Pirate wrestlers earn second in league

Pirate Dominik Stemer, on top, needed only 35 seconds to pin Orting Cardinal Jacob Owen in their 140-pound match. - Rik Forschmiedt Photo
Pirate Dominik Stemer, on top, needed only 35 seconds to pin Orting Cardinal Jacob Owen in their 140-pound match.
— image credit: Rik Forschmiedt Photo

Vashon wrestling ended a strong season with a second-place finish in the Nisqually League after losing the league title showdown to Orting High School, 39-34, in a dual meet on Thursday.

On Saturday, a portion of the Pirate team went to the “All Comers” Tournament at Washington High School as a final warm-up for the post-season.

For the league title meet, Vashon faced an Orting team that is the defending, two-time state 1A champion, and that is predicted to three-peat this season.

In the lower weight classes, the Orting team displayed its strength and depth against the Pirates and quickly racked up five wins and a forfeit. It was Dominik Stemer who initiated the Pirate charge with a pin at 35 seconds in the 140-pound weight class. Pins are uncommon against Orting, but Preston Morris and Vince Jovanovich also pinned their opponents at 1:24 and 1:35, respectively.

A highlight for assistant coach Per-Lars Blomgren was how the wrestlers used the new moves that they had drilled in practice. One such example was the eggroll from the crackdown position that Alex Sohl relied upon in his 13-3 major decision.

Two forfeits by Orting rounded out the Pirate point total. Orting was unable to bring its entire team because several of its wrestlers had minor injuries or were at the maximum number of matches that a wrestler can have before the post-season.

The “All Comers” tournament featured 30 teams and allowed the Pirate wrestlers to experience additional success after their season of hard work. In fact, all of the Pirates who participated in the action won at least one of their two matches. In a battle steeped in determination, Trevor Figgins was trailing in the third period to a grappler to whom he had lost earlier in the season. Figgins never gave up and got the pin. Lucas Dzyacki, Rachel Thomas, Shane Armstrong and Ryan O’Grady also wrestled well in their wins, Blomgren said.

Looking ahead, Blomgren likes where this young, talented and hungry team is positioned on its road to the state wrestling tournament. To prepare for the two weekends of qualifying tournaments, Vashon’s wrestling workouts will become even more intense. The grapplers will have extended periods of live wrestling, additional situational drills and post-practice sprints.

This Saturday, Vashon wrestling will compete in the sub-regionals at Orting High School.

— Marian Easton is the mother of two Pirate wrestlers.

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