Hall Anderson / Ketchikan Daily News
Takedown: Juneau's Dante Santos gains control over Sitka wrestler Vince Licari in the third round of their match Friday.
The Juneau-Douglas High School wrestling team opened its season in triumphant fashion by winning the Ketchikan Tournament on Saturday.
The Crimson Bears amassed 240.5 points to easily defeat the field of Southeast Conference rivals.
"All in all, I couldn't be happier," JDHS coach Kris Mercer said.
Juneau-Douglas has five individual champions to win the tournament as freshman Bryce Saviers delivered an impressive performance in the 119-pound title match.
Saviers pinned his way through the bracket before earning a comeback victory over Wrangell's Dave Brown. Saviers pinned Brown at 5:51.
"The highlight was at 119 pounds with Bryce Saviers," Mercer said. "He was behind 8-4, last 10 seconds of the match, he's on his back, getting pinned and then the animal comes out. He bridges out of a locked pin, turns him on his back and pins him with seconds left. I'm sure he's going to be hurting (today) but the animal showed up for the last 10 seconds of the tournament."
Steven Dyer claimed the 125-pound title with a 12-6 victory over Wrangell's Nic Aston. Dyer also defeated Mt. Edgecumbe's Ernest Keith en route to the title.
Juneau's Clinton Clark took the 140-pound championship with an 8-4 win over Josh Dunham of Petersburg.
Clark pinned his semifinal and quarterfinal opponents as Mercer dubbed him his "movingest" wrestler of the tournament for his nonstop onslaught of takedown attempts.
"Clinton Clark was amazing this weekend," Mercer said. "He was just going for it. He was my movingest wrestler. He went from one shot to the next and didn't care if it worked or not. He just kept going. He did really well."
At 152 pounds, Juneau's Matt Barry dominated the competition. He earned a third-period pin over Craig's Rudy Johanson in the final and had major-decision victories over Wrangell's Jeff Davidson and Chris McMurren.
"That kid is one of the best scramblers," Mercer said of Barry. "He makes magic out of anything. He flows, he doesn't panic and has good mat-sense."
Juneau's Jake Mason grabbed the 215-pound title with an 11-1 major decision over Craig's Cole Anderson.
The team started wrestling on Friday in a round-robin format, and Mercer said his team suffered from cobwebs in the beginning. The team shook them out by Saturday, however, as the team claimed the tournament title.
"These guys really stepped up," Mercer said. "From Friday to Saturday I saw huge improvement. ... When you travel, you get jet lag, cobwebs and nothing was flowing. It was a little smoother today. I'm just looking forward to Sitka, and when Pilot comes around we'll be rock solid."
Juneau-Douglas travels to Sitka next weekend for another tournament. The Crimson Bears then host the Pilot Tournament on Nov. 18-19.
Tim Nichols, sports editor, can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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