Kenai wrestling coach Dave Boyle walked to the scorer’s table, indecision written on his face.
The host Kardinals were in the midst of an intense dual meet with Homer on Friday, clinging to a 30-25 lead that had once been a 24-3 advantage.
The wrapped hand on 145-pound wrestler Cody Booth told the story of Boyle’s indecision. Booth had a wrist injury and Boyle did not want Booth to wrestle. Booth’s parents had said it was up to their son, and Cody wanted to go.
“My coach didn’t want me to wrestle, but I told him I’d wrestle and see how it felt,” said Booth, a junior. “If it didn’t feel good I’d ask the ref to stop the match.”
Booth said the wrist was painful throughout his match with Homer’s Tris Brymer, even though the adrenaline dulled the pain a bit. Booth trailed 2-1 after the first period, but came back to take a 5-4 lead after the second period against Brymer, who is ranked No. 5 in the state at 145 by akmat.org.
Brymer started the third period down and tied the match at 5 with an escape with 45 seconds left. Booth grabbed a two-point lead with a takedown with 24 seconds left. Brymer cut the lead to one with an escape with 11 seconds left, but Booth prevented any scoring for the rest of the match, sending Boyle and the Kenai wrestlers into celebration. Kenai would go on to a 39-28 victory.
“Cody Booth had one of the finest performances by a Kenai wrestler in recent memory,” Boyle said. “He was wrestling a very tough kid and he had a wrist injury to begin with. He came out and wrestled him tough.”
Booth, a state qualifier last year, said he didn’t want the Kardinals to lose another dual to the Mariners.
“Last year, we got beat by Homer in two duals,” Booth said. “I knew coach really wanted us to do pretty good.
“I knew the team needed me, so I might as well try.”
Immediately following the Booth match, Kenai junior Justin Hensler clinched the victory for the Kardinals in his 152-pound match with Brandon Weaver. The match entered the third period knotted at 5. Just under 30 seconds into the period, Hensler took Weaver down directly on his back and pinned him.
“It was huge,” Hensler said. “Last year in a dual meet, we wrestled in the last match and he beat me, so this one was big for me.”
In January of 2006, Hensler and Weaver hooked up in a dual meet in Homer in the last match with Homer leading 35-32. Weaver’s 14-13 decision gave Homer a 38-32 victory. This season, Hensler’s pin gave the Kardinals an insurmountable advantage heading into the last match of the evening.
The Kardinals grabbed a big lead early in the meet due mostly to forfeits. After Homer’s Eric Weinfurter started the meet with a 12-8 decision over Kevin Krause, Michael Dormady, Mitchell Canavan and Quintun Pribbenow had forfeits and Ty Smith had a pin to give the Kardinals a 24-3 edge.
Homer’s Ben Daigle got a pin at 112, but Kenai’s Chris Osbekoff came back with a pin at 119 to give Kenai a 30-9 cushion. Homer would then win the next four matches to make things interesting.
Homer’s Alex Hediger had a 9-7 decision over John Hughes at 125 and Robby Brymer kept things rolling with a 12-3 major decision at 130.
Homer coach Chris Perk said it was nice to see Brymer back on the mat. The state qualifier broke a thumb and ankle in the offseason.
“He was very dedicated to physical therapy and lifting weights,” Perk said. “We put this date on the calendar and he made it.”
Simeon Daigle kept things rolling for Homer with a pin at 135. Zack Mayes then came back from a 12-5 deficit starting the third period to notch a 15-14 decision over Greg Aho. Mayes accomplished the comeback by throwing Aho on his back twice with what he called a buck and roll move.
Homer didn’t keep the momentum from Mayes’ comeback for long as Booth and Hensler then stopped the comeback effort with victories.
With the dual meet between Skyview and Soldotna coming down to the last match on Tuesday and the dual between Kenai and Homer not being decided until the second-last match, the four Class 4A high schools on the peninsula are putting on highly entertaining dual meets.
