BELLINGHAM - Lynden's Caleb Newman won the only title by a Whatcom County wrestler in Squalicum's 12th annual Graham Morin Memorial Tournament, but he thought fellow Lions senior Ryan Mouat offered a championship gesture.
Mouat was runner-up at 152 pounds with an 8-2 defeat to Sedro-Woolley senior Kyle Morgan (13-1), a two-time state medalist. Morgan earned Most Outstanding Wrestler honors for his stylish grappling, which included four takedowns in the title match on Saturday, Dec. 15.
Mouat, however, scored a major decision in the hearts of his parents, Will and Stacy, who received a special surprise from the announcer as the title match began.
"All Mom wanted for her birthday present (Saturday) was for me to make it to the finals, so Happy Birthday, Mom!" Mouat wrote after earning a finals spot. "I love you with all my heart."
Mouat's next goal is a special Valentine's Day gift in February - a Class 2A state title.
"My goal is nothing less than a state title, but I'm a long way from there now," said Mouat. He and Newman hope to become state champions in school history for both football and (individually in) wrestling after getting a late start on the mats due to football.
"Jeremy Korthuis was a state champion in both sports last year and he was my mentor," said Mouat, who is off to a 3-2 start and advanced to the title match with three decisions. "Jeremy was in the stands today, giving me tips."
Newman was especially proud of Mouat's gesture.
"That was totally awesome," said Newman (4-1), who gained a 7-6 decision over Port Angeles sophomore Roberto Coronel (9-3) at 220 pounds after Newman advanced with two pins and a decision.
"I enjoyed hearing that from Ryan because family always comes first," said Newman. "Ryan has a big heart (he was a special teams standout in football despite being one of the team's smaller seniors) and he's a very hard worker."
Newman, like Mouat, said he faces much catch-up work.
"I'm a little rusty," said Newman, who was a district and regional champion as a junior and went 1-2 at Class 2A state. "I made a couple of mistakes today (in giving up two takedowns) that I shouldn't have. With hard work, I feel I should only get better from here."
Lynden coach Randy Anderson was thrilled to see three Lions in the finals. Senior Ryan Meggison, a state meet veteran, scored three pins to advance to the 170-pound title match, where Meggison was pinned with four seconds left in the first period by Brian Cristion of Port Angeles. Cristion (12-1) was fourth at Class 2A state last year.
The other Whatcom County runners-up were Nooksack Valley's Hunter Whittern (now 12-1) at 132 pounds, Squalicum's Kyle Stallo (12-3) at 195 and Sehome's Titi Lamositele (9-2) at 285.
Whittern, who had two pins and an 11-4 decision, suffered a 12-2 loss to Oak Harbor's Cody Fakkema (13-2), a senior who was third at Class 3A state last year.
Stallo, who earned three decisions, suffered a 3-2 loss to Snohomish's Tristan Baus (5-1), who gained his first career tournament title.
Lamositele, who had a decision and a pin following an opening-round bye, was pinned with 15 seconds left in the second round by Class 4A Kentlake's Tyler Deskins.
Sedro-Woolley's Jacob Farrell (145) scored another win for the Northwest Conference with a 6-1 decision over Snohomish's Joseph Proffit.
"I was disappointed," said Stallo, who won a title at Blaine's Battle at the Border last week. "I thought I could have won. I should have taken a shot. I didn't time manage well at all."
Stallo trailed 3-0 into the final period, but refused to quit. He scored on an escape with a minute remaining and another escape several seconds later, but time ran out for him.
Snohomish won the 16-team event with 250 points, followed by Port Angeles with 187 and Sedro-Woolley with 127. Ferndale was sixth at 109, Squalicum seventh at 103.5 and Nooksack Valley eighth in 102. Lynden, despite its late start, scored 94 for 10th and Sehome was 14th with 56.
GRAHAM MORIN MEMORIAL TOURNAMENT
Team scores: Snohomish 250, 2. Port Angeles 187, 3. Sedro-Woolley 127, 4. Oak Harbor 114.5, 5. Kamiak 110, 6. Ferndale 109, 7. Squalicum 103.5, 8. Nooksack Valley 102, 9. Kentlake 100, 10. Lynden 94, 11. Snohomish #2 65, 12. Woodinville 65, 13. Lake Stevens 57, 14. Sehome 56, 15. Lynwood 51, 16. Bothell 45.5.
Championship matches: 106 -- Nick Smith (Kentlake) dec. Wyatt Butler (Snohomish) 11-5; 113 -- Josh Heitzman (Kamiak) dec. Brady Anderson (Port Angeles) 5-4; 120 -- Josh Basden (Port Angeles) d. Devian Jones (Lake Stevens) 7-1; 126 -- Ozzy Swagerty (Port Angeles) dec. David Garcia (Kamiak) 5-1; 132 -- Cody Fakkema (Oak Harbor) dec. Hunter Whittern (Nooksack) 12-2; 138 -- Greg Eagle (Snohomish) pinned Matthew Calkins (Lakewood); 145 -- Jacob Ferrell (Sedro-Woolley) dec. Joseph Proffit (Snohomish) 6-1; 152 -- Kyle Morgan (Sedro-Woolley) dec. Ryan Mouat (Lynden) 8-2; 160 -- Josh Crebbin (Oak Harbor) dec. Tanner Perry (Snohomish) 9-6; 170 -- Brian Cristion (Port Angeles) pinned Ryan Meggison (Lynden); 182 -- Matt Robbins (Port Angeles) pinned Garrett Stitch (Snohomish); 195 -- Tristan Baus (Snohomish) dec. Kyle Stallo (Squalicum) 3-2; 220 -- Caleb Newman (Lynden) dec. Roberto Coronel (Port Angeles) 7-6; 285 -- Tyler Deskins (Kentlake) pinned Titi Lamositele (Sehome).
Whatcom County third-place medalists (two in each weight, due to four match per day restriction): 113 -- Isaiah Heredia (Ferndale); 120 -- Paul Newell (Nooksack Valley); 126 -- Nick Iaconetti (Lynden); 132 -- Derek Vajda (Ferndale); 138 -- Zak Alter (Squalicum); 160 -- Aaron Saunders (Squalicum); 170 -- Erik Engels (Ferndale); 182 -- Jesse O'bryan (Nooksack); 195 -- Sam Alexander (Ferndale).