The Juneau-Douglas High School wrestling team was only two points out of first place after Thursday's first day of action at the fall season state wrestling tournament at Kenai Central High School.
The Crimson Bears had 70 points through Thursday's championship quarterfinal round, trailing only the Skyview Panthers who had 72 points. The Region V champion Ketchikan Kings were in third place with 55 points, followed by Dillingham with 52 and Soldotna with 50.5 points in fifth place.
Among other Southeast teams, Petersburg was seventh with 49 points, Wrangell had 19 points for 15th place, Klawock was tied for 17th place with 12 points, Sitka was in 19th place with 11.5 points and Kake and Craig were part of a four-way tie for 33rd place with four points. Hoonah and Mount Edgecumbe both had yet to score a point.
All 18 of Juneau's wrestlers at the state meet were still alive through the first day of action, and only eight of those had suffered a loss in the double-elimination tournament. The Crimson Bears sent 10 wrestlers into Friday night's championship semifinals, which tied Skyview as the most from any team to reach that level.
Region V champion Vern Perry of Juneau reached the semifinals at 103 pounds by pinning Wrangell's Mark Peterman in 5 minutes, 37 seconds in the first round, then pinning Hoonah's Brandon Wright in 3:30 in the second round.
Anthony Manacio IV, another Region V champ from Juneau, reached the semifinals at 112 by pinning Houston's Chance O'Mary in 2:43 in the first round and Nikiski's Jacob Birkholtz in 1:51 in the second round. Klawock's Chris Schnur also reached the semifinals at 112.
Juneau sent two wrestlers to the semifinals at 119 as Region V champ Patrick Carrillo and Willy Dodd both advanced, as did Petersburg's Richie Deaver. Carrillo pinned Sitka's Conner Mahoskey in 5:46 in the first round, then pinned Cordova's Jacob Songer in 3:27. Dodd had a first-round bye, then pinned Jake Moe of Anchorage Christian Schools in 3:21.
Anthony Manacio III, another Juneau Region V champ, advanced to the semifinals at 125 with a first-round bye folled by a pin in 1:36 over ACS's Corky Jones. Kevin Thynes of Petersburg also reached the semifinals at 125.
Jestin Hulegaard of Juneau reached the 130-pound semifinals by pinning Skyview's Cameron Gardner in 1:57, then pinning Kake's Kyle Anderson in 3:05. Hulegaard will face Wrangell's Harry Churchill in the semifinals in a rematch of their Region V championship bout last weekend. Churchill won last weekend, but Hulegaard beat him at Juneau's Thanksgiving Classic.
At 171 pounds, Juneau's Brian Thatcher reached the semifinals by claiming a 6-3 decision over Petersburg's Drew Ware and a 7-5 decision over Petersburg's Kyle Hardin. Ketchikan's Jay Fulk also reached the semis, as did Region V champion Alec Pempek of Wrangell.
Juneau put two wrestlers into the semifinals at 215 pounds as Jerrod Harvey and Justin Rasmussen both joined Petersburg's Geoff Hall (Region V champion Matt Nore of Wrangell was upset in the first round). Harvey pinned Bethel's Billy Samuelson in 1:17 and then had a 6-3 decision over Bristol Bay's Bobby Egli. Rasmussen pinned Nome's Matt Michaels in 4:54 and then pinned Dillingham's Ephriam Lockuk in 1:56.
Juneau's last semifinalist was Robert Vicario at 275 pounds, the heavyweight division. Vicario had a first-round bye, them claimed a 6-0 decision over Ketchikan's Sven Westergard. Ketchikan's Matt Hamilton, the Region V champ, and Wrangell's Reme Privett also reached the semis at heavyweight.
Other Southeast wrestlers to reach the semifinals (in weight classes where Juneau didn't advance) were: Ketchikan's Joey Fama and Sitka's David Gauthier at 135 pounds, Petersburg's Mike Nilsen and Ketchikan's Travis Johnson at 140, Ketchikan's Stephan Haseltine and Petersburg's Jim Smith at 145, Klawock's Craig Wallace and Ketchikan's Tom Grass at 152, Ketchikan's Geoff Nordlund and Petersburg's Joey Boggs at 160, and Sitka's Darren LaDuke and Kake's Mike James at 189.
Second-round results are on the Scoreboard on Page 10.