The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Jaryd Cline
Sports editor 

Freshmen Dusty Dodge (152) and Blane Waddell (126) earn bids to Mat Classic while freshman Mason Conroy (126) waits as alternate


February 14, 2018

Jaryd Cline

Mason Conroy goes for the takedown on Blane Waddell during their 126 pound bout at districts.

Sending seven wrestlers to regionals, Goldendale head wrestling coach Matt Dumolt was hoping for a few more bids to this weekend's Mat Classic in the Tacoma Dome, which starts 10 a.m. Friday.

Two Goldendale freshmen, Blane Waddell (126) and Dusty Dodge (152), punched their tickets to state on Saturday at the District 2 Regional Tournament in Sultan, while freshman Mason Conroy (126) finished fifth, earning a spot as an alternate.

"Hopefully, it sets the precedent that they want to be (at state) in the future," Dumolt said. "It's a good experience for the three of them that are going."

With three freshmen going to state, two more Timberwolves were so extremely close to joining their teammates. Junior Brian Waddell and freshman Ivan Cazares lost bouts that would've placed them as alternates.

Knowing how to get to state was easy, with wrestlers needing to win two bouts before they lost two bouts, but the competition was fierce among the 11 teams from the South Central Athletic Conference West, Northwest, and Cascade Conferences.

The top four finishers in each weight class earned berths for state, with the fifth place finisher earning a spot as an alternate. Egan Lawyer finished third at districts at 182 pounds, but an injury forced him out of regionals while freshman Lucas Black didn't make it in as a 170 pound alternate.

Cazares, who was the No. 3 class 113 pound wrestler out of the SCAC, was pinned by Mount Baker freshman Eli Freeman in the first round. He met up with another Mount Baker wrestler, sophomore Gryphon Heiner, in his first match in the loser's bracket, staving off elimination with a 14-6 decision in which he was in control for the majority of the bout.

The first round of all the loser's bracket matches were shortened to one minute instead of two, and Cazares went ahead 2-0 in that opening minute. He held control for all of the second round, almost picking up a pin, but took an 8-1 lead with one round to go. He increased his points lead to 10-1, but got turned over, avoided the pin, and the time ran out for the winning decision.

Cazares then was pinned by South Whidbey's Andrew Aposhyan for his second loss, but had one more chance to serve as an alternate in a fifth/sixth place bout against a familiar face, Cle Elum's Tyler McCormick. Cazares had beaten McCormick a handful of times this season, including pinning him at districts, but on Saturday it was the Cle Elum senior who turned the tables with a pin and the fifth place finish.

For the second straight year at regionals, the Timberwolves had two wrestlers competing in the same weight class. Last year, Goldendale had seniors Mykhail Lembke and Michael Jagelski at 160 pounds, and on Saturday, freshmen Blane Waddell and Mason Conroy competed in the 126 pound class.

Blane Waddell was first on the mat, matching up with Sultan sophomore Willie Bennett, but was pinned with less than a minute to go in the first round. He did a good job to avoid the pin for a short time, but had his shoulders pinned with 38 seconds left.

Conroy, the third seed from the SCAC, won a 7-0 decision against Nooksack Valley sophomore Andrew Holder in which he was in control for much of the bout. Conroy went on to drop his next match to Zillah's Joel Coronel, setting up a bout against Waddell in the loser's bracket where the winner would advance to the third/fourth place bout.

Waddell edged Conroy throughout three rounds, winning in points 14-10 to propel him into the third/fourth place bout. Waddell went on to fall to his first round opponent, Bennett, via pin early in the second round.

Conroy, although you wouldn't have known it by watching him wrestle, hurt his leg, which affected him on Saturday. But he was able to pin Holder in the second round of the fifth/sixth place bout to earn the alternate spot.

Dodge went up against Sultan freshman Kameron Weaver in the first in one of the most exciting bouts up to that point. Dodge got the pin with around 20 seconds left in the third round, battling back after going down 5-2 to start the second round. He took an early 2-0 lead in the first, but got turned onto his back by Weaver late in the round, and did a nice job avoiding the pin until time ran out.

Down 5-2 to start the second, Dodge held control after starting up on Weaver, picking up points from a near fall with around 1 minute, 20 seconds in the round. He added some more points shortly before the end of the round, and was close to a pin, but time expired in the round with Dodge up 7-5.

Dodge started down in the second, as the two wrestled to a stalemate for the first minute and a half of the round before getting a reversal and a pin with 20 seconds left.

In his second, he guaranteed a state bid with a 17-4 decision over Mount Baker's Skyler Isaacson. It started slow with Dodge holding a 2-0 lead after two minutes, and a 4-0 lead going into the third, but a reversal and takedown in the third put Dodge ahead 12-1 with a minute left in the bout. Isaacson got two points for a reversal, but needed a pin to win, but Dodge wasn't letting that happen.

The win set up a rematch of the SCAC West district title meet between the Goldendale freshman and Granger's Diego Isiordia for the regional championship. Dodge fell in a 6-2 decision to Isiordia at Districts on Feb. 3 in Granger. This time, the bout was a little closer, but Isiordia went away with a 4-2 decision.

The opening two minutes were scoreless, and Dodge took an early 1-0 lead early in the second when he escaped after starting the round down. But a takedown from Isiordia gave the Granger sophomore a 2-1 lead until another takedown put him on top 4-1 early in the third. Dodge got another point from an escape with around 20 seconds left to wrestle, but wasn't able to pick up any more points.

"That match could've gone either way," Dumolt said. "It was a good, hard fought match."

