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WRESTLING: Decatur pins down SPSL 3A title, snaps Enumclaw's 54-match win streak
Mighty Enumclaw has fallen.
The Decatur Gators wrestling team did something no other program has been able to do for the last seven years Wednesday night. The Gators beat the Enumclaw Hornets in a South Puget Sound League 3A dual meet.
The 33-22 win on Enumclaw's home mat gave Decatur the SPSL 3A championship and ended the Hornets' ultra-impressive 54-match dual meet winning streak. The victory moved Decatur to a perfect 5-0 in the SPSL 3A and dropped Enumclaw to 4-1 in league action.
"It is an accomplishment to beat Enumclaw, especially since that is a wrestling town with a team of kids that have wrestled since grade school," said longtime head coach Mike Bressler. "The majority of our kids have middle school experience, at best. It is just a testament to the kids, working hard, believing in their coaches and themselves."
The Enumclaw wrestling program has been the gold standard in the SPSL and the state for years. The Hornets have won four of the last six Class 3A state championships under longtime head coach Lee Reichert, who retired before this season.
Enumclaw brought home state titles in 2008, 2009, 2011 and 2012, finished second in 2010. The Hornets ended up fourth last season.
But success is not anything new for the Gators' wrestling program. Decatur, under the tutelage of Bressler, won SPSL 4A title in 2002, 2003 and 2009. The Gators have been consistently in the top-three in the league standings since Bressler took over the program in 1997.
Decatur was very close to making history a season ago. The Gators came up just four points short of winning the program's first-ever state team championship, finishing second to University. Something that has given the 2013-14 Decatur team motivation to get to the top of the podium when the Mat Classic rolls around next month inside the Tacoma Dome.
"That did not sit well with these kids," said Bressler.
The Gators took the first step Wednesday night by winning the SPSL 3A title. Decatur was dominant against Enumclaw, winning 10 of the 14 matches contested.
Things couldn't have started any better for the Gators against the Hornets. Decatur won the first five matches of the night to take an 18-0 lead. Dennis Good got things going at 145 pounds and Christian Aragon (152), Brandon Zimmerman (160), A.J. Sarno (170) and Max Henry (182) followed with victories.
Like with any good team, Enumclaw made a run. The Hornets won four of the next five matches to take the lead in the team standings, 22-21. Decatur's lone victory during that stretch came from Joe Johnson at 220 pounds.
But it was all Decatur after that. The Gators won the final four matches Wednesday night. Trysten Dawson got things going at 120 pounds with a win. Sophomore Leviticus Arizpe followed with a win at 126, Spencer Berry won at 132 and junior Isaiah Diggs continued his dominant season with a win at 138 to finalize the score.
The Gators end their regular season Saturday at the 12th Annual Jaguar Invitational Tournament at Emerald Ridge High School. The Class 3A postseason kicks off Feb. 7-8 with the SPSL Sub-Regional Tournament at Auburn Mountainview High School. The top-two wrestlers for Decatur in each weight class will compete with berths to the Regional Tournament on the line. The Mat Classic state championships are scheduled for Feb. 21-22 inside the Tacoma Dome.
"The season is far from over however," Bressler said. "It is really just the beginning for many of our kids. The postseason tournaments have been the focus for these kids all season. The way we look at it, we have two weeks to get better, focus on the technical details and get in shape. The kids know and embrace the fact that now the real work begins."
Last season, the Gators had 10 wrestlers qualify for the state championships, including Arizpe and Diggs, who both finished in third place in their respective weight classes. Also qualifying were Dawson, Good, Aragon and Zimmerman. Dawson was the SPSL champ and finished sixth at state and Zimmerman was seventh at Mat Classic.
Decatur did lose plenty of talent from their second-place team with the graduation of Kyle Gleed, Nick Karis, Rowland Gaydosh and Spencer Smith. Gleed won the heavyweight state title last year and Karis (170), Gleed (182) and Smith all snared third-place finishes at state.
Todd Beamer 39, Graham-Kapowsin 38 (Wednesday)
106: Jugoona (TB) by FF
113: Brent Dykman (TB) by fall over Franke (GK) 2:52
120: Flores (GK) by fall over Baker (TB) 3:17
126: Rhodes (TB) d. Ogburn (GK) 4-2
132: Bryan Dykman (TB) by fall over Eaglin (GK) 4:45
138: Batman (GK) d. Castro 9-8
145: Ferreira (GK) by fall over Tafere (TB) 5:02
152: Schroeder (GK) by fall over Van Earwage (TB) 1:59
160: Avena (TB) by fall over Regan (GK) 1:20
170: Marez (GK) by fall over Jackson (TB) 5:53
182: Klein (GK) by fall over Hogan (TB) 2:28
195: Skannel (TB) by fall over Amadeo (GK) 3:26
220: Mojarro (TB) by fall over Lorenz (GK) 3:03
285: Lonyo (GK) by FF