• Homer’s Jordan Reynolds named “King of the Mountain” at 220 pounds
By Sean Pearson
Wrestling for the first time at 220 pounds, Mariner Jordan Reynolds won all his matches, brought home a gold medal and was crowned King of the Mountain in Seward over the weekend. Reynolds’ winning streak now moves to 7-0.
Homer wrestlers competed in the two-day King of the Mountain Tournament against eight other teams. Teams wrestled each other in round-robin fashion, competing in dual meets that determined final placement in the tournament.
Homer competed eight times in two days, winning six duals and dropping two. The M’s finished third overall, beating Glennallen 60-27, ACS 63-22, Cordova 72-12, Valdez 42-39, Seward 58-30 and Nikiski 72-0. The M’s fell 36-45 to Kotzebue and 29-53 to Skyview. Both the Huskies and the Panthers are ranked in the top five in the state.
Kotzebue won the tourney with a 8-0 record.
The Mariners opened the competition against Valdez on Friday morning, and Homer Head Coach Chris Perk said the Buccaneers won several matches by controlling the top position and using tight wrist control. The M’s were still able to squeak past the Bucs however, thanks to six Valdez forfeits.
The Mariners’ only win of the Valdez dual was Calvin Johnson at 113 pounds. Johnson won nine matches over the weekend, losing only to Austin Craig of Skyview. Perk said he expects to see Johnson ranked No. 4 in the State going into the ACS tourney this weekend.
Mariner Dakota Alward, 152 pounds, won six matches, including a dominating technical-fall win over Skyview’s Jesse Boze.
Jadzia Martin, 98 pounds, and Jared Brant, 106 pounds, both suffered losses to top-ranked wrestlers in their weights.
Perk said Martin, who won all of her other matches over the weekend, could be ranked as high as No. 5. Brant, also previously undefeated, lost to State-finalist Gavin Maslin by a score of 3-0. Perk said Brant is also looking at a top-five ranking this week.
The final match of the day pitted the M’s against the Nikiski Bulldogs, who continue wait for football players to become eligible to wrestle. Only five Bulldogs wrestled, and Homer won all five matches. The Mariners also used the remaining forfeits to tame the ‘Dogs by a lopsided 78-0 score. Mariner Andrew Doughty won six matches at 145 pounds and pinned his opponent.
According to Perk, the Mariners stepped things up a notch on Saturday and showed a lot of heart.
Homer opened the day with a 78-6 win over Cordova, thanks in part, to the performance of Antonio Ochoa. Wrestling at 160 pounds, the Mariner junior pinned opponent Josiah Smith in just 16 seconds.
Perk called the victory one of the “highlights” of the tournament.
Now fully warmed up and ready to go, Homer turned up the heat against Anchorage Christian School, beating them 63-22 on seven pins. The Lions brought a full line-up of wrestlers, but the M’s still dominated the mats. Jaime Rios, 120 pounds, pinned his opponent and also won a big match against Kotzebue.
“The team really showed growth,” Perk explained. “We could have gone down easily and lay on our backs. Instead, we rallied and put forth an amazing effort.”
Wrestling at 132 pounds, freshman Timmy Woo won eight matches over the weekend, losing only two.
“His 11-10 win over Elijay Norton was an epic match, and Norton’s only loss of the weekend,” Perk said.
Perk said Woo built an early big lead, only to see Norton come back and tie the match at 10. With only two seconds left, Woo scored a point on an escape and won the match.
Ravi Cavasos, 126 pounds, went 5-2 for the tourney and earned a tough victory by controlling his opponent and not allow him to score.
“Ravi’s win gave the team confidence,” Perk said. “It was confidence we were able to use against Seward, as well.”
The final dual featured a loud match-up between the Mariners and the Seahawks. Facing a formidable Seward team, Martin, Brant and Johnson all score pins in the first period that really gave a boost of confidence to the rest of the team. Danny Rios, 195 pound, pinned Parker Hinton to help the Mariners win 60-30.
Heather Harrington was also able to secure points for Homer at 285 pounds.
“We bumped her up to take advantage of other teams not having a 285 pounder,” Perk explained.
David Jack Woo, wrestling at 138 pounds, faced what Perk called one of the toughest weights in the state. Woo won six matches and dropped four.
The team travels north this weekend to compete in a big, individual-style tournament at Anchorage Christian School. Perk said the competition features almost all the small schools in the state.
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