• Coach says arrival of wrestlers from football program will help fill crucial weight classes
By Sean Pearson
Mariner grapplers will get a big boost this weekend as several football players take to the mat following their State playoff game on Saturday. Head Coach Chris Perk said the addition of the players will force Homer to forfeit only two of the 15 weight classes in Seward this weekend.
“It’s going to be a long weekend of dual matches, with some of our athletes wrestling up to nine times,” Perk said. “I’m not sure if the team’s conditioning level is ready for such a tournament, but they will have to do their best.”
The team is coming off an 8-11 performance at Friday’s Skyview Scramble, its first official competition of the season. The Panthers hosted teams from Seldovia, Voznesenka, Nikiski and Homer in a mix and match competition.
“The goal was to get everyone a couple of evenly matched matches,” Perk explained.
Mariner junior Harley Wells, who wrestles at 152 pounds, picked up two wins in the contest. His first match against Devon Chissus from Seldovia ended in only 16 seconds. “Wells took his opponent to his back and squeezed so hard his opponent just quit,” Perk said. “He looked sharp.”
Wells then faced Kyle Zimmerman, one of Skyview’s more experienced wrestlers.
“It took Wells two minutes to pin Zimmerman,” Perk said. “The match was even at 5–5 before Wells put Zimmerman on his back using a leg ride.”
Junior 220 pounder Dick Perez pinned both of his Skyview opponents, despite having not wrestled since sixth grade.
“He doesn’t make many mistakes and does a nice job of defending against leg attacks,” Perk said. “He is gaining back his wrestling knowledge every week.”
Pedro Ochoa, a junior wrestling at 152 pounds, also defeated Chissus. The win was Ochoa’s only match, as he was nursing a sprained ankle.
Freshman Dakota Alward, 152 pounds, senior Kyle Van Alstine, 160, and sophomore Jacob Raham, 126, each picked up a win on Friday night. Raham went to overtime against his Nikiski opponent. Perk said the extra time tired Raham, leaving him little energy to wrestle his next match.
Homer team captain Calvin Johnson, 113 pounds, lost two tough matches in the competition.
“His 8-7 loss against Austin Craig from Skyview was tough, as this was who he lost to last year at State,” Perk said. “The match was really close, but Johnson could not score an escape in the final period.”
Perk said Johnson was also pinned by Voznesenka’s Gavril Kalugin, though he gave up seven pounds to the heavier wrestler.
“Calvin was winning 5-0 when Kalugin pinned him in a half-nelson,” Perk said.
The Mariners kick off action at the King of the Mountain Tourney in Seward on Friday.
160 pounds: VanAlstine pinned Oftedal, Sky, 2:36; 113: Winter, Sky, pinned Kraszeki, 1:19; 160: Ochoa pinned Chissus, Sel, 1:58; 220: Perez pinned MacRae, Sky, 1:01; 145: K. Reutov, Voz, pinned Raham, 1:07; 160: Oftedal, Sky, pinned Cole, 1:38; 113: Craig, Sky, defeated Johnson, 8-7; 152: Wells pinned Zimmerman, Sky, 3:17; 152: Alward pinned M. Martushev, Voz, 2:30; 220: Gallagher, Sky, pinned Perez, 5:51; 126: Vallquette, Sky, pinned Raham, 1:36; 171: Boze, Sky, technical fall over Cole, 25-9; 160: Navarro, Sky, pinned VanAlstine :59; 132: Raham pinned Hightower, Nik, 5:41; 106: Hutchison, Sky, pinned Kraszeski, 0:54; 152: Wells pinned Chissus, Sel, 0:16.
171: Y. Kuzmin pinned Boze, Sky, 2:33; 160: A. Kalugin pinned Chissus, Sel, 0:54; 145: Miller, Sky, pinned K. Reutov, 2:40; 138: Olson, Nik, pinned M. Polushkin, 1:22; 120: G. Kalugin pinned Johnson, Hom, 0:59; 170: Sauve, Nik, pinned Y. Kuzmin, 2:42; 145: M. Martushev pinned Raham, Hom, 3:14; 182: D. Martishev pinned Sauve, Nik, 3:11; 138: Janorschke, Sky, pinned M. Polushkin, 1:07; 145: Miller, Sky, pinned M. Martushev, 3:45; 195: D. Martishev pinned Gallagher, Sky, :36; 152: Brown, Nik, pinned A. Kalugin, 1:20; 120: Craig, Sky, pinned G. Kalugin, 4:59.
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