Wolves take runner-up at Thorne Bay
The Wrangell Wolves wrestling team came together in a big way – and took 2nd place at the Thorne Bay High School Invitational Tournament last weekend after being edged out only slightly by the squad from Ketchikan.
A mix and match format was the name of the game on the first day of competition and was, according to head coach Jeff Rooney, a way to prepare his wrestlers for a high level of play on the mat.
“Our attending coaches set up a minimum of two matches per wrestler for the first day of the meet,” Rooney said. “We did these matchups for the consideration of the 4A schools to get some mat time before the actual tournament began and for our wrestlers to get a taste of the larger schools competitive level.”
The second day of competition was a round robin format, with 4- and 6-man pools and also 8-man tournament brackets for the weight classes.
“The round robin pools were set to place wrestlers from 1st place to 6th place with the champion taking home the bracket for their weight class,” Rooney added. “The tournament bracket weight classes were set to place wrestlers from 1st to 4th place, with the champion taking home the tournament bracket for their weight class.”
Two Wrangell wrestlers, Jeff Rooney, Jr. and Kurt Dingwall made the most of their time on the mat and took home a championship apiece in their weight classes.
“Jeff took the second seed position of his tournament bracket and pinned his first two opponents in the early rounds of his matches advancing to the finals,” Rooney added. “In the finals match, Jeff met Nate Fousel of Ketchikan. After a grueling six minutes he came out with a major decision for his bout and the 1st place finish for the Wolves this weekend.”
Rooney also praised Dingwall for retaining his top-seeded spot at the tournament.
“Kurt took the top seed position of his bracket and wrestled some stiff competition bringing home the 1st place win in his tournament bracket,” Rooney said. “Kurt has been stepping up his intensity and performing very well this season.”
Tanner Thomassen and Devon Miller also entered the tournament as top seeds, with Thomassen advancing to the finals with two quick pins. Thomassen split the weekend with his final opponent and brought home a 2nd place finish for the tournament, while Miller was caught in his second match and advanced to the consolation side of the bracket bringing home a 3rd place finish for the Wolves.
“The Wolves wrestlers finished second as a team, falling just a few points behind the Ketchikan wrestlers,” Rooney added of his player’s performances. “The team has been scoring very well this season and is striving to attain a team championship this season. As we prepare for our next meet in Ketchikan, the wrestlers are planning on stepping up the intensity and improving on our technique. Each tournament and every match brings us closer to our goal and we are all anticipating a nice finish for the wrestlers.”
The Wolves will travel to Ketchikan this weekend, Nov. 16-17, and will make the trip to the Region V tournament in Haines Nov. 30-Dec. 1.
Thorne Bay Invitational Tournament Final Results
113 lb – 2nd Place – Alex Cano (4-1)
120 lb – 3rd Place – Asia Prus (1-2)
132 lb – 2nd Place – Roger Miller (2-1)
138 lb – 1st Place – Kurt Dingwall (3-0)
145 lb – 2nd Place – Tanner Thomassen (2-1)
152 lb – 4th Place – Austin Stevens (2-3)
160 lb – 4th Place – Jordan Velle (2-3)
170 lb – 1st Place – Jeff Rooney, Jr. (3-0)
170 lb – 3rd Place – Devon Miller (3-1)
Wrangell finished in 2nd Place as a team with 105.5 points, just behind Kayhi, who won the tournament with a final score of 113.5.