Juneau-Douglas High School junior grapplers David Dumesnil and Jerry Hudson dominated their respective weight classes at Saturday’s 2013 4A Region V Wrestling Tournament in the JDHS gym, but the best was almost saved for last.
Thunder Mountain High School sophomore heavy weight Rick Johnson was a inch or less away from upsetting the state’s fourth-ranked Cody Ring from Ketchikan.
“It was cool,” Johnson said. “I haven’t lasted a round all season with him... then I got him in a cradle. I am really happy about that.”
Johnson had to fight off two near pins, one in the first period which ended 5-0, and one in the second which ended 12-2, both in favor of Ring. With 23 seconds remaining in the third period Ring showed why he is a top state contender as he set a cradle that couldn’t be broken.
“This is my first high school wrestling year,” Johnson said. “I feel pretty good about it. I am definitely going to stick with this sport.”
There was no ‘almost’ for two of southeast’s top athletes.
Crimson Bears’ Dumesnil and Hudson streamed through the tournament and took individual titles.
Dumesnil, at 120-pounds, led Kayhi’s Josh Danoa 10-1 in the first period, 12-4 in the second, and won by pin in the third. This is Dumesnil’s second straight region crown and he now has a chance to improve on last year’s state runner up position.
“It just means I am continuing to get better,” Dumesnil said. “Hopefully I can go up to state and do well up there. Today I just was not going to get shown up in front of my home crowd. I have beaten these guys all year and I felt really good about it so I just went out there and attacked him to see what I could do. Every one is going to be tough up north, so hopefully we can do well.”
Hudson, at 182-pounds, had the JDHS contingent cheering in full force as he went after Ketchikan’s Kohl Hallman, winning 12-6 after nearly getting a pin and escaping from another.
“The key thing is working hard in practice,” Hudson said. “It is not the size of the dog in the fight, it is the size of the fight in the dog, and it is what matters all season long. Everybody here cheering me on was also key. It is like fans, coaches, my dad Chris, they were all cheering loud, it was nice. Now we have to try harder at state. I want to place third or higher, my dream is to place first at state. I am so excited right now with a region championship.”
Ketchikan won the team title with 249 points, Thunder Mountain finished second with 99 and Juneau-Douglas had 90. The Crimson Bears won the Sportsmanship Award and Ketchikan’s 138-pound Region V champ Logan Collins was voted the tournament’s Outstanding Wrestler by coaches. The Kings will send 19 wrestlers (1st and 2nd placers) to the state tournament next weekend at Anchorage’s Bartlett High School.
“Not bad for one of the smallest 4A school in the state,” Ketchikan coach Bill McLaughlin said. “These kids put in a lot of hard work to build this program up to where it is at today.”
Juneau-Douglas will send five wrestlers to the state tournament; Dumesnil, Hudson, Riley Moser (runner-up at 145), Malik Brown (runner-up at 152), and Tulensa Timothy (runner-up at 220),
“We had a long season,” JDHS coach Kris Mercer said. “We were able to teach them a lot over that season. Today we saw a lot of kids executing moves they haven’t done before. I am really looking forward to one more solid week of good, hard, focused practice and these guys are ready to peak at the right time.”
Four TMHS Falcons qualified for state and three will travel.
Freshman Edwin Meyer (106-pounds) lost in the championship to KTN’s Marcus Martin by 7-0 decision, freshman Hunter Boyer (132-pounds) lost in the championship to KTN’s Isaac Lontz by pin at 1:17 (third place went to KTN’s Kyle Schnur), and Johnson at heavyweight. Freshman Lianno Vejar, runner-up at 195-pounds to KTN’s Jason Frizzell, has a prior commitment.
“The key thing was keeping our guys interested all season,” TMHS coach Gary Reid said. “The 12 guys we had wrestle today, and a few others, they are all going to be back. To me that is what is key.”
With one junior, three sophomores and eight freshmen, the Falcons became a connected team that believed in their coaches and themselves.
“They started believing,” Reid said. “I am really surprised and excited about second place. The kids are already talking about their goals for next year. Second is not where we want to be but it gives us something to build on. The main thing is just believing in ourselves.”
Reid also thanked the Juneau Youth Wrestling Club for their donations in allowing the public to attend for free.
“Thanks to them for packing the fans in,” Reid said. “It was nice to be appreciated for our efforts.”
All Academic Awards went to Joe Chadwell, Logan Collins, Craig Deboer, and Issac Lontz from Ketchikan.
The Good Sport Team selections were JD Hudson and Riley Moser (JDHS), Craig Deboer and Dalton Spear (KTN), and Lianno Vejar and Brylie Yadao (TMHS).
Weight class championships included:
98-pounds, Trevor Wutzke (KTN) champion by forfeit./ 106-pounds, Marcus Martin (KTN) over Edwin Meyer (TMHS) 7-0. / 113-pounds, Kadin Hallstrom (KTN) champion by forfeit. / 120-pounds, David Dumesnil (JDHS) pinned Josh Danoa (KTN) at 5:06. / 126-pounds, Keenan Spencer (KTN) over Ben Kasenas (KTN) by pin at 1:17. / 132-pounds, Isaac Lontz (KTN) over Hunter Boyer (TMHS) by pin at 1:17.
138-pounds, Logan Collins (KTN) over Hitsati Hudson (KTN) by pin at 37 seconds. Third place went to Alex Muir (JDHS) and fourth to Brandon Aguilar (TMHS). Other wrestlers included Mikail Bolshakoff (KTN) and Ian Winter (KTN).
145-pounds, Joe Chadwell (KTN) over Riley Moser (JDHS) 10-9. Moser trailed 2-1 after one period and nearly pinned Chadwell in the second. Leading 7-6 starting the third, Moser was let off the mat by Chadwell for a two-point lead. Chadwell got a take down to tie the score, Moser escaped for a one-point lead and Chadwell got a last second take down for the win. Third place went to Dylan Taylor (TMHS), fourth to Bryce May (KTN) and other wrestlers were Stetson Durand (JDHS) and Austin Drueckhammer (TMHS). / At 152-pounds, Dalton Spear (KTN) over Malik Brown (JDHS) by pin 2:44. Third place went to Dante Taylor (TMHS) and fourth to Brylie Yadao (TMHS). Also wrestling here were Austin Gonzales (JDHS), and Tyler Cole (TMHS). / At 160-pounds Craig Deboer (KTN) won by major decision over Davon Wake (KTN), Blake Phillips (TMHS) took third, John Nichols (JDHS) fourth and Taylor Sutak (JDHS) fifth. / 170- pounds, Nate Fousel (KTN) over Robert Williams (KTN) 5-2. Third place went to William Bear-Clark (TMHS).
182-pounds, Jerry Hudson (JDHS) over Kohl Hallman (KTN) 12-6. / 195-pounds, Jason Frizzell (KTN) pinned Lianno Vejar (TMHS).
220- pounds, Caleb Ford (KTN) pinned Tulensa Timothy (JDHS) at 1:54. / 285-pounds, Cody Ring (KTN) pinned Rick Johnson (TMHS) at 5:37.