The Goldendale Sentinel - Headlines & History since 1879

By Jaryd Cline
Sports editor 

Goldendale wrestlers finding groove as postseason nears

 

January 23, 2019

Jaryd Cline

Sophomore Blake Waddell has also been a tough competitor all season and is the team's heaviest wrestler competing in the 170 pound class. He's captured a couple of titles in his weight class during some of the tournaments the Wolves have competed in.

The regular season is nearing its end, with the last event for the Goldendale Grapplers slated for Saturday in Royal, and many of the Timberwolves are close to getting to where they need to be.

A consistent grind week in and week out, all season long the Timberwolves have been building for the postseason, which kicks off in a little over a week starting with the South Central Athletic Conference District Tournament on Feb. 2 in Zillah.

Many of the Timberwolves have spent the season wrestling outside their preferred weight class, and with the regular season coming to an end, are getting close to their desired class.

Recently, Dumolt said that if all of the Wolves are where they need to be weight wise when the regular season ends, Goldendale will be able to fill each weight class up to 170 pounds for the postseason, leaving just four of the 14 classes unfilled.

To build up to where they want to be for the postseason, Dumolt and the Wolves have competed in a handful of tournaments throughout the state this season. Some of those were large, grueling tournaments with bigger and tougher schools with wrestlers the team wasn't familiar with, helping them get used to the type of competition they would potentially see at regionals and state. That's something that Dumolt has liked to do in previous seasons, noting that the kids sometimes get used to competing against the same wrestlers from league and nearby schools.

But for the most part, Goldendale's grapplers have held their own in many of the tourneys they've competed in, with some coming away with championships in their respective weight classes.

Lucas Anderson, the team's lone senior, hasn't won a title at any of this season's tournaments, but has come on strong lately, showing a ton of growth over the season while serving as one of the team's hardest workers.

Earlier this month in Darrington, Anderson came away with his best finish at a tournament as a Timberwolf, placing third in the 152 pound bracket among a stacked field of competitors. Competing in a full, 16-man bracket, Anderson was on the mat for four different bouts, winning three, including an impressive come-from-behind victory to secure third place. The only bout he lost was to the eventual class champion.

With Anderson the only senior, the Wolves also have just one junior, Corbin Riley. The rest of the team is comprised of a big freshman and sophomore class. In the next couple of years as those young grapplers become bigger and stronger, the Wolves should be a force to be reckoned with in the SCAC West.

The Wolves are led by sophomore Dusty Dodge, who missed the first parts of the season but has recently returned to again make a run at the Mat Classic Wrestling State Championships. Dodge placed third at 152 pounds last season and could be primed for another strong run.

Sophomores Mason Conroy and Blane Waddell also are returners with state experience, although Conroy was an alternate at last year's Mat Classic and didn't make it in while Waddell dropped both his bouts in the 126 pound bracket.

Sophomore Blake Waddell, who's been the heaviest grappler for the Wolves this year, has had a strong season so far, picking up a couple of tournament titles at 170 pounds. Ivan Cazares and Nathen Priddy round out Goldendale's sophomores, while Bryson Stevenson, Blaise Payne, Reece Holycross, Andrew Lund, Bryce Waddell, Patricia Linebeck, Mikey Kessinger, and James Hastings round out the first-year, freshman class.

Playoff wrestling

Returning to the Zillah Intermediate School gym, the SCAC West District Tournament is set for a week after the final regular season meet for the Timberwolves.

Slated for Feb. 2 starting at 10 a.m., all Goldendale wrestlers will be at the six-team tournament to decide who moves on to regionals, which will have a different look than it has the last couple of seasons.

The top five grapplers from each weight class at the district tourney move on to regionals, with the fifth place finisher serving as an alternate in case one of the others suffers an injury, misses weight, etc.

Last season, four Timberwolves who are still wrestling this year reached regionals. Dusty Dodge was the highest finisher at districts, taking second at 152 pounds, Ivan Cazares was third at 113 pounds, and Mason Conroy finished third and Blane Waddell was fourth at 126 pounds. Another wrestler who competed in the postseason last year, Brian Waddell, a senior this season, has been out with an injury all season and won't make it back on the mat before the season ends.

Regionals this season will be held in Royal and the alignments will be different than it has been the previous two years. Starting during the 2016-17 wrestling season, wrestlers from the SCAC West competed with wrestlers from the Northwest and Cascade Conferences, which included South Whidbey, Sultan, Meridian, Mount Baker, and Nooksack Valley.

Those alignments have been dismantled and regionals will go back to how it was before, with the SCAC East meeting the SCAC West to decide which five wrestlers from each weight class move on to state. Wrestlers from the SCAC East side generally are tougher than those from the Northwest and Cascade Conferences, so regionals may be a little harder for the Timberwolves this season.

However, two schools the Wolves are familiar with from their own conference have dominated throughout the season. The Granger Spartans and Zillah Leopards both will be well represented at the Mat Classic in February and have a handful of wrestlers ranked among the top wrestlers in their weight class among Class 1A schools.

In earlier rankings by http://www.washingtonwrestlingreport.net, the Spartans came in as the top ranked 1A school and the Leopards No. 6, and many individual SCAC wrestlers were ranked among the top 10 in the state. Forty-one combined SCAC East and West wrestlers were included in the rankings, with 11 from Granger, 10 from Zillah, five from Royal and a handful from other schools. Dodge has been ranked in the top five at 160 pounds and Blane Waddell also was ranked earlier this season. Visit the website and click on rankings for more information. The rankings are updated frequently.

At last season's regionals, three Timberwolves wrestled well enough to advance to the Mat Classic Wrestling Championships, headlined by another second place finish at 152 from Dodge. Blane Waddell and Mason Conroy, both at 120 pounds, also joined Dodge at state as freshmen, but Conroy served as an alternate after finishing fifth at regionals and didn't get to wrestle in Tacoma and Waddell was knocked out after his first two bouts.

Jaryd Cline

Lucas Anderson is the lone senior for the Wolves this year and has been wrestling better and better each week of the season.

Dodge though, became the highest placing Timberwolf at the Mat Classic since 2014 after finishing third overall and lost just one bout to Colville's Trevor Morrison, who went on to win the 152 pound class championship. One of the highlights of the tournament for Dodge though, was in his third bout in as many weeks against Granger's Diego Isiordia, who was the district and regional champ at 152 pounds after beating Dodge in both title matches. They met again in the consolation bracket semifinals, but this time it was Dodge that came out on top after pinning Isiordia 1:37 into the first round. Dodge went on to win in the third/fourth place bout and was the only freshman to place in the 152 pound bracket.

Dodge, as well as a couple other Timberwolves, should be contenders to reach the Mat Classic this year, which runs Feb. 15 and 16 at the Tacoma Dome.

 

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