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By Jaryd Cline
Sports editor 

Wrestlers back after weekend in Darrington, set for Thursday's short home meet


January 17, 2018

John Longfellow

Goldendale sophomore Corbin Riley grapples with a Zillah wrestler during the team's first home meet on Dec. 14. Riley finished second in the 138 pound class at Saturday's Darrington Tournament.

The Goldendale wrestling squad continues with the weekly grind of the regular season, and are seeing some early benefits of the tough first half of the season.

The Timberwolves were on the road for a double dual last Thursday in Kiona Benton and were away for the weekend up north in Darrington for an 11 team tournament.

Five Timberwolves medaled on Saturday in the double elimination tournament, but more importantly, head coach Matt Dumolt is seeing the improvements his young team has made over the first half of the season.

"We did OK (in Darrington). Most everyone won and we're just improving," Dumolt said. "Every time we get out there we're just a little stronger."

Goldendale opened the week in Kiona Benton with dual matches against the Bears and College Place. With three empty spots in their lineup (106,195, and 220 pounds), resulting in forfeits, the Timberwolves fell narrowly (35-33) to the Bears and, as Dumolt put it, spanked College Place.

However, Dumolt and the team were more excited for Saturday's Darrington Tournament. Thirteen Timberwolves made the 280 mile trip up to Darrington Friday afternoon after practice, and stayed Friday and Saturday night after a full day of wrestling on Saturday.

The tournament wasn't as tough as some of the earlier competitions, with mostly 1A schools in attendance, but there were other talented teams such as Monroe and No. 9 ranked Sultan, a team Goldendale will see later at regionals.

More Timberwolves came away with medals on this weekend than in any other tournament this season, with five finishing in the top four and freshman Dusty Dodge emerging as champion in the 152 pound class.

Blake Waddell (160) and Corbin Riley (138) finished as runner-up in their respective classes, Ivan Cazares took third in the 113 pound class and Faith Hastings was fourth at 120 pounds.

Although no one else placed from Goldendale, nearly all of the 13 wrestlers won at least one of their bouts while some came up just short of reaching the medal round.

Dumolt also was excited about the way some of his freshmen competed on Saturday. Three of the five Timberwolves that came away with medals in Darrington were freshmen, and he also said Mason Conroy, Blane Waddell and others have really stepped it up lately. It isn't just the youngsters though, Dumolt has seen steady growth from everyone on the team.

"As we move on from the hard-knock tournaments, I'm seeing the improvements," he said. "The growth is amazing."

The Timberwolves head into the final weeks of the regular season and are set for Thursday's home dual meet against Cle Elum starting at 6 p.m. in the GHS gym, but don't be late, you might miss the action.

The Warriors have just three eligible wrestlers for this week's home meet, so it will be a short meet. With just three grapplers, there will be three bouts and the rest forfeits.

However, that isn't Goldendale's only action this week. They are out of town for the Stevenson Tournament Saturday morning starting at 10 a.m.

The next week Goldendale definitely has its hands full with a busy week. The Wolves will be on the road three times from Jan. 23 to 27, traveling to Cle Elum twice and Royal once in that span.

They are up in Cle Elum on Jan. 23 for the double dual meet that originally was supposed to take place Jan. 4 but was postponed. Goldendale will wrestle against Columbia Burbank and River View on Tuesday before heading up to Cle Elum again two days later on Jan. 25 for another double dual. Goldendale will compete against Royal and Wahluke in their last double dual of the year.

But, if you thought going to Cle Elum twice in the same week was a busy week, how about adding a trip to Royal City in there as well. They will be at the big Royal Tournament on Jan. 27 to close out the regular season. During that span, the Timberwolves will have two 260 mile round trip journeys to Cle Elum, and a 294 mile round trip voyage to Royal.

Dumolt is especially excited for the Royal Tourney, expecting 18-20 teams to be in attendance.


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