After tough loss, Bressler takes aim at state


Associate editor

Dating back to the first round of last season’s state high school wrestling tournament, Decatur junior Kyle Bressler hadn’t lost a match.

A year ago, Bressler rebounded after a first-round loss to Bothell’s Scott LaBrash to place fifth.

Bressler had won 31 matches this season until he met LaBrash again in the 189-pound weight class of Saturday’s regional finals at Decatur.

LaBrash and his unorthodox style outmaneuvered Bressler again, this time winning a 12-9 decision.

“One thing about wrestling is different body styles and wrestling styles conflict,” Decatur coach Mike Bressler said. “The higher you get in competition, the style makes more of an impact. (LaBrash) has a very awkward style, and it works. He doesn’t look very powerful, but I’ll tell you what, the kid can wrestle. He gives everybody fits.”

LaBrash and Bressler are on different sides of the bracket when MatClassic XV starts Friday at the Tacoma Dome, which means the next time they would likely meet again is the state finals on Saturday.

“Kyle is looking forward to seeing him again,” Mike Bressler said.

Bressler advanced after a first-round 20-4 technical fall of Redmond’s Mitch Colleran, then pinned Emerald Ridge’s Garin Heslop in 2:30.

Bressler was the only area wrestler to make it to the finals.

Four other Decatur wrestlers qualified for state.

“I hope they can go out there at state and wrestle to the best of their ability and place, if possible,” Bressler said. “If we have a bit of luck and some kids wrestle out of themselves, we could do something.”

Joe Isaac won a 10-4 decision in the consolation finals to take third place in the 215-pound weight class. Isaac’s only loss in the tournament came against eventual champion Yuri Malamura of Spanaway Lake, who is undefeated this season.

Decatur’s Hoan Do won a 5-4 decision over Tom Simmons of Rogers to take third place at the 125-pound weight class.

Decatur’s Dustin English and Dallas Harwood, at 119 and 135 pounds, respectively, qualified for state by finishing fourth.

Federal Way’s Ludevic Mea lost a 7-5 decision to Eastlake’s Matt Rose in the consolation finals at 130 pounds to take fourth place.

“I planned on going to state and now that I am, I want to place,” Mea said. “Everything is going well.”

Galen Hensley became Jefferson’s first state qualifier in at least three years. At regionals, Hensley lost a 10-3 decision to Lake Washington’s Colin Teteak to place fourth at 152 pounds.

“It’ s my senior year,” said Hensley, who was battling a cold. “I want to go as far as I can. It just means all the more.”

Associate editor Cole Cosgrove: 925-5565 and

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