There hasn't been a panther movement this powerful since Huey P. Newton and Eldridge Cleaver led their men in black through California in the 1960s.
The Skyview wrestling team swept through the 2001 Area 4 wrestling tournament in Seward Saturday like peace, love and tie-dye garments overwhelmed the aforementioned decade. They were everywhere.
Skyview, with 366 points, scored more than twice as many points as its closest competitor, winning the regional team championship easily and placing all 24 wrestlers into the Alaska School Activities
Association State Fall championship next Thursday through Saturday at Kenai Central High School.
"It's awesome," said Skyview coach Neldon Gardner. "We just made another step up the mountain. Our goal is to win the state."
Gardner said he wanted everybody to wrestle and that's what he got, placing each one of his grapplers in one of the top six positions in in each weight division to qualify for the state finals. And he put big numbers on the winning stand, with four first-place medal-winners and six second-place finishers.
"I felt really good about the weekend," he said. "Individually, a few kids have some things to work on. We're going to study videos this week before the state."
The day's winnings were capped off by a heavyweight win by sophomore Joel Morse. Morse bounced Cordova's Jonathan Boccus around through the first two-minute period, scoring points on a takedown and a near fall before time expired.
The second period, however, found Morse struggling with his 275-pound competitor after losing a coin toss and starting from the defensive position. Morse admitted that only the clock saved him from ending up flat on his back, as Boccus surged to earn his own near fall.
"I looked up and saw the girl coming to (tag) for time, and I was like, 'This isn't going to last long.'"
Following the second period, Morse cast his lot for a start from the offensive position, and that was all it took.
"Once I got him on his back, I just had to keep him there," Morse said.
This took all of about 24 seconds, as Morse pinned Boccus to win Skyview's final individual championship.
Skyview freshman Dallas Seavey stole a win from his junior teammate, Cody Phipps, with a decision in the 112-pound division. Seavey, who said he looked forward to the being in the state final, normally practices with teammates in heavier a weight class. This was the first big matchup between he and Phipps.
"I didn't wrestle with him too much during the year," Seavey said. "I'm excited to get to go to state, though."
Vance Gaddis won the 171-pound division with a pin with just three seconds left in the first period of his championship bout. He said he knew what to expect from his opponent, Marvin Borja, of Seward.
"I've wrestled him before," Gaddis said. "I knew he was pretty fast, so I tried to capitalize on his mistakes."
Borja's fatal flaw was a one-let shoot that Gaddis turned into a one minute, 57 second-fall.
Skyview's other stand-outs included Ben Nabinger, who took first-place in the135-pound division. Phipps took second in the 112 division, along with second-place finishers Alex Juaregui in 103, Brandon Cleveland in 130, Josh Miller in 135, Tom Wagenaar in 145 and Nate Morse in 152.
In the 119-pound championship, Kenai's Jacob Madrid captured the school's lone championship with a second-period fall over Houston's Travis Smith.
"The kid came out pretty strong," Madrid said. "But I destroyed his will."
REGION III-AREA 4 CHAMPIONSHIPS
TEAM SCORES -- 1. Skyview, 366; 2. Seward, 173; 3. Houston, 158; 4. Valdez, 138; 5. Cordova, 74; 6. Tok, 56; 7. Kenai, 54; 8. Nenana, 37.
103 -- 1. Jeremy Banner, Val; 2. Alex Jaugueri, Sky; 3. Zach Coots, Sew; 4. Elliot Hampton, Ken; 5. Amber Brown.
112 -- 1. Dallas Seavey, Sky; 2. Cody Phipps, Sky; 3. Ryan Buen.
119 -- 1. Jacob Madrid, Ken; 2. Travis Smith, Hou; 3. David Leach, Sky; 4. Charlie Rininger, Sew; 5. Brandon Grzyb, Tok.
125 -- 1. Jared Major, Val; 2. Dody Redford, Hou; 3. Mike Lasky, Sky; 4. Kris Gee, Tok; 5. Eric Johnson, Sew; 6. Dominic Stettinger, Sew.
130 -- 1. Jesse Belgarde, Hou; 2. Brandon Cleveland, Sky; 3. Gage Graika, Val; 4. Jake Savely, Sky; 5. Erick Amberg, Sew; 6. T.J. Olick, Ken.
135 -- 1. Ben Nabinger, Sky; 2. Josh Miller, Sky; 3. Mike Fulwider, Sew; 4. Brittany Shell, Hou; 5. Kyle Kirkendall, Val.
140 -- 1. Bjorn Olson, Tok; 2. Brandon Davis, Sew; 3. Cameron Gardner, Sky; 4. Jake Mork, Sky; 5. Daris Larson, Nena; 6. Ryan Dickey, Hou.
145 -- 1. Zack Rininger, Sew; 2. Tom Wagenaar, Sky; 3. Logan Dodd, Val; 4. Stephen Fisher, Cor; 5. Jason Keolling, Nena; 6. Liba Lavea, Sky.
152 -- 1. Darian Draper, Sew; 2. Nate Morse, Sky; 3. David Johansen, Val; 4. Daniel Harvey, Hou; 5. Sam Denison, Sky.
160 -- 1. Brett Erickson, Hou; 2. Stephan Lord, Nena; 3. Mark Rozak, Sky; 4. Tran Smyth, Hou; 5. Stephen Bishop, Val.
171 -- 1. Vance Gaddis, Sky; 2. Marvin Borja, Sew; 3. Ben Clock, Sew; 4. George Bjore, Hou; 5. Antonio Silva, Sky; 6. Eddie Olsen.
189 -- 1. James Wiese, Cor; 2. Zack Doyel, Val; 3. Justin Rainwater, Sky; 4. Patrick McDermott, Val; 5. Nick Pyfer, Sky; 6. Jermiah Davidson; Nena
215 -- 1. Russell Shurtleff, Hou; 2. Charles Fazette, Cor; 3. Ole Olson, Sky; 4. Ray Ledet, Sew; 5. Chris Lawrence, Sky; 6. Sam Howard, Tok
HWT -- 1. Joel Morse, Sky; 2. Jonathan Boccus, Cor; 3. Peter Charles, Tok; 3. Steve Barnes, Sew.
Region III -- Area 4 Outstanding Wrestler
Zack Rininger - 145 pounds.
Region III -- Area 4 Outstanding Coach
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