It was the Pirates’ young wrestlers who carried the day on Saturday at the 30th annual Everett Classic tournament.
This tournament at Henry M. Jackson High School is a select invitational event featuring 27 teams from around the state. Once again, Vashon was almost the sole representative from the 1A classification. It is a tribute to the strength of the Vashon program that the team is continually invited to and able to compete at these prestigious and highly competitive events.
Gym time for the 21 Vashon grapplers was a coma-inducing 13 hours from the time they arrived until the time they left. Eight wrestlers participated in the varsity 16-man bracketed tournament, while 13 took part in a separate junior varsity event in a round robin format.
There were so many participants that three of Vashon’s varsity wrestlers had to compete in pigtail single-elimination matches to even make the tournament. All three won their initial bouts and advanced to the main competition.
Freshman Chase Wickman battled to a tie for third; junior Shane Armstrong finished second, and Louis Jovanovich and A.J. Sawyer ended in the medals.
An astounding seven of the 13 junior varsity grapplers took first place within their groups. Freshman Clyde Pruett and junior Baxter Call won all three of their matches by pin.
Freshman Chester Pruett saw his first victories of the season, going 3-0. Freshman Shane Williams won three with two pins and a forfeit. Freshmen Logan Nelson and Fletcher Call, as well as sophomore Chance Krimmert, all went 3-0 on the day for a first-place medal.
First-year wrestler and senior Jasmine Acosta continued to improve against stiff competition, taking second in her group. Junior Andrew Wittwer had an outstanding day, winning a tight match at the buzzer and taking second in his group.
Kanit Jungsakulnjivek, a junior exchange student from Thailand, also wrestled well, taking third in his group. Freshman Brian Burgess dominated in his last match of the day to also take third.
Grappler of note and match of the day goes to Zack Sudduth, another freshman and first-time wrestler. Sudduth had the first match of his career, taking on a tough competitor from Everett and winning by pin. A tough loss in his second match was followed up by an emotional match against a student with Down syndrome from Edmonds-Woodway High School. Sudduth competed with heart and compassion, representing the Pirates well.
This week marks the halfway point of the season, with league play commencing on Thursday at Cascade Christian. The team will also compete Saturday at the Mount Rainier Invitational Tournament.
— Cheryl Pruett is the mother of two Pirate wrestlers.