Dodge said he performed better against Isiordia on Saturday than when the two met at districts, and they could meet again in the state finals if each is able to win their first three bouts.

One of the Wolves most experienced grapplers, junior Brian Waddell, beat the top-seeded wrestler in the 138 pound class out of the NWC conference. Waddell, last week's No. 4 SCAC West finisher, beat No. 1 seeded Kilian Cronk, a freshman from Mount Baker, in the first round with a 13-10 decision.

Waddell trailed for most of the first and second rounds, but went ahead late in the second with a reversal just before the time expired to put him ahead 9-6 going into the third round. It was an exciting last round, with both grapplers scoring multiple times via reversals and takedowns. Cronk cut it to 9-8, but Waddell picked up two more points via reversal, and two more to make it 13-8 with around 30 seconds to go. Cronk picked up two more points trailing 13-10 with time running low, but Waddell held on for the first round win.

He matched up with Highland's Gabe Westgard in his second bout, the West's No. 2 seed, where a win would send him to the title bout and to state. But Westgard, a junior, was too tough, going up 8-0 in points after two rounds before a scoreless third round gave him the winning decision.

The loss dropped Waddell into the loser's bracket, but he still had a trip to state in the sights. A win against Sultan senior Matt Johnsen would advance him to the third/fourth place bout. That bout, even though Waddell fell in a 14-12 decision to the hometown wrestler, was an instant classic between a pair of upperclassmen looking to go to state for the first time.

The first round belonged to Johnsen, who went up 2-0 early with a takedown, and got into good position, almost getting a pin, before the round ended with him ahead 5-0.

Waddell, starting down to begin the second round, got a reversal for two points, but the bout was halted moments later as Johnsen appeared to turn his ankle with 49 seconds left. The Sultan coaches and trainers looked over Johnsen's ankle, and a minute and a half later, he limped back to the center of the mat to continue the bout. Waddell picked up two points for the injury timeout, and trailed 5-4 as the bout continued.

After the short break, Johnsen started down, and pulled off a reversal for two more points, putting him ahead 7-4 going into the third with two minutes left to wrestle. Waddell recorded a couple of takedowns, letting Johnsen get loose a few times so he could try for points with the clock running down. Waddell was down 8-6 with 49 seconds, got another takedown, but control quickly shifted back to Johnsen, now up 14-10, with 15 seconds to go. But the bout wasn't over. Waddell struck for another takedown for two points (14-12) and was so close to receiving two more points for a near fall before the time expired with Johnsen up by just two.

After a lengthy review after the end of the third round with a pair of officials, it was determined that Johnson's 14-12 decision stood, sending him to the third/fourth place match.

"It tore me up. It did," Dumolt said of Waddell's tough defeat. "That's extremely emotional. It was really tough on him. That's the toughest part as a coach to see the disappointment."

You wouldn't have known Waddell lost by his actions after the bout. He congratulated Johnsen, shook hands with Sultan's coaches, and hustled off the mat.

"He's always a true sportsman," he added. "You win with grace and lose with dignity, and that's Brian."

Although he had two losses, Waddell's day of wrestling wasn't over just yet. He met up with his first-round opponent, Cronk, in the fifth/sixth place bout, where the winner would serve as an alternate for state. But Cronk was able to win the rematch with Waddell, getting a pin in the third round.

The Zillah Leopards captured the team title, by over 100 points, with Granger coming in second. Goldendale was 10th out of the 11 teams with 47 team points.

Zillah, 274. Granger, 170.5. Sultan, 166. Naches, 101.5. Mount Baker, 95. Nooksack Valley, 76.5. Highland, 53.5. South Whidbey, 51. Meridian, 48. Goldendale, 47. Cle Elum, 45.


Dodge and Blane Waddell are each guaranteed two bouts at the Mat Classic, while Conroy is an alternate at 126 pounds. The team heads up to Tacoma on Thursday at 10 a.m., and the first bouts kick off at 10 a.m. Friday.

If one of the four class 126 pound wrestlers ahead of Conroy injures himself, gets sick, or isn't able to make the tournament for any reason, Conroy would fill in. It isn't uncommon to see an alternate fill in. Just last year, then senior Michael Jagelski finished fifth at districts, but was bumped into the regional tournament after another grappler hurt himself.

Waddell will be the first Goldendale grappler to take the mat in Tacoma. He matches up with another freshman, Colton Duncan of Forks, in the first 126 pound bout that begins at 10:48 a.m. Duncan is the No. 4 ranked wrestler in the Class 1A ranks among 126 pounders according to Forks also is the No. 2 ranked team among 1A schools, according to the same website.

Jaryd Cline

Freshman Dusty Dodge reacts after his pin against Zillah's Neo Crossley during the SCAC West District meet on Feb. 3 in Granger.

If Conroy isn't able to get into the tournament as an alternate, then Dodge will be the next Goldendale wrestler to compete. He is slated to take on Connell freshman Jaxsen Tuttle in his first bout at noon.

In the most current rankings on, Dodge comes in as the No. 5 wrestler at 152 pounds, while Granger's Isiordia is No. 4, and Zillah's Neo Crossley at No. 8. Dodge is the only freshman 152 pound wrestler ranked. There are just 13 freshmen wrestlers statewide (1A) who are ranked within the top eight of their respective weight classes.

If Dodge is able to win his first bout, he would face a tough, experienced wrestler in the second in Chelan senior Erik Alcala or Montesano senior Carson Klinger. Those two are ranked Nos. 6 and 7 behind Dodge in the 152 pound rankings.


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