All season long, there’s been a sense of focus surrounding Cascade Christian High wrestler Teave Metzger-Magalei as he goes into each of his matches.
That focus showed Saturday at the Rumble by the Riverside wrestling tournament at Auburn Riverside High.
Metzger-Magalei had a strong tournament showing, winning a championship in the 195-pound bracket. The Cougar wrestling team finished seventh in the team standings with 115.5 points. Eisenhower (229.5) took the team title, followed by South Kitsap (209.5) and host Auburn Riverside (181.5).
“He’s been locked in and focused ever since the end of the football season,” Cascade Christian coach Chris DiCugno said of Metzger-Magalei. “At practice, he’s been one of our top guys in getting others to work hard … he’s determined.”
Determined and locked in, Metzger-Magalei was not going to be denied when he faced Luke Purcella of Curtis in the finals.
Metzger-Magalei hit Purcella with a double-leg takedown in the first round. For the next two rounds, the Cougar senior captain fought off Purcella’s attempts at points as Metzger-Magalei earned his championship with a 2-0 decision.
“It feels good after wrestling a lot of tough guys,” Metzger-Magalei said. “I work hard with a lot of people on my team, so they make me better … It’s a lot of cardio, but it’s more of a mindset. If you’re on top or on the bottom, you have to choose to be the better (conditioned) person.”
I tried to outmuscle him, but he took me by surprise and put me on my back. I didn’t see that coming … I have to be smarter and not rely on my strength alone.
Peyton Berry, on his championship match
Metzger-Magalei was joined in the finals by teammates Sean Hussey (138) and Peyton Berry (152), but both Cougars came up short in their finals bouts.
After picking up pinfall wins through the tournament, Hussey hit a roadblock in the finals when he lost by a 5-1 decision to Curtis’ Devin Neil.
“Sean’s a little upset right now but the kid (Neil) wrestled really well,” DiCugno said. “He didn’t allow Sean to take his leg, and he was able to take Sean’s and hold him off.”
Berry is used to outmuscling his opponents on the mat, but that tactic didn’t work when he faced Devonn Keyes (South Kitsap).
Right from the start Berry was hit with a surprise attack from Keyes. As soon as Berry went to outmuscle and lock Keyes in a throw, the Wolves wrestler ducked it and hit Berry with a double-leg takedown before putting him on his belly.
Keyes was able to take control and worked his way to a pinfall (43 seconds) victory over Berry.
“I tried to outmuscle him, but he took me by surprise and put me on my back,” Berry laughed off after the loss. “I didn’t see that coming … I have to be smarter and not rely on my strength alone.”
Spartans by the river
Jon Williams (126) and Connor Wade both made the finals for Sumner at the Rumble by the Riverside, but neither Spartan was able to walk away with a championship.
Williams faced a tough opponent in Jon Weaver in the finals, but the Mariner wrestler proved too much as Weaver scored a technical fall (17-2) over Williams.
It was me trying to do too much with my good shoulder. I tried to roll, but he had me and that pulled my shoulder … It hurts now, but I should be alright.
Injuries crept up on Wade in his finals match. Already heavily bandaged on his left shoulder, Wade fought his way to his finals match with Eisenhower’s Julian Alonso. Compensating for his injury, Wade tried to out maneuver Alonso on the mat, but resulted in popping his non-injured right shoulder in the match.
The stinger resulted in Alonso picking up a pin in 16 seconds.
“It was me trying to do too much with my good shoulder,” Wade admitted. “I tried to roll, but he had me and that pulled my shoulder … It hurts now, but I should be alright.”