With over two hundred middle school wrestlers gathered at Floyd Dryden middle school to put their mat prowess to the test, it was only fitting that the team championship would not be decided until the final grapplers shook hands in the last match of the night. After the dust had settled, Floyd Dryden rose to the top of the team scores securing the title by a mere 1.5 points over arch rival Schoenbar Middle School from Ketchikan 228.5 to 227.
The final score was not decided Floyd Dryden’s 260-pound Forrest Bizzaro pinned teammate Naki Latu in a hard fought heavyweight showdown. If Bizzaro did not win by pin the team title would go to Ketchikan. Even though the two Eagles were teammates, bragging rights for the school, and southeast, were on the line.
In other finals matches, Dryden’s 90-pound 8th grader Edwin Meyer simply destroyed a talented Max Collins of Schoenbar by pin in the 2nd period to capture the Southeast title. Collins had given Meyer fits earlier in the season in two close matches but he didn’t have a chance on this night against a very determined Meyer who attacked at the whistle and never let up.
Several of the tournaments top ranked wrestlers were upset through out the weekend and did not even place. The upsets carried into the finals in several matches. Noah Castle of Craig took the 105-pound title with a stunning come from behind victory pin over a heavily favored Ronnie Hanson of Floyd Dryden. Hanson had the upper hand early on in the match and was dictating tempo but simply got caught by a counter throw in the second period by Castle and succumbed to the pin. That pin just set the tone for more upsets. Michael Starr from Schoenbar was behind on points when he caught undefeated Titus Tripple of Thorne Bay in a head and arm throw to score a 2nd period pin and the title at 110-pounds. The 115-pounders would fare no different with Kaden Hallstrom of Schoenbar pinning a talented Manny Budke of Hoonah.
The underdog had the biggest bite all night until Wrangell stepped up to dominate the 133 and 140-pound brackets as expected. Dawson Miller won the 133-pound class with a convincing 12-2 win over William Peele of Hydaburg. Roger Millers followed suit with a technical fall victory at 140-pounds over Craig wrestler Patrick Marshall.
Blake Phillips of Floyd Dryden looked high school ready as he worked hard for a pin victory over Hoonah’s Tony Phillips to claim the 160-pound title. Blake Phillips was sought out by FD coaches prior to the season and had to be talked in to turning out for the team. Coaches stated that Blake didn’t think he was good enough to be a Southeast wrester. Now Blake Phillips has set the bar for all future Southeast wrestlers.
“I could not be more proud of our wrestlers,” Floyd Dryden head coach Kris Mercer said. “They matured into a fine team who pushed themselves beyond what they thought possible. The team peaked Saturday night and it took every wrestler on the team to allow us to win by 1.5 points. Each member of this team earned the right to be called a champion. Each and every one of them made this possible and we had a great time doing it.”
1st 228.5 Floyd Dryden; 2nd 227 Schoenbar; 3rd 194 Craig; 4th 159 Wrangell; 5th 154.5 Sitka; 6th 120.5 Petersburg; 7th 96.5 Thorne Bay; 8th 49 Hoonah; 9th 46 Hydaburg; 10th 43 Haines; 11th 27 Kake; 12th 16 Klawock; 13th 15.5 Dzantik’I Heeni; 14th 3 Yakutat; 15th 0 Pelican.
75 pounds - 1st Buddy Steimach Petersburg, 2nd Seth Packer Craig, 3rd Orion Heller Wrangell, 4th Johnathan Skaggs Schoenbar.
80 Pounds - 1st Timber Burnham Craig, 2nd Colten Fisher Kake, 3rd Emmit Anderson Sitka, 4th Alissa Heller Wrangell.
85 Pounds - 1st Ian Jensen Thorne Bay, 2nd Curtis Wimberley Wrangell, 3rd Curt Bartlett Sitka, 4th Drew Marker Craig.
90 Pounds - 1st Edwin Meyer Floyd Dryden, 2nd Max Collins Schoenbar, 3rd Camden Suarez Sitka, 4th Chris Burke Petersburg.
95 Pounds - 1st Adam Ramsay Schoenbar, 2nd Caleb Suarez Sitka, 3rd Kaden Hodges Schoenbar, 4th Trevor Wutzke Schoenbar.
100 Pounds - 1st Tim Rodriguez Schoenbar, 2nd Wyatt Nicholson Floyd Dryden, 3rd Jase Sorensen Sitka, 4th Sam Armstrong Wrangell.
105 Pounds - 1st Noah Castle Craig, 2nd Ronnie Hanson Floyd Dryden, 3rd Mason Hoppe Klawock, 4th Jake Trierschield Sitka.
110 Pounds - 1st Michael Starr Schoenbar, 2nd Titus Tripple Thorne Bay, 3rd Bradlee White Wrangell, 4th Justin Albecker Craig.
115 Pounds - 1st Kaden HallstromSchoenbar, 2nd Manny Budke Hoonah, 3rd Zane Durr Haines, 4th Andrew Duddles Petersburg.
121 Pounds - 1st Tell Tripple Thorne Bay, 2nd Chris Toetuu Floyd Dryden, 3rd Cody Steimach Petersburg, 4th Ben Kacenas Schoenbar.
127 Pounds - 1st Wyatt Patten Craig, 2nd Isiaha May Petersburg, 3rd Sid Warren-Edenshaw Hydaburg, 4th Brandon Aguilar Floyd Dryden.
133 Pounds - 1st Dawson Miller Wrangell, 2nd Willam Peele Hydaburg, 3rd Maake Maake Floyd Dryden, 4th John Williams Floyd Dryden.
140 Pounds - 1st Roger Miller Wrangell, 2nd Patrick Marshall Craig, 3rd Alex Muir Dzantik’I Heeni, 4th Bradely Gile Floyd Dryden.
148 Pounds - 1st Jayden Stutz Wrangell, 2nd Michael Greer Schoenbar, 3rd Josh McCormick Thorne Bay, 4th Miguel Gill Sitka.
160 Pounds - 1st Blake Phillips Floyd Dryden, 2nd Tony Phillips Hoonah, 3rd Kai Hays Haines, 4th Tahren Torsey Craig.
170 Pounds - 1st Nate Fousel Schoenbar, 2nd Bridger Purser Craig, 3rd Cody Weldon Floyd Dryden, 4th Mallory Nilsen Petersburg.
210 Pounds - 1st Ethan Bryner Petersburg, 2nd Lianno Vejar Floyd Dryden, 3rd Liam Price Craig, 4th Kiren Owens Sitka.
260 Pounds - 1st Forrest Bizzaro Floyd Dryden, 2nd Naki Latu Floyd Dryden, 3rd Brian Mcclennan Schoenbar.