The Juneau-Douglas High School wrestling team will be represented in 11 of 14 weight classes in at the Class 4A State Wrestling Championships in Chugiak.
The tournament starts at 9 a.m. today and goes on until the championship finals at 7:15 p.m. Saturday.
The Crimson Bears' boast five wrestlers who enter this weekend's tournament ranked in the top six statewide by Web site www.akmat.org.
At the top of the list is senior Dante Santos.
Santos (38-2) is ranked first at 125 pounds. He reached the state finals at 119 pounds last year.
Juneau-Douglas boasts two wrestlers at 152 pounds in Matt Barry and Steven Dyer.
Barry, ranked fourth, was a favorite to win a state title last season before a broken collarbone prematurely derailed his season.
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Dyer is ranked sixth after dropping just eight bouts all season.
South's Brian Hunsicker, Dimond's Zack Shelley and Chugiak's Daniel Tol figure to be Dyer and Barry's biggest roadblocks to a state title.
One of Juneau-Douglas' most intriguing stories lies in the heavyweight division. After toiling at 215 pounds for the majority of the season, senior Jake Mason will represent the Bears at heavyweight as the Southeast Conference champion.
Mason, ranked fourth statewide, will likely be the lightest wrestler in the heavyweight division. Conversely, he should be the quickest and possibly in the best shape of any heavyweight. Maximum weight for the class is 285 pounds.
At 160 pounds, Southeast champion Joardan Savland enters the weekend ranked fourth statewide. Savland (25-3) nipped Ketchikan's Nick Fama 8-3 in the regional final.
JDHS wrestlers seeded at the state tournament
Dante Santos, 125 pounds, 2nd.
Joardan Savland, 160 pounds, 4th.
Matt Barry, 152 pounds, 5th.
Ramiro Lamas, 215 pounds, 5th.
Jake Mason, 285 pounds, 5th.
Bobby Hunt, 103 pounds, 6th.
Did you know? All but one of the top-two seeded wrestlers made the finals of last year's state tourney.
Bobby Hunt is ranked fifth at 103 pounds and could be a threat to win the state title. Hunt's dropped just 8 of 41 matches this season and has enough strength to overwhelm a smaller wrestler in the sport's lightest weight class.
Ian Otness (112 pounds), Samson Keeney (171), Tyler Zimmerman (189) and Ramiro Lamas (215) all qualified for this weekend's competition as conference champs.
Sabrina Storey (103) and Ben Roemeling (130) reached the state tournament despite losing records. Both finished second regionally in their respective weight classes.
At 119 pounds, Bryce Saviers brings a 14-6 record to Chugiak after finishing second in the region. Saviers fell to Ketchikan's Kyle Foote 13-4 in the regional final.
Foote placed third at 103 pounds last season as a member of the Crimson Bears.
Tim Nichols, sports editor, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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