By TOM HESSE
Sentinel Staff Writer
Sitka High had all the energy Tuesday night, winning eight of ten matches at home against Mt. Edgecumbe in the wrestling rendition of the battle of the bridge.
In the biggest match of the night, Mitchell Boord of Sitka defeated Mt. Edgecumbe’s Michael Matthews 5-2. Matthews came into the match ranked second in the state by akmat.org for 182-pound wrestlers. Boord was ranked first at 170 pounds.
Mt. Edgecumbe coach Mike Kimber said Matthews cut weight in order to test himself against the top-ranked Boord.
“It was the first time he’s cut all season,” Kimber said. “He obviously didn’t wrestle his best at that weight but he’ll move back up to 182.”
The two grapplers went scoreless in the first round of their match. It wasn’t until Boord scored on an escape in the second round that the match picked up intensity.
For much of the first round both Boord and Matthews were cautious, but in the second both wrestlers began to shoot more leading to a board takedown that gave the Sitka senior a 3-1 lead heading into the third period. Matthews would score on an escape in the third, his second escape of the match, but with 10 seconds to go in the match Boord managed to get a single-leg pick and drive Matthews to the mat for his second takedown, giving Boord a 5-2 edge when the match was over.
“The Boord-Matthews match was a good one,” Sitka coach William Patrick said. “It was a close match between two really tough kids and Mitchell was able to get the edge this time because of some constant pressure on his part.”
Kimber said he was impressed by the way Boord and Jaren Sumuaung – who wrestled Jason Young at 138 – competed last night.
“Hats off Mitchell Boord and Jaren Sumuaung who both did really well and have had really great seasons,” Kimber said.
Sumuaung won 9-3 over Jason Young with three takedowns, a near fall and an escape.
Mt. Edgecumbe’s victories came in the 113 and 285 weight classes. Trevor Creed won for the Braves at 113 with a strong performance against Sitka’s Brandon Barger. Barger had one escape but Creed maintained control of the match and won by fall in the first period.
In the last match of the night, Gusty Akelkok defeated Chatham Conner for the second time in as many weeks. Akelkok and Conner were close through two periods but a reversal by Akelkok was the difference in the 3-1 decision.
Both Darin Davis and Josh Young won for Sitka by way of fall. Davis wasted little time in his 113 match against Luke Lineberger, securing the pin at the end of the first round. Josh Young also ended his match at the 132-pound level in the first round against Mt. Edgecumbe’s Katrina Osborne.
Sitka’s Elliott Anderson continued to show improvement in his win at 195, Patrick said. Anderson defeated Chris Journey of Mt. Edgecumbe 7-2 with a three-point near fall in the third round.
“The Elliott match was fun to watch. It was close and competitive. It’s kind of gone Elliot’s way all year long but Edgecumbe has wrestled well in that match,” Patrick said.
In other matches, Sitka’s John Davis and Mt. Edgecumbe’s Frank Hogendorn grappled to a close match in the first two rounds of the 145-pound match. Hogendorn had a 5-4 lead late in the second period but Davis, who was serenaded with “Happy Birthday” after the match by his team, scored a takedown to take a lead which would grow to a 9-5 victory when the match was over.
Patrick Nichols and Jaren Johnson accounted for Sitka’s other victories. Nichols won a close 5-4 decision with two takedowns and an escape at the 145-pound division over Ethan Mac. Johnson defeated Corbin McGinty 4-0 in the 160-pound match.
Patrick said he was surprised the way Sitka came out on senior night and that the Wolves had the energy on their side during the match.
“Edgecumbe’s tough, and it just went our way tonight,” Patrick said. “Our guys set the pace and that was the difference tonight. If you can go out, get aggressive and get on these guys it can swing the match.”
Kimber was less enthusiastic about the evening. He said the team suffered a let-down from their success the past weekend at Skagway and the team was off Tuesday night.
“It was a flat night for us. We came off an exceptional weekend. One of the hardest we’ve wrestled where we went 57-22 with 48 pins in Skagway,” Kimber said. “We had mental letdowns. We didn’t wrestle nearly as well as we could have. I was very impressed with my JV guys...they came out with a lot of energy and now the varsity has something to prove.”
Both Sitka and Mt. Edgecumbe will take a handful of wrestlers to Ketchikan this weekend for their last meet before the Regional Championship which starts Nov. 30 in Haines.
Kimber said his team is training well and that he’ll spend the next two weeks making sure the team is healthy and focused for the Regional Championship.
Patrick also said he and coach Aaron Routen have the team paced well for the end of the season.
“We’re right on track. I see no signs of over-training. I think we’re going to peak right where we need to be for the state tournament,” Patrick said.
The next meet will start Friday in Ketchikan.