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Heart and hustle

Goldendale wrestlers hit the mats in tough opening tournament


Jaryd Cline

Goldendale's Isaiah Rowley, top, works for the pin during a heavyweight bout during Saturday's Davis Invitational in Yakima.

It was a tough way to open the season, but that's what Goldendale wrestling head coach Matt Dumolt wanted for his group of young and inexperienced grapplers.

The Wolves wrestling squad hit the mats for the first time this year on Saturday at the Davis Invitational in Yakima, a 14-team tournament comprised mostly of Class 3A and 4A schools.

"We were definitely up against some really tough competition at this tournament," Dumolt said.

Although it was a rough day on the mats for many Timberwolves, Dumolt said he likes to schedule tough matches at the beginning of the season so his kids can get an early taste of what it's like to wrestle in the postseason.

"I like to start off the season with the toughest competition I can find so they know what their goal is to be a state champion," Dumolt said.

"Every one of them went out and wrestled someone that was extremely tough. So if they want to be a state champion, they've got to be able to meet that competition level," he added.

The competition was extremely tough. The Timberwolves were just one of two Class 1A schools in attendance and matched up against wrestlers from schools such as Tacoma's Franklin Pierce, East Wenatchee's Eastmont, Pullman, Ellensburg and Spokane's East Valley to name a few.

As a team, the Wolves wrestlers compiled 30.5 points for 12th place, finishing just behind South Central Athletic Conference rival Granger, who collected 43.5 team points.

For the Wolves, it was a good benchmark to see where they were at and what they needed to work on. Most impressive to Dumolt and assistant coach Nick Dumolt, was the Wolves' strength and conditioning.

Many of the Wolves were able to wrestle full strength throughout the three-round bouts which can last up to six minutes. Being in better shape than your opponent, explained Matt Dumolt, is a big benefit and sometimes can lead to upsets over stronger and more experienced competitors.

"If you can wrestle clear till the end at full speed, towards the end of the match if your opponent is starting to break down because of their conditioning, you have the advantage towards the end," Dumolt said.

"Even if you have a stronger wrestler or a more experienced wrestler, you can beat them with conditioning and tenacity, you know, heart. And there's so much of that and our team has that," he added. "We're a small team but boy, we've got that. We've got conditioning and heart."

Dumolt pointed to a specific match that proved how much better his team's conditioning was than some of the other wrestlers on Saturday.

Senior Isaiah Rowley, who actually was wrestling in his first-ever competitive match, outlasted White Swan's Jose Vasquez in his first match of the day. They battled into the third round before Vasquez wore out and was pinned by Rowley.

"He got to the point that at the end of his match, his opponent just basically rolled over on his back and went 'I'm done,'" Dumolt said. "He was too tired. Too tired to continue."

Rowley was Goldendale's highest finisher at the tournament, finishing in a tie for third in the 285 pound class. He fell in a closely contested match to eventual 285 pound winner Sam Grover, of Davis, in a quarterfinal match, but won two-straight loser's bracket matchups to tie for third with Ephrata's Efrain Bedolla.

He was followed by senior Cameron Read, who tied for fourth in the 220-pound class. Read pinned Eastmont's Isaiah Johnston 43 seconds into the first round but fell to eventual 220 pound titlist Isaic Anaya, from Toppenish, in the semifinals. He then lost a tough match to Franklin Pierce's Samuel Mortensen in overtime, as his opponent was able to record points first.

Senior Joseph Randall also had a strong showing, tying for fourth in the 195 pound division. He pinned his first opponent in 1 minute, 8 seconds, and won two straight in the loser's bracket before being pinned by Ephrata's Drew Anderson.

Jaryd Cline

Goldendale's Michael Jagelski, top, tries to roll a Granger wrestler over for a pin during his bout during Saturday's Davis Invitational in Yakima.

A handful of Goldendale's wrestlers were competing for the first time and took some lumps, but that didn't discourage them from getting back out there and continuing to battle.

"What really stood out to me was all of the young wrestlers got in there and wrestled tough," Dumolt said. "There were a lot of first-time wrestlers and first-year wrestlers and they all showed true heart and true toughness."

"All in all, it was a pretty good first-match showing," he added.

Toppenish won the overall team title with 217.5 points while Selah finished second after compiling 119.5 team points.

The Wolves return to the mats on Thursday for a double dual meet against Connell, Warden and Granger, all SCAC opponents. The meet is set for 6 p.m. in the Connell High School gym.


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