Sehome junior Kyle Clemenson says he has no idea how much it cost his father to send him to an Oregon Intensive summer wrestling camp.
After his encouraging showing at the Mount Baker Invite, the up-and-coming 138-pound Clemenson — who has been wrestling since sixth grade — knows only that the cost was “well worth it.”
Clemenson claimed two pins and a 9-4 decision to earn the first finals spot of his high school career on Tuesday, Dec. 23.
Even though he had the tough luck to face Sultan’s Jamell Carroll, who was fifth at Class 2A state last season, Clemenson displayed class and guts. He lasted all six minutes on the mat even though Carroll earned a 16-0 title decision punctuated by three points in the final seconds.
“Kyle fought hard,” Sehome coach Scott Schroyer said. “He had a good day and he’s been working hard. He’s going to be all right.”
Although Whatcom County produced no champions, Clemenson was among four finalists from the three county teams entered in the 13-team event. The others were Bellingham seniors Sergio Torres (132) and Blair Bennett (170) and Mount Baker junior Jeremiah Cronk (152).
Clemenson, who went 1-2 at the AAU freestyle nationals in Fargo, N.D., expresses more devotion to wrestling than ever.
“I’ve never stopped training since the end of last season,” he said. “I went two-and-out at 145 pounds at last season’s districts, so I’m happy to be wrestling at 138 now.”
Cronk earned Mount Baker coach Roger Goodwin’s praise for earning his second consecutive tournament finals spot — the first of the 152-pounder’s career. Cronk was pinned in the first round by Arlington’s Cooper McAuslan.
“Jeremiah won the Cashmere Invitational on Saturday for his first varsity tournament title,” said Goodwin, who has no seniors and only three experienced juniors.
Baker’s J.T. Keeney (195) and Jesus Torrero (126) also encouraged their new head coach with runner-up finishes at Cashmere. Keeney was fifth in the Baker Invite.
Bellingham’s Torres led 4-1 in the 132-pound final, but Arlington’s Jeremy Nygard — ranked second statewide in Class 3A — scored six consecutive points to win 10-4. Torres gained the finals with a pin and a 9-7 decision.
Red Raiders teammate Bennett earned a 15-0 decision and a first-round pin. But Sedro-Woolley’s Jacob Farrell — a Class 2A state runner-up last season — bested Bennett 11-1 in the 170-pound title match.
Farrell is among 12 returning regulars from a state 2A runner-up for Cubs coach Jay Breckenridge, whose team competed in their first action of a football-delayed season opener.
Breckenridge, whose Cubs won six consecutive state titles from 2002-2007, suddenly has a new goal, thanks to Woolley’s first state football title.
“We want to become the first school in Washington to win state championships in football and wrestling in the same school year,” the affable coach said. “We can’t find any school that has ever done it (since the football playoffs began in 1973).”
When Breckenridge — who has the years of his state titles tattooed on his lower left leg — was asked to use one word to describe his team’s title chances, he didn’t hesitate.
“Depends,” he said. “The word is ‘depends.’ It depends on (improving) our health. But we won’t be happy unless we win state. That’s our goal.”
Class 1A Forks made the long trip from the Olympic Peninsula worth it by taking the title of the 13-team event with 190 points, followed by Sultan with 169 and Sedro-Woolley with 166. Bellingham was sixth with 97. Sehome was ninth with 58 and Mount Baker tenth with 45.
Bellingham was also cheered by the first two pins for spunky freshman Indiana Casas, who weighs 86 pounds but wrestled at 106. He was pinned in his first match but he didn’t let that bother him while following with consecutive pins in consolation matches before losing by pin in the fifth/sixth place match.
Bellingham’s Riley Takemura earned third at 126. Teammates Alden Roberts (152) and Spencer Marshall (182) earned fifth-place medals. Sehome’s Briley Funk (285) took a fourth, while teammates Davis Canfield-Cole (170) and T.J. Burford (285) gained fifths and Nick Coates (285) took a sixth in a 3-2 loss to Burford. Baker’s William Casados (132) also earned a sixth.
MOUNT BAKER INVITE
On Wed, Dec 17, 2014 at 9:24 AM, email@example.com> wrote:
|Name:||1223 Baker WRST|
|Requested by:||Rasbach, David|
|Assignment start:||12-23-2014 09:30 AM|
|Assignment end:||12-23-2014 03:00 PM|
|Instructions:||Coverage of the Mount Baker Invitational wrestling tournament. Local teams should including Bellingham and Mount Baker.|
|Deadline:||12-23-2014 07:00 PM|
|Event time:||12-23-2014 09:30 AM|
|Event location:||Mount Baker High School|
|Name:||1223 Baker WRST|
|Summary:||Coverage of the Mount Baker wrestling tournament.|