Tahoma once again showed who’s boss when the Bears dominated the 4A Region II wrestling championships Saturday afternoon at Auburn High School.
Finishing with five champions and 11 wrestlers advancing to state, Tahoma secured an easy team victory with 226 points, toppling Graham-Kapowsin which had 150 points and sent six wrestlers to state.
Despite the impressive display, Tahoma coach Chris Feist wasn’t totally satisfied.
“Ten being the highest and one being the lowest, it was about an eight,” Feist said. “I think we performed really well. We had five out of six finalists win and we won all of our third/fourth matches. But there is a couple seniors that came up a little bit short and it’s always sad to see that.”
Tahoma has an opportunity to secure a second straight 4A championship next week at Mat Classic XV in the Tacoma Dome, but will have to overcome powers such as Lake Stevens, Mead, Central Valley and Graham-Kapowsin.
“It’s always easier to go somewhere you’ve already been,” Feist said. “We’re a firm believer in visualizing who we are and where we want to go. And having several kids that were there last year, it’s been nice, helping us lead the underclassmen that same direction. Ultimately, it’s going to boil down to who has their best day Friday and who has their best day Saturday.”
Besides the top two South Puget Sound League powers, Todd Beamer had a surprising performance, taking third place with 115 points and sending a second-best seven wrestlers including one champion.
Prior to this tournament, the Titans were not even ranked in the 4A’s top 20 by Washington Wrestling Report, but managed to beat ranked teams such as Kentwood, Kent-Meridian, Auburn and Puyallup.
“We’re just trying to peak at the right time,” Todd Beamer coach Brett Lucas said. “It doesn’t matter what happened before. We’ve been working harder the last couple weeks than we’ve had the whole year. The boys came to wrestle.”
“Last weekend we started to do well and this weekend we wrestled very well. Hopefully it’ll continue into next week.”
The upstart Titans were sparked by Jordan Rhodes winning 7-2 over fellow low seed Johnathan Aguon of Bethel. Both wrestlers overcame higher-ranked wrestlers in their previous two matches earlier in the day.
Elsewhere, Tahoma’s Matt Hopkins got past two higher-ranked opponents – Joe Gomez of Graham-Kapowsin and Thomas Kemp of Kent-Meridian – to win the 195-pound weight class. preps.thenewstribune.com