Short-handed Bears drop matches in Nikiski

Six forfeited weight classes too much for JDHS to overcome in team competition

Posted: Sunday, October 21, 2007

The wrestlers who made the trip to the Kenai Peninsula performed well for Juneau-Douglas High School over the weekend.

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Unfortunately, not enough wrestlers made the trip to win any dual meets.

The Crimson Bears went 0-5 at the Nikiski Duals Tournament on Friday and Saturday as the team forfeited six weight classes each meet due to a lack of bodies.

"When you give up half of the total points, it's tough," JDHS coach Kris Mercer said.

JDHS fell to Homer 43-35, Seward 42-33 and Kodiak 63-16 on Friday. On Saturday, the Bears fell 49-30 to Colony and 46-32 to Barrow.

Despite the small squad, those who competed did so with distinction.

Senior Steven Dyer, normally a 152-pound wrestler who moved up to 171 pounds for the tourney, went a perfect 5-0 in his matches.

"He's giving up 15, 20 pounds and dominating," Mercer said. "His legs are getting in all the time and they're smart. ... We're going to focus on his pinning a bit, but his takedowns are amazing."

Lightweight Jufer Librando won 4-of-5 matches over the weekend.

The sophomore could emerge as a lightweight threat in Southeast this season.

"This year is going to be his year," Mercer said. "He doesn't have a third round in him yet, but it's early. I said, 'If you give me a third round, I'll give you a state championship.'"

Freshman Cameron Fronimos went 4-2 at 145 pounds, while Ben Roemeling (140 pounds), Kurt Barry (160), Eddie Zerbach (189) and Ross Lietz (215) each won multiple matches in Nikiski.

At 125 pounds, Ian Otness went 2-0 before a shoulder injury forced him to withdrawal.

"He's looking tough but I had to forfeit him," Mercer said. "Ian is holding on to his shoulder but he wouldn't quit. You could tear his arm off and he'd want to continue."

Tyler McMichael, a 135-pound freshman, won his first match before a bone spur in his elbow ended his tournament prematurely.

At 152 pounds, Sam Cordero went 1-4 in his first action of the year.

The Crimson Bears' roster should receive a healthy bump this weekend as some football players should make the leap from the gridiron to the mat this week.

JDHS will travel to Sitka next week for a tri-meet with Ketchikan and the Wolves.

• Contact sports editor Tim Nichols at 523-2228 or

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