When you’re aiming to become the 13th four-time state champion in Washington state prep boys wrestling history, an early deficit can quickly capture an audience’s attention.
A collective gasp came over the crowd as Moses Lake High School’s Chase Classen — the 4A 132-pound third place finisher at state last year — scored a takedown 15 seconds into his 145-pound title bout with Orting’s three-time state champ Fred Green.
The takedown proved to be a wakeup call for the Boise State-bound Green. Green quickly scored an escape and a takedown of his own to take a 3-2 lead en route to a 8-2 decision at the 38th annual Central Kitsap Matman Classic Saturday night.
“I knew coming in, it would be a tough match. He’s one of the top wrestlers in 4A,” Green said. “I didn’t prepare myself like I should. That takedown was a real wake-up call. Once that happened, I knew I need to kick it into gear and I started wrestling my match.”
Freshman Alex Cruz gave the Cardinals a second winner by defeating Graham-Kapowsin’s Mason Eaglin, 7-3, in the 106-pound finals.
The pair led the Cardinals — at 2A, the smallest school in the 16-team field — to a sixth-place finish with 110.5 points.
Buoyed by five individual champions, perennial power Moses Lake took the team honors with 202.5 points, easily distancing itself from second-place Pasco with 161 points.
Bethel sophomore Dante Springsteen earned outstanding wrestler of the tournament. A state participant last year, Springfield threw his name into the field of potential state contenders in the 4A 152-pound classification. Springfield scored pins in his first two bouts, then topped Orting’s Brandon Rodarte, 12-4 in the semifinals before shutting out Pasco’s Luis Velazco, 10-0 in the finals.
“It was a fun day for me; all the hard work, time at open mats and extra sprints are really starting to pay off,” Springsteen said.
Derek Fry — Springsteen’s teammate at 170 — scored a first-round pin over Tahoma’s Dagen Kramer.
In the lone championship bout between reigning state champions, Pasco’s Timmy Martinez (4A 126 champion) and Orting’s Ben Gore (2A 120 champ) squared off in a see-saw battle at 132 pounds. Holding a narrow 5-3 lead in the third round, Martinez caught Gore in a basket cradle for a third-round pin at 5:18.
Graham-Kapowsin and Tahoma each crowned a champion. At 138, Corde Ferreira of the Eagles pinned Tahoma’s Ryden Fu in 48 seconds, while Justin Sipila beat Patrick Torres of Pasco, 4-2, in the 126 final.
Moses Lake’s Trey Long won the 113 title, and teammate Cooper McCullough took the 120 title — a 6-3 decision over Enumclaw’s Quinton Southcott. Moses Lake also got titles at 160 from Hudson Mauseth (over Central Kitsap’s Calvin Fischer), 182 from Nico Hernandez and 195 from Dylan Morris (over GK’s Dan Lorenz).