The South wrestling team defeated Kenai Central 53-15 on Saturday in Kenai to win the Luke Spruill Memorial Wrestling Tournament.
Despite the loss to the Wolverines, Kenai coach David Boyle saw plenty of positives at the Friday and Saturday team dual meet tournament. Kenai started out the meet by defeating Eagle River 66-6 before topping Soldotna 58-13 in the semifinals.
“That was a tough one,” Boyle said of the championship dual meet against South, which has three wrestlers ranked No. 1 in the state according to akmat.org. “They’re one of the best teams in the state and they are a classy team. Great wrestlers and great guys.”
South co-coach Bob Kirn said the tournament was a great way for his team to get going after the Christmas break. Kirn said the return of Spencer Augustin and Michael Hunsicker was especially encouraging. Both had not wrestled all season due to injuries sustained in the football season. Both came back and posted undefeated records at the tournament.
While South proved too much for Kenai, Boyle said at least his wrestlers were able to stay in the matches.
“By far, this is the best we’ve wrestled all year,” Boyle said. “We wrestled great against Eagle River and we were on a mission against SoHi.”
Boyle said a mental adjustment made over Christmas break helped the Kardinals.
“We started the year slow so we’ve been talking about mental preparation,” Boyle said. “Wrestling is a combat sport, in a sense, so you’ve got to be mentally ready to go out there fired up.”
Boyle said the highlight of the dual against South came when Quintun Pribbenow notched a pin at 103. The Wolverines were leading the dual meet 30-0 heading into that match. John Hughes finished up an undefeated tournament for Kenai by notching a 5-0 decision at 125. Boyle also said Freddie John had a solid tournament, while Michael Dormady, Mitchell Canavan and Kevin Krause all turned in great performances against Soldotna.
The Stars ended up third at the meet by defeating Skyview 40-37. Service defeated South’s B team 39-36 for fifth place, while Homer defeated Eagle River 48-30 for seventh place.
Besides Kenai’s victory in the first round, Soldotna defeated South’s B team 43-19, South defeated Homer 64-10 and Skyview defeated Service 39-31. South defeated Skyview 50-23 in the semifinals, while the consolation semifinals saw South’s B team defeat Eagle River 57-19 and Service defeat Homer 28-25.
Homer’s Simeon Daigle, the top-ranked wrestler at 130, was named the “Most Inspirational Wrestler” at the tournament in memory of Luke Spruill, the 1995 graduate of Kenai Central who died in a fishing accident in June 2004. Spruill was a state champion wrestler who went on to graduate from the University of Iowa. He then came back to Kenai Central to coach wrestling.
WOLVERINES 53, KARDINALS 15
152 Brian Hunsicker, Sou, p. Justin Hensler, 0:34; 160 Nathan Williams, Sou, dec. Jaron Dambacher, 7-4; 171 Mike Hunsicker, Sou, p. Kevin Krause, 1:44; 189 Jessy Amos, Sou, p. Ty Smith, 0:50; 215 Marcus Lopez, Sou, p. Halyn Lipps, 1:53; 275 Josh Kirn, Sou, dec. Mitchell Canavan, 2-1; 103 Quintun Pribbenow, Ken, p. Nick Aadland, Sou, 1:20; 112 Joey Aho, Ken, won by forfeit; 119 Kyle Kirn, Sou, dec. Chris Osbekoff, 6-1; 125 John Hughes, Ken, dec. Jacob Ansell, 5-0; 130 Keith McCormick, Sou, won by forfeit; 135 Chris Brewster, Sou, t.f. Freddie John, 3:37; 140 Blake Brown, Sou, dec. Cody Booth, 5-0; 145 Spencer Augustin, Sou, p. Devin Boyle, 5:43.
STARS 40, PANTHERS 37
152 Alex Rodgers, Sky, m.d. Jared Oleson, 11-2; 160 Eddie Buffington, Sky, dec. Erick Morris, 8-3; 171 David Japhet, Sol, p. Patrick Sheridan, 5:20; 189 Jesse Chumley, Sol, p. Nick Van Bruggen, 3:31; 215 Mathew Strieby, Sol, p. Ken Mahan, 0:32; 275 Nathan Strieby, Sol, p. Russ Bacon, 0:44; 103 Monica Hutchison, Sky, p. Meg Pruitt, 1:35; 112 Michaela Hutchison, Sky, won by forfeit; 119 Kyle Day, Sky, won by forfeit; 125 Dan Maciariello, Sky, won by forfeit; 130 Jesse Carlson, Sol, won by forfeit; 135 Luke Morse, Sky, p. Cody Sanders, 3:30; 140 Steven Burlison, Sol, m.d. Jared Thomas, 11-0; 145 Kraig Morris, Sol, won by forfeit.
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