Bressler stays unbeaten; Mea, Hoeft also win titles


Sports editor

Kyle Bressler is making it look pretty easy.

The Decatur senior remained unbeaten on the season at 189 pounds and got a little bit closer to wrapping up his second Class 4A individual wrestling state championship. Bressler moved to 32-0 on the year with four-straight pins at the South Puget Sound League South Division Tournament Saturday at Emerald Ridge High School.

Bressler, the defending 189-pound state champ, is one of 15 wrestlers from the four Federal Way schools to advance to the Region 2 Tournament at Eastlake High School in Sammamish Saturday.

The regional tournament will include the 10 SPSL South schools and the 11 schools from the KingCo Conference. The Mat Classic state wrestling championships are set for Feb. 20-21 inside the Tacoma Dome.

The road Bressler took to the SPSL South Tournament title wasn’t real bumpy. He picked up a 42 second pin over Beamer’s Zach Nelson in the first round, followed that with a 1:31 pin of Spanaway Lake’s Dan Robker, then pinned Jefferson Adam Summers in 2:47 in the semifinals before a 4:54 fall of Emerald Ridge’s Brynsen Brown in the 189-pound championship match.

Bressler has been looking forward to the regional tournament all year long. It will, most likely, yield a rematch of last year’s 189-pound state championship match between Bressler and Bothell’s Scott LaBrash (26-3 this year). Bressler pinned LaBrash at the 2002 Mat Classic just a week after being pinned by the Bothell wrestler at regionals.

Saturday, Bressler lead the Gators to a fourth-place finish at the 10-team tournament. Rogers, who edged the Gators for the regular season dual-meet championship, won with 318.5 points. Jefferson (163.5) was a surprising fifth and Federal Way and Beamer ended up ninth and 10th, respectively.

Decatur and Jefferson both advanced five wrestlers, while Federal Way got three through, including 135-pound champion Ludovic Mea. Beamer will take a pair to regionals. Decatur’s Travis Hoeft won the 125-pound title with a 6-4 decision win over Rogers’ Matt Larson.

Joining Bressler and Hoeft at regionals from Decatur will be Myles Peckman (second at 135), Taylor McCluskey (second at 215) and 275-pounder Barry Driskell (fourth place).

Jefferson got a pair of second-place finishes from Brian Moehrle at 130 pounds and Lionel Orji at 171. Moehrle lost to Rogers’ Tom Simmons in the championship, 11-3, and Orji lost to Rogers’ Chris Grady, 11-8, in the final. Jefferson’s Matt Moehrle (fourth at 112), Ryan Polson (fourth at 125) and Summers (fourth at 189) will all wrestle at regionals.

Along with Mea, who beat Decatur’s Peckman in the 135-pound final, 6-5, Federal Way will also take 119-pounder Trung Pham (fourth place) and 140-pounder Nick Harteau (third) and Beamer advanced freshmen Cole Bixenman (fourth at 130) and Peter Daugherty (fourth at 135).

Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565,

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