SOLDOTNA -- If you've got friends in town, it only makes sense to invite them over for a visit -- or a wrestling meet -- before they leave town.
So, with the Kotzebue and Juneau-Douglas High School wrestling teams still on the Kenai Peninsula after last weekend's Peninsula Duals tournament in Nikiski, a dual meet at Soldotna between the Stars and the Seward Seahawks became a quad meet Tuesday evening.
"They spent all this money getting here," Soldotna coach Sarge Truesdell said of the visiting Crimson Bears and Huskies, who are staying over this week and participating in the Anchorage Christian Schools Invitational this weekend. "Sometimes we take it for granted that we can go out and wrestle guys whenever we want. We try to accommodate them when they're here."
The Stars proved very accommodating as hosts. Each team involved had the opportunity to wrestle two dual meets as Soldotna and Seward each wrestled Kotzebue and Juneau-Douglas.
"It's good wrestling for the money we have to spend," Juneau-Douglas coach Bob Mahon said. "It's the best two weekends of wrestling up here, plus we get a chance to see Soldotna, Kotzebue and Seward."
Juneau beat Soldotna 46-12 and beat Seward 54-15 on Tuesday, Mahon said, giving the Crimson Bears a 7-2 mark in dual meets for the trip. On Saturday, Juneau took fourth place in the Peninsula Duals after losing to eventual champion Skyview in the semifinals 44-21, then beating ACS in the fourth-place match 37-25. In other matches Saturday, Juneau beat Bethel 37-25 and beat Dillingham 38-31. Scores from Juneau's Friday matches were not available.
"Pretty much everyone wrestled pretty good," Mahon said. "We moved a lot of people up in weights and they did pretty good. We're looking forward to ACS and getting into a tournament bracket to see how we do. We'll get the kids back down to their weights where they belong this weekend, but last weekend we needed to move them around for the team scores."
In Tuesday's matches Mahon singled out freshman Reid Dihle, who was making his first appearance of the season after suffering a finger injury and a cut eye from football. Dihle wrestled at 145 pounds (he's normally 140) and lost both his matches, but they were close decisions to ranked wrestlers John Haworth of Soldotna and Darien Draper of Seward. The Haworth match was a 1-0 decision, with Haworth picking up an escape after starting the second period in the down position.
He also said Willie Dodd and David Liliedahl both moved up one weight class and won by pins against Soldotna, while Anthony Manacio III (who has been sick all week) and Jestin Hulegaard both moved up two weight classes and claimed decisions. He also said Jonathan Moore had an impressive victory at 189, beating Shawn Weigle 14-12, while Jerrod Harvey filled in at heavyweight and pinned Josh Brantley. Robert Vicario beat Zach Ball and Seth Litzing at 215 pounds for Juneau.
The Stars, a young team, took the competition as a growing experience.
"We got brutalized a little bit, but it's part of the learning experience," said Soldotna's Mike Vasilie, who won his match at 160 pounds over Kotzebue's David Nolton by a 5-2 decision. "We have to work on jumping on our chances when they're presented to us."
Both Kotzebue and Juneau-Douglas got the better of Soldotna, but Vasilie's decision, Shawn Weigle's win by pin at 189 and Seth Letzring's overtime loss gave the Stars some positives on which to end the meet.
Letzring lost his match to Kotzebue's Dan Dallemolle on a takedown in overtime, but Truesdell was excited to see his grappler going after the win by attempting a throw of his own.
"One thing, if I can get it through to the younger kids, is to go out and die trying," Truesdell said. "Give it a whirl."
Juneau-Douglas 46, Soldotna 12
119 -- Manacio IV, Jun, maj. dec. Kauffman, Sol, 21-9
215 -- Vicario, Jun, dec. Boll, Sol, 4-2
112 -- Perry, Jun, dec. Ciufo, Sol, 10-6
119 -- Carrillo, Jun, maj. dec. Morris, Sol, 16-6
125 -- Dodd, Jun, p. Tachick, Sol, 2:22
130 -- Liliedahl, Jun, p. Chezik, Sol, 3:59
135 -- Manacio III, Jun, dec. Orr, Sol, 10-6
140 -- Hulegaard, Jun, dec. Goracke, Sol, 8-2
145 -- Howarth, Sol, dec. Dihle, Jun, 1-0
152 -- Pilot, Jun, maj. dec. Carlson, Sol, 9-1
171 -- Whitmore, Sol, p. Thatcher, Jun, 3:37
189 -- Moore, Jun, dec. Weigle, Sol, 14-12
215 -- Bass, Sol, dec. Rasmussen, Jun, 7-4
275 -- Harvey, Jun, p. Brantley, Sol, 1:40
215 -- Vicario, Jun, dec. Letzring, Sol, 5-1
Juneau-Douglas 54, Seward 15
125 -- Liliedahl, Jun, p. Fulweider, Sew, 2:36
140 -- Rininger, Sew, p. Hulegaard, Jun, 1:35
145 -- Draper, Sew, dec. Dihle, Jun, 9-2
152 -- Pilot, Jun, p. Miller, Sew, 0:39
160 -- Stone, Sol, p. Clock, Sew, 0:52
171 -- Thatcher, Jun, p. Eastman, Sew, 2:45
189 -- Loomis, Sew, dec. Moore, Jun, 13-8
215 -- Stirling, Sew, dec. Rasmussen, Jun, 3-1
Charles Bingham of the Juneau Empire contributed to this story.
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