Trotter makes good on promise

A year after Decatur senior Ryan Trotter promised himself he was going to win a state title — and only he could stop himself from reaching that goal — he came through with a win.

On Saturday, Trotter became the first Decatur wrestler to ever win a state championship. Trotter dominated the 103-pound weight class on his way to a championship at Mat Classic, the state wrestling finals in the Tacoma Dome Friday and Saturday.

“If somebody had to do it, I’m glad it’s me,” Trotter said of being the first Decatur wrestler to win a state title.

Trotter pinned Cory Vombaur of Evergreen midway through the second period in the championship match.

“I’m real proud of him,” Decatur coach Mike Bressler said. “He pretty much walked through everybody. He’s the kind of kid who loves to wrestle and continued to wrestle every summer. He’s put his time in. He deserves.”

Vombaur and Trotter had wrestled twice before at tournaments this season — Trotter won close matches both times, including an 8-5 win for the regional championship. But the state finals match was an entirely new experience.

“It’s exhilarating,” Trotter said. “My adrenaline was pumping. I’d wrestled him twice before, but I felt like I didn’t know who he was. It didn’t matter who he was. The only thing I heard was my own heart beating.”

Trotter never allowed Vombaur a point and had a 2-0 lead when he pinned him 2:54 into the match.

Trotter was the definition of domination en route to the finals.

In his opening-round match, he beat Travis Warrington of Lake Stevens 20-5 for a technical fall. He then beat Auburn’s Maurice Lopez 14-4. He beat John Hanks of Marysville-Pilchuck 14-9 to make it to the finals.

Last year at state, Trotter placed seventh in the 112-pound weight class.

After his final match last season, Trotter said, “After I got seventh, I was like, I didn’t want to be here anymore. Watching the finals, I was thinking, I should be there. They may have beat me, but they’re not better than me. I’m disappointed, but I still have one more year. I know how hard I have to work.”

Trotter put in the extra work. He dropped down to 103 pounds this year after wrestling at 112 pounds last season.

“I pretty much said I’m going to do it and nobody is going to stop me,” Trotter said. “Only I can stop myself, and I’m not going to do that. The only thing that kept me from winning last year was my size. So I didn’t want to come all the way to state and have size be a factor.”

He wrestled once at 112 this season and got beat.

“I was thinking, ‘This guy is too big. I can’t move him.’ ” Trotter said. “It’s my senior year and I wanted to go out with a bang.”

Trotter weighed in at the start of the season at 116 pounds, but lost the weight by running and practicing hard. He also eliminated the excess calories from his diet.

“Winning state has been a goal of mine since I was a sophomore,” Trotter said. “It didn’t’ work out last year. I’m glad it did this year.”

Trotter started wrestling in the seventh grade at Sacajawea Junior High.

“He deserves it,” said Decatur teammate Jason Bressler. “He works his butt off and he just dominates. We tried to get him to 103 pounds last year, but he kept saying he was a 112 pounder. This year he listened to us.”

Other state wrestling results As a team, Decatur finished 13th with 42.5 points.

“The kids have done a fantastic job this season,” coach Bressler said. “I’m real proud of my seniors. They were the ones that helped turn this program around. Win or lose at state, they are the ones that have done this.”

Sophomore Kyle Bressler at 171 pounds was the only other Gator to place at state. He finished fifth after beating Cascadesenior Jesse Erickson 6-1 in the fifth- and sixth-place finals match. Bressler lost a heartbreaker to Gonzaga Prep senior Kyle Malone 4-3. Bressler then beat Erickson for fifth place.

Decatur senior Brandon Bell at 140 pounds won his opening match of the state tournament 3-2 over Rory Douglas of Cascade. Bell then lost to eventual third-place finisher Bryan Seibel of Moses Lake. Bell was then eliminated from the consolation round after a 4-2 loss to Marcus Garthe of Lake Washington.

At 145 pounds, Decatur senior Erik Honda lost his opening round match 12-7 to Stephen Folden of Kentwood. Honda then beat Oak Harbor’s Brent Thompson 12-10, but was eliminated from the tournament when he was pinned by eventual fifth-place finisher Eric Garcia of Moses Lake.

Also at 145 pounds, Jefferson senior Todd Turner was pinned by Tahoma’s Nick Johnson in his first match, then lost 7-3 to Lewis and Clark’s Zac Robson.

At 160 pounds, Decatur senior Jason Bressler beat Christian Anderson of Lake Stevens 9-1 in the opening round of the tournament, but was then pinned by eventual state champion James Pearson of Gonzaga Prep to get knocked into the consolation bracket. Bressler then lost 9-2 to eventual fourth-place finisher Evan Winslow of South Kitsap.

At 189 pounds, both wrestlers from the city had tough draws in the first round and faced the eventual state finalists. Decatur senior Dan Esbenshade wrestled tough against eventual state champion Ryan VanDoren of Mead, but lost 14-7. Federal Way senior Jeff Krogman lost 19-4 to Pat Bradley of Gonzaga Prep, who ended up second place in the state.

Esbenshade lost his next match 13-2 to eventual sixth-place finisher Ryan Anderson of Lake Stevens. Krogman lost 17-7 to Tyler Moyer of Central Kitsap.

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