KALAMA - In 2002 Harry Potter was still a book, the Homeland Security and No Child Left Behind Acts became law, the euro was put into circulation and the Patriots won their first Super Bowl. Until Thursday evening that was also the year of Ilwaco's last dual wrestling victory.

Jan. 23, 2002, Ilwaco defeated the Mules at a dual meet at Cathlamet and Thursday the Fishermen broke the nearly seven-year draught by knocking off Kalama 42-36 in the first half of a double-dual Trico League match and then losing to LaCenter 56-30. Ilwaco's Rudy Alvarez (103 pounds), Dyllan Poe (135 pounds), and Taylor Odneal (152 pounds) all picked up important victories. Coach Kevin McNulty said, "Dyllan's win was huge, not only in winning points for our team, but the way he battled back. He was behind early, but ended up getting a fall in the third period."

At 125 pounds Josh Berteaux "lost, but scrapped to avoid being pinned" according to McNulty. "Josh lacks experience right now, but he showed that he doesn't lack heart. Taylor Odneal also was behind in points, but came back to pin his guy in the second round."

Even though a couple of Fishermen regulars were unable to compete due to health issues, Ilwaco and Kalama had the same number of forfeits in weights where only one competitor was in. Against LaCenter Alvarez won his second match of the evening by fall and Blake Bradshaw (140 pounds), Rey Sanchez (189 pounds), and Ikaika Thomas (285 pounds) all were victorious, winning their bouts by pins. Ilwaco is now 1-1 in the Trico.

"Against LaCenter we had several matches that could have gone either way. It comes down to lack of experience and not lack of effort and we are gaining experience," McNulty praised. "This was a start for us." Alvarez pinned LaCenter's Devlin Stuffs in 26 seconds, Odneal won a 14-3 decision, Sanchez pinned Francisco Aguilar in 59 seconds and Thomas put Adam Miefert to the mat in 40 seconds. Both Taylor Zinn (135 pounds) and Blake Bradshaw (140 pounds) took their opponents to the third round before being pinned.

"Today and Saturday we will be in a 16-team tournament at Seaside that will be every bit as competitive as a state tournament. If any of our guys place at Seaside it will be quite an accomplishment," McNulty concluded.

Alvarez sixth at Pacific Rim extravaganzaSEASIDE - In the 18-team Pacific Rim Invitational tournament that featured wrestlers from 5A Oregon and 4A Washington schools, Ilwaco's Rudy Alvarez, at 103 pounds, finished in sixth place, winning two of three bouts Friday and splitting his matches on Saturday at Seaside.

Coach Kevin McNulty explained, "Rudy did exceptionally well in what is the equivalent of the competition of a state tournament. Most of our guys were matched up with state-quality opponents in the first round, but they battled and either fought to decisions or delayed getting pinned with gutsy performances. This was a step up for our guys and they stepped up."

Dyllan Poe, Taylor Odneal, Tyler Starks, and Rey Sanchez each went 1-2 in the tournament and Blake Bradshaw was a sparkling 2-2, also nearly earning a place. McNulty had special praise for Odneal, saying he "wrestled with intelligence and perseverance." Josh Berteaux, Terry Elliott, Bobby Richards and Ikaika Thomas each dropped both matches the first day of the tourney.

In the "Hard Luck Tournament" staged Saturday for those wrestlers who were eliminated on Friday or were alternates, the Fishermen excelled, winning 22 of 32 matches. Berteaux went 3-1, Poe was a perfect 4-0, Odneal was 3-1, Elliott was undefeated at 3-0 as was Thomas at 4-0, and Richards went 3-1. Dylan Short and Beau Morrow were both 1-2 and Elliot Marcus was 0-3 in his bouts.

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