Eli Croy won the 120-pound weight class to lead Ferndale’s boys’ wrestling team to a first-place finish at the Class 3A Sub-Regional South Tournament on Saturday, Feb. 7, at Edmonds-Woodway High School.
Ferndale beat second place Edmonds-Woodway by 7.5 points.
Nine different Golden Eagles made it to the finals, but Croy, a freshman, was the only champion for the team.
“Eli did everything well,” Ferndale coach Caleb Schlack said in a phone interview. “He pinned everyone by the first guy he faced. He just wasn’t ready to go, was nervous, but after that he settled in and looked dynamic. It was fun to see.”
In all, 12 Ferndale wrestlers will advance to the Regional Tournament on Saturday, Feb. 14, at Marysville-Pilchuck High School.
Eli’s older brother, Wyatt Croy, took second at 132 pounds and earned high praise from his coach.
“Wyatt came in unseeded and made it to the final,” Schlack said. “I think he surprised himself. He pinned his way to the finals, but lost to a tough kid.”
Other second-place finishers for Ferndale were Broc Graves (106 pounds), Noah Saenz (138 pounds), Taylor Bellefuielle (152 pounds), Ben Broselle (160 pounds), Sam Cleary (182 pounds), Patrick Condon (195 pounds) and Nate Slaton (220 pounds).
Schack had a bit to offer about some of his second-place finishers.
On Saenz: “He was a second seed, but he didn’t think he deserved it. He wrestled well and made it to the final, though.”
On Slaton: “Nate, as a sophomore he made the finals, so that was exciting to see.”
On having nine wrestlers in the finals: “Not to sound conceited, and I would have like to do better in the finals, but we had nine kids so it was basically Ferndale versus the WESCO South.”
Devon Bennett at 120 pounds, Braiden Klimp at 152 pounds and Nate Carlson at 182 pounds were the Golden Eagles other three qualifiers for regionals.
Klimp ran into Bellefuielle in the semifinals of their bracket, otherwise it may have been an all-Ferndale final, Schlack noted.
“The upside to losing is we have a lot of kids who will want to work hard and improve for next week,” he said.
The Class 3A Regional begins at 10 a.m. Saturday, Feb. 14, at Marysville-Pilchuck High School.