Skyviews Shane Strausbaugh works South Anchorages Brian Hunsicker in the 140-pound championship Saturday.
Photo by M. Scott Moon
The Kenai Central High School wrestling team would have made Luke Spruill proud.
The Kardinals showed plenty of heart in going up against some of the best competition in the state and wrestled to a fourth-place finish Saturday at Kenai Central in a team tournament named in memory of Spruill.
“To be so young and so inexperienced and to take on South Anchorage and hang in there that takes a lot of heart and a lot of courage,” Kenai coach David Boyle said of his up-and-coming Kardinals.
South Anchorage won the dual-meet tournament championship, defeating Skyview 45-15 in the championship dual. The Wolverines were the state 4A runner-up last season and, along with Skyview, are one of the teams to beat this year. The Web site www.akmat.org has South ranked second and Skyview third, both behind Wasilla.
Skyview advanced to the title dual by beating Homer Friday and Chugiak Saturday. South opened the tournament with a win over Soldotna, then beat Kenai in the semifinals.
While every match was close, the Panthers had just four wrestlers win matches against a deep South team. Michaela Hutchison won by 7-1 decision at 103 pounds, Eli Hutchison won at 135 by a 6-2 decision, Clark Buffington recorded a pin in 4:36 at 145 pounds and Eddie Buffington took a 9-4 decision at 160.
“It’s exciting,” Clark Buffington said of the weekend’s competition. “South is No. 2 right now. I think we did alright against them. Hopefully, we can work on what we need to, come back and beat them at state.”
Chris Brewster (119), Mike Petrovich (215) and Jaryd Anderson (275) each won by fall for the Wolverines.
“We had a lot of fun,” said South coach Tom Ritchie Jr. “We wrestled four duals. It was well worth it. The competition was great.”
Ritchie said the tournament was a great way to get his team back into the swing after the Christmas break and added that he liked the team dual meet format.
“It’s spectator-friendly, and the kids know exactly when they’re wrestling. Plus, it’s more of a team thing,” Ritchie said.
For Kenai, making the third-place match was quite an accomplishment.
“Friday, we beat Eagle River for our second win this year,” Boyle said. “We have a very young, very inexperienced team. We defeated Eagle River and wrestled really well today (Saturday) and faced maybe the best team in the state in South.”
While the Kardinals fell to South and to Chugiak in the third-place dual, Boyle said he sees noticeable improvement in his team from week to week. He said he was particularly impressed with freshman 103-pounder John Hughes and first-year wrestler Chris Osbekoff, a 112-pounder, over the weekend.
Homer defeated Soldotna in the fifth-place dual after dropping its tournament opener to Chugiak. Soldotna opened with a loss to South, then dropped a dual to Eagle River.
The tournament was organized in memory of Luke Spruill, a 1995 Kenai Central graduate who overcame a great deal of adversity to wrestle at the University of Iowa, one of the top collegiate teams in the country. Spruill returned to Kenai and was co-coach of the Kardinals for the 2003-04 season, but died in a commercial fishing accident in Bristol Bay on June 18, 2004.
Skyviews Luke Morse and South Anchorages Brian Dennehey wrestle in the 125-category during the championship round of the Luke Spruill Memorial at Kenai Saturday evening.
Photo by M. Scott Moon
An award in Spruill’s memory for the Most Inspirational wrestler was given to Kenai’s Jaron Dambacher at the conclusion of the meet.
Boyle said he’d like to see the tournament become an annual event.
“We’ll try and continue it. It’s nice to be able to honor Luke Spruill, who was such an inspirational figure in Kenai wrestling,” Boyle said.
Luke Spruill Memorial Wrestling Tournament
Friday and Saturday
at Kenai Central High School
Championship dual meet
South Anchorage 45, Skyview 15
275 Jaryd Anderson, SA, f. Russ Bacon, 1:13
103 Michaela Hutchison, Sky, d. Ross Edelen, 7-1
112 Jacob Sanders, SA, d. Danny Maciariello, 10-3
119 Chris Brewster, SA, f. Alex Janorschki, 0:49
125 Brian Dennehey, SA, d. Luke Morse, 7-4
130 Blake Brown, SA, forfeit
135 Eli Hutchison, Sky, d. Matt Blakeslee, 6-2
140 Brian Hunsicker, SA, d. Shane Strausbaugh, 5-0
145 Clark Buffington, Sky, f. Nathan Williamson, 4:36
152 Nick Bollerud, SA, d. Mike Burlison, 7-2
160 Eddie Buffington, Sky, d. Jessy Amos, 9-4
171 Karl Coulombe, SA, d. Eric Rodgers, 8-3
189 Scott Lucas, SA, f. Josh Carlon, 5:00
215 Mike Petrovich, SA, f. Nick Hann, 1:10
Third-pace dual meet
Chugiak 61, Kenai 17
275 Mitchell Canavan, Ken, f. Tyler Swain, 3:31
103 Jon Ross, Chu, m.d. John Hughes, 10-2
112 Stephen Kichura, Chu, f. Chris Osbekoff, 2:52
119 Aaron Agosti, Ken, t.f. Simo Devine, 19-2
125 John O’Hara, Chu, f. Freddie John, 3:11
130 Brandon Gebel, Chu, f. Anthony Borromeo, 3:28
135 Dan Tol, Chu, injury default, Duncan Harris
140 Cody Booth, Ken, f. Sam Carlson, 2nd pd.
145 Quincy Voris, Chu, forfeit
152 Nolan McBryde, Chu, f. Justin Hensler, 1st pd.
160 Brad Jorgensen, Chu, f. Jaron Dambacher, 2nd pd.
171 Cayle Byers, Chu, forfeit
189 Rory McBryde, Chu, d. Michael Dormady, 5-2
215 Chris Cuff, Chu, f. Halyn Lipps, 1st pd.
Fifth-place dual meet
Homer 45, Soldotna 34
215 Jose Gomez, Sol, f. Ben Hawkins, 2:51
275 Matthew Strieby, Sol, f. Michael Fielding, 0:37
103 Ben Daigle, Hom, f. Meg Pruett, 1:10
112 Colton Carrol, Sol, f. Brittney Wyatt, 0:29
119 Robby Brymer, Hom, forfeit
125 Simeon Daigle, Hom, f. Delbert Leavitt, 1:07
130 David Ballard, Hom, forfeit
135 Kraig Morris, Sol, forfeit
140 Eric Weinfurter, Hom, f. Michael Ragsdale, 5:48
145 Camron Hagen, Hom, f. Bryan Parson, 3:54
152 Erick Morris, Sol, f. Tris Brymer, 3:02
160 Brandon Weaver, Hom, d. Jared Weaver, 16-13
171 Igor Muraro, Hom, forfeit
189 Ethan Waters, Sol, m.d. Tad Martin, 13-4
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