but was put down by an Ocosta foe. Stephen Hilton (171 pounds) lost to Knappa and Ocosta grapplers and Marcus Elliot (189 pounds) lost twice to Ocosta opponents. Rey Sanchez (215 pounds) pinned Jacobs in a mere 28 seconds to record the quickest victory for the Fishermen on the evening.

Ikaika Thomas (285 pounds) 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.

Alvarez, Odneal, Sanchez first at Kelso for FishermenKELSO - Rudy Alvarez, Tayler Odneal and Rey Sanchez were all crowned champions at the Kelso Invitational Saturday as the Fishermen posted a brilliant winning team record of 23-17 in the huge event. Terry Elliott, Tyler Starks, Bobby Richards and Dylan Short all were 2-1 in the tournament as 15 wrestlers competed for Ilwaco.

Alvarez (103 pounds) pinned Woodland's Wyatt O'Malley, Castle Rock's Zac Holt, and Mountain View's Brian Robles on his way to the championship. Odneal (152 pounds) pinned Cameron Cody of Rainier, Quinn Cutler of Kelso and Dane Camenzind of Raymond to pave the way to his title. Sanchez was equally as impressive (189 pounds) as he pinned R.A. Long's D.J. Smith, Kelso's Todd Riffe and Castle Rock's Ryan Ward to claim first place.

Elliott pinned his first two opponents from R.A. Long and Tumwater, but then lost a 6-5 decision to Adna's Mike Siperly at 160 pounds. Starks, wrestling at 171 pounds, was pinned in his first bout and then pinned opponents from Tumwater and Union. Richards at 189 pounds pinned foes from Mark Morris and Camas before losing a major decision to Jake Baze of Willapa Harbor 11-0. Dylan Short (285 pounds) pinned opponents from Mark Morris and Castle Rock, but was put on his back by Kelso's Matt Dumbois.

Taylor Zinn and Dyllan Poe (both 135 pounds) split matches, with Zinn pinning a Kelso wrestler and Poe putting down an Olympia opponent. Blake Bradshaw (140) pinned a Union opponent before losing a 16-0 decision and Stephen Hilton (171 pounds) won by pin over a Tumwater wrestler in his only match. Joe Fjeldheim lost his first two bouts before pinning Adna's Nate Peterson. Marcus Elliott at 189 pounds was pinned in each of his three bouts.

Ikaika Thomas at 285 pinned Jared Davenport of Kelso in 37 seconds to record the Fishermen's shortest win of the day, but then foes from Kelso and River Ridge pinned Thomas. Beau Morrow (285) was pinned by wrestlers from Rochester and Raymond.

Coach Kevin McNulty said, "I was proud of the strong showings our wrestlers made at Kelso. It's just nice to be able to wrestle after such a long delay."

On the season the Fishermen are 99-102 for a .493 winning percentage. They have already easily eclipsed their previous season total of 80 victories, despite two cancellations of meets. The big winners for Ilwaco are Alvarez 10-5, Bradshaw 9-4, Odneal 10-4, Elliott 8-6, Fjeldheim 7-6, Starks 9-4, Sanchez 7-3, Richards 7-6 and Short 8-7.

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