Soldotna's football team may have won its second consecutive small schools state championship 11 days ago, but the Stars' wrestling team is still feeling the effects.
Outnumbered and apparently out-conditioned, SoHi forfeited six weight classes during a dual at Skyview Tuesday evening in falling to the Panthers, 57-21.
"We've got a couple of varsity state qualifiers that are still up at the Shriners football (game)," Stars' coach Bill Carlson said of Les Baker and Matthew Strieby. "Even some of those guys (who did wrestle), it was evident that they were fresh out of football.
"All those guys only had a week and you could see the conditioning in all those football players that have only had a week because they came from state championship football and that crossed over into the wrestling season."
Carlson knew his team was in trouble from the onset, as Skyview's Bryce Wilson (103 pounds), Cody Stephenson (112) and Megan Janorschke (119) claimed victories by forfeit in staking the Panthers to an 18-0 lead before the teams even hooked up.
"It was definitely good practice, good competition," he said.
Skyview's Michaela Hutchison (125) earned the Panthers first points on the mat when she dominated Tyler Powell, jumping in front 13-0 before pinning him in 2:41.
Following another forfeit, Wes Mills (135) put the Stars on the board by toying with Skyview's Nathan Orloff. With four takedowns already under his belt in the first period, Mills flipped Orloff onto his back and then pinned him in 1:40.
Jared Thomas (140) then captured one of the more exciting matches of the night, earning a 7-6 decision over Soldotna's Kraig Morris, who earned points for an escape and a takedown in the waning moments of the third period but couldn't complete the comeback.
But the Stars got revenge in the 152-pound match, when Jesse Carlson edged Fred Pollard, 8-6, in overtime.
Leading 4-2 after two minutes, Carlson got caught in a cradle that knotted the match at four before escaping with 45 seconds left in the second to make it 5-4 entering the third.
After starting down and attempting to escape three times, each time being ridden out of bounds, Pollard finally earned a reversal on the fourth try but was then penalized for a potentially dangerous move which tied the match at six with 1:10 to go.
It stayed that way until the extra session when Carlson took Pollard down only 15 seconds into it.
Tyler Job (160) then made it 39-15 in favor of the Panthers when he pinned Jesse Faulkner in 3:39 and Patrick Sheridan (171) owned the Stars' Chase Jenson to the tune of a 14-1 score before eventually pinning him in 4:55.
"The Jenson boy's a sophomore but he's a solid kid, a real strong kid. He doesn't know a lot of wrestling moves yet, but he has potential," said Skyview coach Neldon Gardner. "And Pat's looking good. Pat was solid."
Soldotna's Nathan Strieby finished off the regulation matches by pinning Claude Mraz in 3:28.
Gardner was happy to win, he said, but also knows this won't be the same Stars' squad at the end of the season.
"They're missing a lot of kids ... They've got a lot of young, smaller kids that are either hurt or ineligible or not enough practice or something," he explained. "They have good kids in the building. And they could be a contending team for a state title if they had all their kids out and they were working hard and did exceptionally well. That's how good of kids they have at that school."
In exhibition matches, Skyview's Michael Eyre (160) pinned Michael Orth in 36 seconds, Thomas won a 9-6 decision over Cody Foust and Eddie Buffington (189) pinned Jenson in 2:51. For SoHi, Jeremy Dooley (171) pinned Scott Barker in 3:23 and Tanner Link (135) pinned Orloff in 37 seconds.
"It's good to get the matches in," Gardner said. "Our kids wrestled well."
Matthew Carroll can be reached at email@example.com.
At Skyview High School
Skyview 57, Soldotna 21
103 Wilson, Sky, won by forfeit
112 Stephenson, Sky, won by forfeit
119 M. Janorschke, Sky, won by forfeit
125 Hutchison, Sky, p. Tyler Powell, Sol, 2:41
130 Alex Janorschke, Sky, won by forfeit
135 Mills, Sol, p. Orloff, Sky, 1:40
140 Thomas, Sky, dec. Morris, Sol, 7-6
145 Burlison, Sol, won by forfeit
152 Carlson, Sol, dec. Pollard, Sky, 8-6, OT
160 Job, Sky, p. Faulkner, Sol, 3:39
171 Sheridan, Sky, p. Jenson, Sol, 4:55
189 Buffington, Sky, won by forfeit
215 Byrne, Sky, won by forfeit
HWT Strieby, Sol, p. Mraz, Sky 3:28
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