Mount Edgecume junior Paul Johanson won the 298-pound title and Thorne Bay’s Luther Jenson took 152-pounds at the Alaska School Activities Association First National Bank Alaska 1/2/3A State Wrestling Championships on Saturday at Anchorage.
Bethel took the team title and the Petersburg Vikings led Southeast teams with a ninth-place finish.
Johanson finished the season with 24-0 record and opened state tourney action with two pins (Bristol Bay’s Tristan Maldanado and Hutchison’s Jesse Roehl). Johanson then won by 12-7 decision over Metlakatla’s Tristan Alexander before pinning Seward’s Howie Hubbard 35 seconds into the championship match.
The team took a big gamble on wrestling Johanson in the heavyweight category instead of 220-pounds this season.
“It was a big win and a big gamble on our part, he hadn’t wrestled any big heavyweights,” Mount Edgecumbe coach Mike Kimber said. “We thought the finals would be tougher. Paul caught him in a hammerlock and the kid fell over. There was a little bit of struggle but Paul adjusted very well and then there wasn’t any movement after that.”
For more on this story, check out the Tuesday, Dec. 17 edition of the Juneau Empire.