“I predicted this last year that all the peninsula schools would competitive with each other,” Boyle said. “What’s making it better is that each school has two or three wrestlers that are ranked in the state.”
Kenai 39, Homer 28
171 Eric Weinfurter, Hom, dec. Kevin Krause, 12-8.
189 Michael Dormady, Ken, won by forfeit.
215 Ty Smith, Ken, p. Jarred Smith, 2:12.
275 Mitchell Canavan, Ken, won by forfeit.
103 Quintun Pribbenow, Ken, won by forfeit.
112 Ben Daigle, Hom, p. Joey Aho, 1:22.
119 Chris Osbekoff, Hom, p. Levi Catlin, 2:46.
125 Alex Hediger, Hom, dec. John Hughes, 9-7.
130 Robby Brymer, Hom, m.d. Freddie John, 12-3.
135 Simeon Daigle, Hom, p. Aaron Agosti, 1:34.
140 Zack Mayes, Hom, dec. Greg Aho, 15-14.
145 Cody Booth, Ken, dec. Tris Brymer, 7-6.
152 Justin Hensler, Ken, p. Brandon Weaver, 4:33.
160 Billy Edge, Hom, dec. Jaron Dambacher, Hom, 10-7.
160 Billy Edge, Hom, p. Donny Dormady, 1:52.
152 Devin Boyle, Ken, m.d. David Ballard, 12-0.
152 Ryan Bates, Hom, dec. Douglas Duniphin, 9-5.
103 Quintun Pribbenow, Ken, dec. Mike McNulty, 7-4.
Soldotna 57, Kenai 54
The Stars defeated the Kardinals in a modified dual meet on Saturday at Soldotna High School.
The meet was not a true dual meet because there were multiple matches at some weight classes. Kenai actually won 11 of the 21 matches, but Soldotna won more matches by pins.
130 Jesse Carlson, Sol, p. Freddie John, 3:48888; 130 Aaron Agosti, Ken, dec. Cody Sanders, 6-5; 140 Ryan Hanley, Sol, p. Greg Aho, 1:40; 152 Devin Boyle, Ken, p. Justice Elson, 2:22; 189 Ethan Waters, Sol, p. Wes Quade, 3:32; 215 Jose Gomez, Sol, p. Wyatt Quade, 0:32; 215 Mathew Strieby, Sol, def. Michael Dormady by injury default; 275 Les Baker, Sol, p. Mitchell Canavan, 3:59; 112 Joey Aho, Ken, dec. Meg Pruitt, 11-4; 130 John Hughes, Ken, dec. Delbert Leavitt, 4-1; 152 Justin Hensler, Ken, p. Jared Oleson, 2:22; 152 Jesse Faulkner, Sol, p. Douglas Dunphin, 1:59; 160 Erick Morris, Sol, dec. Jaron Dambacher, 4-2, OT; 171 Kevin Krause, Ken, dec. Jesse Chumley, 7-4; 171 Chase Jenson, Sol, p. Donny Dormady, 3:32; 135 Freddie John, Ken, p. Tanner Link, 4:19; 135 Aaron Agosti, Ken, p. Cody Faust, 1:10; 140 Steven Burlison, Sol, p. Greg Aho, 1:38; 152 Devin Boyle, Ken, p. Kraig Morris, 0:35; 171 Wes Quade, Ken, p. Jeremy Dooley, 2:41; 275 Mitchell Canavan, Ken, p. Nathan Streiby, 4:53.
Skyview competes at Jerry Palmer Invitational
The Skyview wrestling team competed at the Jerry Palmer Team Invitational tournament on Friday and Saturday at Bartlett High School in Anchorage.
The Panthers lost to Wasilla in the quarterfinals before defeating Bartlett to advance to the third-place semifinals. The Panthers lost in the third-place semifinals to Service.
Wasilla won the tournament while South was second and East was third.
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