LACENTER - Three Fishermen wrestlers survived the rigors of the Trico League Tournament at LaCenter Saturday to advance to District IV competition Feb. 14 at Castle Rock. Derek Duffy, Jerry Matzen and Bobby Crislip each fought their way to third-place finishes in league.

The trio will compete next Saturday at the home of the league champion Rockets, hoping to advance to Mat Classic XVI in Tacoma Feb. 20 and 21. In order to move on, the Ilwaco grapplers will have to finish in the top four slots at district.

"It's going to be difficult for our guys to move on," coach Tom Hornbuckle predicted.

At district the Ilwaco wrestlers in the first round will each face the number two men from the Evergreen League Tournament also held last Saturday. They will then wrestle the winners or losers of the first versus fourth place finishers matches. Two victories for the Fishermen hopefuls will punch their tickets to state, two losses will eliminate them from further action for the 2003-04 season.

Duffy in the 130 pound class began his day quickly with a pin of Jeff Wastradowski of Castle Rock in 1:32. In his next match he was victimized by a strong wrestler in Reese Christopher of Ridgefield, 7-1. Derek next routed nemesis J.R. Blood from Woodland with a technical fall, 15-0. In the consolation final against Tyrel Munger of LaCenter, Duffy pinned the Wildcat's shoulders to the mat in 3:57 to capture third place. His record now stands at 17-9 for the year.

Matzen's march to third place at 140 began with a pin of Josh Alderete of Woodland at the 2:59 mark. He then lost by a pin to Jason Gandy of LaCenter in 4:12. In the match to qualify for district Matzen pinned Zeke Markham of Stevenson in 1:20 and he then went on to earn third-place billing by nailing Ector Mata of Castle Rock to the canvas in 3:40. Matzen is now 19-10 for the season.

Trico League wrestling tournament1. Castle Rock 305.5

2. Ridgefield 263.5

3. La Center 175.5

4. Woodland 126.5

5. Stevenson 110

6. Ilwaco 59

7. White Salmon 14Bobby Crislip, recovering from ankle injury miseries that have hampered him for more than a month, acquitted himself nicely at the league tourney. He began his quest for district by pinning Cesar Granados of Castle Rock in 52 seconds. Eventual 275 pound champion Jason Cox of Ridgefield defeated Crislip 7-1 in a hard-fought battle that was closer than the score indicated. In the crucial consolation-round bout Bobby pinned Nick Douglas of Ridgefield in 23 seconds and then man-handled James Durkee of Woodland in 25 seconds to claim a lofty third-place medal. Crislip is now 16-7 entering district wrestling.

Jake Pedersen, who came into the league tournament with a brilliant 19-9 record at 189 pounds, ran into a buzz saw of competition and was only able to manage a sixth place finish. Jake dispatched Jonathan Leonard of Woodland in 3:14 and appeared to be well on his way to a district berth. However he then lost to Will Lohmer of Castle Rock in a closely-contested 6-2 decision. Pedersen dropped Steven Akerill of LaCenter with a fall at the 1:12 juncture. Robert Ford of Ridgefield eliminated Pedersen from further post-season wrestling with a 7-2 decision.

Casper at 140 began league competition by being pinned by Darin Jackman of Woodland in 1:35. Casper rebounded in fine fashion by pinning Andy Paxton of Stevenson to the mat in 3:17. Dave was eliminated by Shane McCellan of Ridgefield by a fall in 3:46 and James Carr of LaCenter in 2:37 to end the freshman's chances for a district berth. In Casper's final match he was trouncedby technical fall to James Carr of LaCenter, 18-3. Casper completes his freshman year with a creditable 6-17 mark.

Duffy, Matzen, and Crislip must finish in the top four places at district at Castle Rock to qualify for the Mat Classic XVI in the Tacoma Dome. The Fishermen finish in sixth place in the Trico League competition.

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