Sports

Grapplers beat Cougars

By CARL BLOMGREN

For The Beachcomber

The Vashon High School wrestling team upped its dual match record to 7-2, when they defeated the Cascade Christian Cougars in Puyallup on Thursday, Jan. 22.

It wasn’t until the third match of the night, however, that Vashon got on the scoreboard.

Wrestler Max Croonquist’s father, Tom, wanted to leave nothing to chance. Tom scampered out of the stands shortly before Max was to start wrestling, whispered something into his ear, gave him a fist-bump and returned to his seat to watch Max pin his opponent in the first period.

Unless Tom has a patent on his secret motivation — could it be something as simple as a fist-bump? — the coaches definitely are interested in learning more about it.

The momentum had begun: Geran Webb followed with a pin in the first period; Sam Chapman got a technical pin; the Lopez brothers, Rogen and Jordan, both won by pins, and with a couple of forfeits tossed in, Vashon accumulated 47 points to the 25 points of the Cascade Christian Cougars.

In junior varsity competition, both freshmen Maximo Mandl and Tucker Lazare registered their first pins in their young wrestling careers.

The following Saturday, the varsity, junior varsity and girls’ teams headed to Emerald Ridge High School for an invitational tournament, the results of which follow:

In junior varsity, first-place wrestlers included Jordan Lopez, Dom Stemer and Devon Forest. Second place went to Maximo Mandl, Elliot Ellingsen and Keegan Shrum.

In varsity, Rogen Lopez took first place; Sam Chapman and Geran Webb both took second place.

Chapman’s final match of the day was voted for by all coaches as the outstanding match of the day.

On the girls’ team, Sylvie Shiosaki took first place.

The Pirates are high-stepping, tight-rope walking — pick your metaphor — towards the State Tournament in the Tacoma Dome. Presently the Vashon girls’ team is ranked third in the state, and the boys are 10th.

Before they enter the doors of the Dome, the Pirates must tangle with Eatonville tonight, Wednesday, Jan. 28, at home, followed on Thursday with an away match against one of the top-ranked teams in the state in all divisions: the Orting Cardinals.

If you’re adventurous, you’ll take in this final home dual match tonight and honor seniors Eddie Protzeller, Rogen Lopez, Jesse Mish, Tim Jovanovich and Sylvie Shiosaki.

Also, circle on your calendar Saturday, Feb. 7, in red because that’s the date for the district tournament, which will be held in our own gym.

See ya’ there.

— Carl Blomgren is the father of Pirate wrestling coaches Anders and Per-Lars Blomgren.

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