Southeast Alaska’s finest middle school wrestlers will be competing at Floyd Dryden on Friday and Saturday to determine the top individual and team grapplers from village to city, and sustain bragging rights for another season. They will also be having some fun.
“They are middle school kids,” Floyd Dryden Middle School assistant coach Ken Brown said. “Sometimes you never know what you are going to get out there on the mat.”
Teams from Craig, Dzantik’I Heeni, FD, Hoonah, Haines, Hydaberg, Kake, Klawock, Pelican, Petersburg, Ketchikan, Sitka, Thorne Bay, Wrangell, and Yakutat will be vying for mat wins.
The tourney action begins at 4 p.m. on Friday. Saturday bouts begin at 10 a.m. with finals starting at 6 p.m. and action ending by 8 p.m.
According to Brown there are a variety of skilled wrestler to watch in the tourney.
FD’s Edwin Meyer is the returning two-time Southeast Champ at 90 pounds and is undefeated. Meyer had two very tough matches last weekend at Ketchikan against a very scrappy Schoenbar wrestler named Max Collins, a sixth grader and the coach’s son. The first night Edwin didn’t have the match until the final 20 seconds. He was down by 4 and ended up winning on a 5-point throw. The following night Edwin needed overtime to claim victory in the tournament championships.
“I am pretty excited,” Meyer said. “I hope to win all my matches and get first. I like getting on the mat and beating people. I just like the competition in it.”
Wrangell Middle School is bringing a few total stud wrestlers in Dawson Miller at 133-pounds and Roger Miller at 140-pounds. Both kids are really fun to watch as they are very skilled beyond their middle school ages.
Other wrestlers to watch are Manny Budke from Hoonah, a talented 6th grade grappler who recently returned to the mat after a 2-year hiatus. Manny had his first matches last weekend and shook off the rust to claim the tourney title at his weight class of 115.
FD’s Forrest Bizzaro is an undefeated 7th grade Heavy weight and will be tough. He led the all Floyd Dryden medal stand at Heavy Weight in last weeks tournament in Ketchikan. Bizzaro will be chased by teammates Naki Latu (second at Ketchikan) and Lianno Vejar (third at Ketchikan).
Blake Phillips at 160 for Floyd Dryden is also a first year wrestler in the 8th grade. Phillips is very raw but he has tons of talent and is undefeated so far this season.
“The conditioning is the hardest part,” Phillips said of wrestling. “The competition is the best part. I am still working my hardest.”
Titus Tripple from Thorne Bay is an exceptional wrestler at 100-pounds, though he may enter the tourney at 105.
“This being a middle school tournament it is hard to tell which wrestlers will dominate and which will not,” Brown said. “Middle school kids are fun to coach but very hard to predict on a day to day basis. I am sure Petersburg and Sitka will have a few tough kids we haven’t seen yet this year who will come in and do very well, and Dzantik’I Heeni has some guys who will surprise you.”
Dzantik’I Heeni wrestlers include: 90-pound Bryan Johnson, 105 Selma Houck, 110 Terrance McClinton, 115 Braiden Helf, 121 Tauno Hill, 127 Moria Johnson, 133 Evan Okpik, 140 Alex Muir, 148 Steven Lundy, 148 Corrick Khul, 260 Telensa Timothy.
Floyd Dryden wrestlers include: 75-pound Juan Fisher, 75 Brice Godbee, 75 Michael Alon, 80 Kailer Lindley, 85 Shafer Suzuki, 90 Edwin Meyer, 90 Max Suzuki, 90 Hayden Bryson, 95 Gray Price, 95 Ryan Reid, 100 Wyatt Nicholson, 100 Trevor Pierce, 100 Nathan Herron, 105 Ron Hanson, 105 Cole Moniz, 110 Benji Hendren, 110 Derick Nebert, 115 Nathan VanSickle, 121 Roy Tupou, 121 Chris Derr, 121 Ivan Williams, 121 Kyle Beal, 121 Chris Toetuu, 127 Kyle Sjoroos, 127 Brandon Aguilar, 133 John Williams, 133 Maake Maake, 133 Jade Williams, 133 Mahina Toulaiolepo, 133 Andrew Moeser, 133 Jason Nickelson, 140 Bradley Gile, 140 Alex Eldemar, 148 Mason Kullander, 160 Blake Phhilips, 160 Evan Mauk, 174 Cody Welden, 260 Forrest Bizzaro, 260 Lianno Vejar, 260 Naki Latu, 260 Kevn Breaux,
Floyd Dryden’s 105-pound Ron Hansen stated wrestling was fun and a good way to get fit.
“This year I have been winning all my matches,” Hansen said. “I feel confident but a little freaked out about all the kids that will be trying to take me down.”