Decatur’s Jacob Cassaday has passed this way before.
The senior wrestler returned to the big stage to repeat as league champion, this time at 182 pounds.
Cassaday pinned Thomas Jefferson junior Roman Shuck with a near-cradle grip 3 minutes and 51 seconds into their title bout Saturday at the North Puget Sound League Olympic Division league and sub-regional tournament at Todd Beamer High School.
“It feels good to get two (titles) under my belt before the season ends,” said Cassaday, who improved to 28-2. “I saw his knee close to the head and said, ‘Why not? Let’s go.’ “
Cassaday appllied the squeeze, ending the match and earning his ticket to this weekend’s regional showdown at Cavelero Mid-High in Lake Stevens.
The top four finishers from each weight class at the league meet qualified for the regional.
Behind class titles from Cassaday, Cristian Torres (120 pounds) and unbeaten 285-pound senior Quinzy Salu, Decatur (245.5 points) finished third in the team race behind Auburn Riverside (374 points) and Auburn (258). Thomas Jefferson (112.5), Todd Beamer (77.5) and Federal Way (48) were a distant sixth, seventh and eighth, respectively.
Cassaday was the league’s 170-pound champion last year en route to finishing third at state. He wants nothing more than to finish on top this season.
“I’m going for gold,” he said. “I feel really good this year. I’m just ready for state.”
Torres, a junior, pinned Auburn Mountainview’s Kamana Nahaku in 3:53.
Salu, 20-0, one of the state’s best heavyweights, pinned Enumclaw’s Austin Rewoldt in 3:10 for the crown. Salu was second at state last year.
Elijah Gandert (126), Bradley Tyack (145), Sampson Mitchell (195) and Roy Crawford-Taoipu (220) were second for Decatur.
The Gators’ Ian Mclean (113) and Zion Swope (152) finished third.
For Thomas Jefferson, Jorge Rojas-Chavira captured the 132-pound title by injury default over Noah Koester of Auburn Mountainvew.
Todd Beamer’s Landon Guaderrama was second at 106 pounds.