Ferndale’s 47-24 wrestling win over Blaine did nothing to discourage either team about its prospects for a top 10 finish at state.
That was the way Golden Eagles coach Caleb Schlack and Borderites coach Craig Foster certainly saw it after the end of a varsity match Wednesday, Jan. 14, because there was such a large junior varsity program.
The five Mat Classic veterans who wrestled for the Class 2A Blaine all won as the Borderites claimed six of the 10 on-the-mat confrontations. Class 3A Ferndale — for which fifth-year coach Schlack has a huge turnout of 44 athletes — took all four of the night’s forfeits along with four on-the-mat wins, all by state tournament veterans.
And the sixth Borderite who won? He was the man who really had Foster grinning.
In the best match of the long night, Blaine freshman Saul Magallon claimed a 6-4 overtime win over Ferndale senior Nate Carlson.
Magallon, who is 15 years old, “is a real good athlete,” Foster said. “He can be really tough. He’s just about the biggest guy in our room. We just don’t have the uppers.” (Blaine forfeited at 190, 220 and 285, giving the night’s final 18 points to Ferndale.)
Magallon scored a 2-point reversal with 30 seconds remaining in regulation to create a 4-4 tie. About 40 seconds into the one-minute sudden-death overtime, Magallon broke free on a bust-out move worth 2 points.
Schlack said his highlight was a pin by sophomore state meet veteran Broc Graves, who beat Blaine freshman Garrison Folk 1 minute and 10 seconds into the match.
“Broc’s really been wrestling well,” said Schlack. “He definitely has the potential to place at state.”
Schlack was not surprised by first-round pins by state meet vets Ben Broselle (160), a sophomore, and Taylor Bellefuielle (170), a junior. Nor was Schlack surprised when senior Devon Bennett (126), yet returnee from state, scored a 15-0 technical fall.
“But I was also real happy with some of our other wrestlers, with the way they fought to avoid giving up extra points or being pinned,” Schlack said. “We’re going to need everything we can get (for the top 10 state finish the Golden Eagles so badly want.”
Indeed, Blaine’s raft of lower-weight standouts with state experience — sophomore Colton Economy (120), senior Gage Lott (132), junior Anthony Frey (138), sophomore Riley Fritsch (145) and junior Caleb Frey (152) — were uniformly impressive.
Economy turned in nine scoring moves to take a 17-5 major decision over stubborn Ferndale freshman Carson Trolinder. Likewise, Lott turned in a shutout with six scoring techniques in a 13-0 major decision over Ferndale sophomore Wyatt Croy.
Anthony Frey took a pin 1:33 into the 138-pound match against Ferndale sophomore Noah Saenz, followed by Fritsch’s 12-2 major decision over Ferndale sophomore Pavel Kolbert.
Caleb Frey, who has had an outstanding season for Blaine, fought hard to overcome promising Ferndale junior Braiden Klimp 3-0 at 152 pounds. That gave Blaine a 21-17 lead, but only Magellon was to win for the Borderites from that point on.
Broselle needed only 50 seconds to pin Blaine sophomore Isaac Avena at 160 and Bellefuielle scored a pin even quicker, taking down Blaine freshman Tristan Alanis with 26 seconds elapsed.
Ferndale’s other two state veterans, senior Patrick Condon (220) and junior Chris Hernandez (285), received forfeits, as did sophomore Kyle Hansen (106) and junior Sam Cleary (190).
With so many non-seniors competing for both team, the rivalry figures to get even better next season.
The Northwest Conference Tournament on Saturday, Jan. 17, at Sehome will determine the official league champion. Ferndale (4-1 in dual meets) and Blaine (2-2) figure to be in there battling all the way.
The only girl on Blaine’s wrestling team, Olivia Adams (140), competed twice against Ferndale’s two girls. Adams quickly took both matches by pin, as befitting the state meet veteran’s hopes of winning a state championship.
Ferndale 47, Blaine 24
106: Kyle Hansen (F) by forfeit; 113: Broc Graves (F) p. Garrison Folk 1:10; 120: Colton Economy (B) dec. Carson Trolinder 17-5; 126: Devon Bennett (F) dec. Caleb Bullard 15-0 technical fall; 132: Gage Lott (B) dec. Wyatt Croy 13-0; 138: Anthony Frey (B) p. Noah Saenz 1:33; 145: Riley Fritsch (B) dec. Pavel Kolbert 12-2; 152: Caleb Frey (B) dec. Braiden Klimp 3-0; 160: Ben Broselle (F) p. Isaac Avena 0:50; 170: Taylor Bellefuielle (F) p. Tristan Alanis 0:26; 182: Saul Magallon (B) dec. Nate Carlson 6-4, OT; 190 -- Sam Cleary (F) by forfeit; 220 -- Patrick Condon (F) by forfeit; 285 -- Chris Hernandez (F) by forfeit.