The 44th annual John Rogers Wrestling Tournament over the weekend had several of the top wrestlers from the state showcase their skills inside the Rogers gym.
Many of Rogers High’s wrestlers stepped up their game on Saturday, but in the end it was Enumclaw squeaking out the team title over the home team. The Hornets finished with 226 points to the Rams’ 218.5.
“Enumclaw kind of came out of nowhere in jumping ahead of us in the (consolation) placement matches,” Rogers coach David Johnston said.
The match of the tournament came in the 170-pound finals with Rogers Dylan Sanders defeating Kent Meridian’s Cole Thompson in a 6-2 decision.
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“My arm’s killing me right now,” Sanders said after the match. “(Finishing) was all fueled by adrenaline and anger. I wasn’t going to quit.”
With Sanders leading 2-0 in the second round, the Rams wrestler had Thompson down on the mat. As Thompson tried to escape, the Royals wrestler had Sanders left arm hooked as he rolled out of the hold.
That move snapped Sanders arm straight behind his back, leaving only an awful noise heard throughout the gym.
“I told the doctors I was alright to continue,” Sanders said of his response to medical attention. “It’s my home tournament and I wanted to be there for my team.”
Sanders continued the match red-faced, countering Thompson move for move to eventually earn the championship.
Joining Sanders in victory were teammates Ty Wilson (160) and Wyatt Urps (152) as both Rams cruised to championship-match wins over their opponents.
Wilson, Class 4A’s top ranked wrestler at 160, very much looked the part in his meeting with Enumclaw and 3A No. 7-ranked Tanner Turnbow. Right from the start, the Rams top wrestler easily rocked Turnbow to sleep as he slapped on a cradle to roll his Hornet foe into a 54-second pin for the championship.
“I don’t try to focus on who I’m facing when I go into a match,” Wilson said. “I just to do what I want to do out there … I was able to get a takedown, and that allowed me to hook his leg and roll him into a pin.”
Urps’ pinfall win at 5 minutes, 10 seconds over Bellarmine Prep’s Tim Jensen may have taken longer than Wilson’s match, but the look on Urps’ face told a different story.
“I felt confident going in knowing I had a lot of momentum from my previous matches,” Urps said. “It may have taken (a long time), but I knew I was going to get the pin.”
For nearly the entire third period, Urps towered over Jensen as the Rams wrestler put and kept his Lions opponent on the mat. After Urps went for a quick roll up into a pin, Jensen rolled with him in an attempt to escape.
Instead, Urps rolled right with Jensen to slap on the pin for the championship win.
“He tried to escape a couple of times, but I just stayed on him,” Urps said. “It feels good to win.”