Goldendale freshman Dusty Dodge wins four bouts at Mat Classic, takes third at 152 pounds
February 21, 2018
Goldendale head wrestling coach Matt Dumolt admitted earlier in the season that freshman wrestler Dusty Dodge got his 'butt kicked' during one of the larger tournaments the Timberwolves competed in throughout the season.
That might be hard to believe if you've seen the 152 pound wrestler compete this season. But that's what Dumolt had in mind when he scheduled his young team of Timberwolves for a handful of tough tournaments around the state with competition from much larger schools.
It wasn't as much about compiling wins and high finishes at the big 20-school tournaments as it was about getting the kids on the mats against tough, state-level wrestlers in preparation for the postseason.
Dodge was one of Goldendale's most consistent wrestler over the season, medaling at many of the tournaments and winning a few, but his most important finish of the season came over the weekend in Tacoma. The freshmen won four bouts and dropped just one, a technical fall to Colville's Trevor Morrison, who went on to win the 152 pound championship, in the semifinals on Saturday.
After falling to Morrison, he won his remaining two bouts in the loser's bracket for the third place finish. Dodge became the highest finishing Goldendale wrestler since 2014 Goldendale graduate Kyle Wilkins also finished third but in the 182 pound bracket his senior year.
Goldendale freshmen Blane Waddell and Mason Conroy, both at 126 pounds, joined Dodge in Tacoma as the Mat Classic celebrated its 30th anniversary, but Conroy wasn't able to make it into the bracket as an alternate while Waddell dropped his first two bouts and was eliminated on the opening night.
Waddell was first on the Mats on Friday morning, but faced a tough test in Forks freshman Colton Duncan. Waddell couldn't escape a Duncan pin early in the first round and was sent to the loser's bracket where Colville sophomore Dylan Sahota recorded a first-round pin to knock Waddell out of the tournament. Sahota went on to finish eighth among 126 pound wrestlers while Duncan took fifth.
Dodge had little trouble with his first two opponents on Friday. He pinned Connell freshman Jaxsen Tuttle one minute into the first round, and followed by pressing Montesano senior Carson Klinger's shoulders to the mat 49 seconds into the second round.
The two wins on the opening day at state guaranteed Dodge a top eight finish, but he wasn't close to being done yet.
After the first two pins, Dodge faced his toughest test yet at state, and maybe of the season in Colville junior Trevor Morrison in the semifinals.
Of the four wrestlers entering Saturday without a loss at 152 pounds, all were ranked in the top 5 in the state in the weight class according to http://www.washingtonwrestlingreport.net. Granger sophomore Diego Isiordia (ranked No. 4), who edged Dodge in the championship bouts at districts and regionals, dropped an 8-2 decision against Deer Park's Brent Hodgson in the second round to fall into the loser's bracket.
Morrison finished third at last year's Mat Classic at 126 pounds, and as a freshman in 2016, won by pin in four straight bouts to capture the 106 pound state title. He was slated as the No. 1 152 pound wrestler among Class 1A wrestlers in Washington entering the Mat Classic.
He and Dodge hit the mat just before 11 a.m. Saturday morning for a chance to wrestle for the state championship, but the junior from Colville was too tough. Morrison won by technical fall in a 16-1 decision, giving Dodge his first loss of the tourney and sending him to the loser's bracket where a familiar face was waiting.
Granger's Isiordia, after losing his second bout on Friday, responded Saturday with a pair of very close winning decisions (2-1 over Chelan's Erik Alcala and 3-1 over Royal's Lorenzo Myrick) that matched him up with Dodge for the third time in as many weeks. The winner of the bout would advance to wrestle for the third/fourth place spots, while the loser would still remain alive in the tourney, wrestling for the fifth/sixth place trophy.
After he fell 7-2 to Isiordia on Feb. 3 in the SCAC West 152 pound title bout, and again in a 4-2 decision seven days later in the Region 2 152 pound championship bout, Dodge was able to win when it mattered most, pinning his Granger rival with around 30 seconds left in the first round.
The win over Isiordia propelled Dodge into the third/fourth place match with Deer Park's Weston Dean. Dean, a senior, was penciled in as the No. 3 wrestler in the state (www.washingtonwrestlingreport.net/1a-rankings) but Dodge continued to roll. As the power went out in Goldendale Saturday afternoon, Dodge powered himself to a 13-6 decision, securing the third place finish.
As impressive as the two days of wrestling was for Dodge, the freshman is just getting started. He was just one of two freshmen 152 pounders at state, and should continue to thrive with three more years of high-quality wrestling ahead of him.