With half the wrestling season already under his belt, novice 85-pounder Austin Shafford continued to dominate his division with another first-place finish over the weekend. Popeye sent 45 wrestlers to Nikiski on Saturday to battle 16 area teams in a freestyle tournament. The Popeye team placed eighth overall.
Shafford won four matches on his way to the top, including one over last year’s State Champion Tucker Vann of Nikiski.
“Shafford and Vann have had some really close matches in the past,” Popeye Coach Chris Perk said. “But this one went 12-4 in favor of Shafford.”
Teddy Croft racked up another win with a first-place finish in the schoolboy 133-pound weight division.
Brendon Fenex pinned all three of his opponents to earn his first gold of the season in the schoolboy 148-pound class. Bantam teammate Chris Thomas, 51 pounds, also picked up his first gold of the season .
Pre-bantam wrestler Miles Tressler, 41 pounds, brought home a second-place finish, while teammate Parker Overson took third in the same weight class. Brothers Gabe and Joshua Bradshaw both finished second. Gabe in the pre-bantam, 55 category, and Joshua as an 82-pound novice wrestler. Schoolboy wrestler Levi King, 151 pounds, took home a silver medal after ending a match 12-12 with Daniel Hargis from Matsu Matmen. King was awarded a victory based on a tie-breaker.
Cadet wrestlers Timmy Woo, 157 pounds, and Heather Harrington, 194 pounds, both earned silver medals, as well.
Third-place medals were awarded to Cook siblings Saoirse (pre-bantam, 42 pounds) and McKenzie (schoolgirl, 124.) Cadet wrestler Tristen Cadet, 157 pounds, won three of them.
Other third-place finishers include: Schoolboy Luciano Fasulo, 102 pounds and schoolgirl Allison Wells, 108 pounds.
Perk said the team will wrestle the Voznesenka Cougars this Friday, 5:15 – 7 p.m. at Homer Middle School. Older Popeye wrestlers will travel to the Valley for a Greco tournament at Colony and a Folkstyle Tournament at Wasilla.
Homer Hockey standout Antony Kuzmin helped his Arctic Winter Games midget hockey team to a gold ulu last month. The midget squad was just 1-1-1 in round-robin play, but in the last game against Yukon, Alaska came back from a 1-5 deficit in the third period to tie.
Kuzmin picked up a goal and two assists in the championship win.
Homer Coach Rick Pitta led his bantam team to gold with a 5-1 win over Alberta North. Pitta got some help from Homer forward Robbie Larson.
In other competition, Homer’s Jie Gao coached Team Alaska table tennis to five bronzes in competition. James Gao won the bronze medal in both juvenile male singles and doubles.
Ninilchik’s Kelli Boonstra served as a snowshoeing coach, with her team earning four golds, four silvers and three bronzes. Boonstra’s daughter Riana picked up two of those golds, winning the 2.5 and 5k juvenile female cross country events.
Overall, Team Alaska picked up 190 ulus in the competition, including 67 gold. Some 28 coaches and volunteers from the Kenai Peninsula participated in the Games.
With almost 100 competitors in all divisions, Homer sophomore Michael Swoboda took third place in the squat and clean at the Speed and Strength Training competition in Nikiski over the weekend. He squatted a new personal record of 220 pounds.
Jordan Reynolds placed third in the Snatch with 170 pounds — also a new record. Homer senior Pedro Ochoa took part in the toughest workout known to man, the “Fight Gone Bad” for 17 minutes straight. He scored 446 points and placed fifth.
The Lady Mariners’ soccer clinic is this Saturday, April 5 at the Homer High School gym. Each clinic consists of a 15-minute warmup, 30 minutes of instructional stations and 45 minutes of scrimmage.
Two sessions are offered: 5-9 year-olds meet from 9 -10:30 a.m.; 10-14 year-olds from 10:30 a.m. – noon. Groups will be split by age and ability.
The cost is $10 per athlete and funds go to help offset the cost of travel for the Mariner team this season. Please arrive 10 minutes early to register in the commons. Parents must come in to register their child.
Bring: Clean indoor shoes, shinguards, $10, a water bottle and a great attitude. For more information, contact Wendy Todd at 399-4922 or wtodd @kpbsd.k12.ak.us.
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