Issaquah grapplers showing promise

December 14, 2010

By Bob Taylor

Max Tickman (right), an Issaquah High School junior, keeps Skyline junior Jo Tono from getting out of a hold during the third period of their 112-pound match Dec. 8, won by Tickman 10-1. By Greg Farrar

Issaquah High School wrestling coach Kirk Hyatt has a young squad this season, but despite their inexperience, the Eagles are off to a good start in 4A KingCo Conference competition.

Issaquah won a pair of league matches last week. The Eagles defeated rival Skyline, 32-28, Dec. 8 and edged Redmond Dec. 9. The match with Redmond ended 39-39, but the Eagles won the tie-breaker to earn the victory.

“We’ve got a young crew this year. We missed three days because of snow and that didn’t help our skill level at all, or help our conditioning,” Hyatt said.

But he said he saw a lot of promise from some wrestler in the two league matches.

Against Skyline, Caleb Pearson, a 125-pounder, and Almen Thorpe, a 140-pounder, each had pins. Pearson, who had two older brothers who wrestled at Issaquah, pinned Jerred Kiss. Thorpe, currently wrestling at 140 but who will later move down to 135, pinned Christian Caldwell.

Max Tickman, one of Issaquah’s top returning wrestlers, won the 112-pound match with a 10-1 major decision against Jo Tono. David White, who barely missed qualifying for last year’s state tournament, won the 152-pound match with a 15-5 major decision against Ian Crouch.

“Tickman could be one of the top guys in his weight in the league this year, and White’s skill level is real high this year. He had worked real hard,” Hyatt said.

Issaquah’s other victories, which decided the match against Skyline, came from Matt Solusod, a 215-pounder, and Jonathan Harris, a 285-pounder. Both won by forfeit.

“Skyline has a real competitive team this year. Without those two wins in the upper weights, we wouldn’t have won,” Hyatt said.

Skyline’s Tristan Steciw and Cyrus Sorkosh each won by pins. Steciw, a 119-pounder, pinned Stefano Erickson. Sorkosh, a 189-pounder, pinned Cliff Hayashi. Other Skyline victories came from 103-pounder Joe DeMatteo (103), 135-pounder Collin Ehret (135), Dennis Stamper (145) and Jordan McCaslin (160).

Against Redmond, Jerdon Helgeson (130), White, Andrew Ramirez (171) and Jonathan Norris (285) won by pins.

Helgeson pinned Denis Carr in 1:57. White pinned Elijah Grady in 3:55. Ramirez, who moved up from 140, pinned Donovan Benson in 5:55. Norris, a sophomore, pinned Sean Donovan in the first period. Erickson also won his match with a 6-4 decision.

The Eagles went north to Blaine Dec. 10-11 for the Battle of the Border, but didn’t perform well.

“It was the first big tournament for some of the kids and part of the learning curve,” Hyatt said. “We still have some kids who have not made weight. We have a lot of juniors who haven’t seen any action and a lot of freshmen on this team this year, too.”

Hyatt will be assisted this year by Christian Beckett, a former two-time All-America at Brigham Young University.

“He will help us a lot this year,” Hyatt said. “His experience will be a real asset for us.”

Although the Eagles won their first two league matches, Hyatt’s goal is always to have the team performing at its best around league-tournament time.

Spartans post two wins

Skyline bounced back from its loss to Issaquah by posting two league victories Dec. 9 at Roosevelt. Skyline defeated the host team 51-30 and whipped Ballard 51-22.

Against Roosevelt, DeMatteo (103), Tono, Steciw, Caldwell, Crouch, McCaslin, Michael Mecham (171) and Sarkosh all won by pins.

In the victory against Ballard, Tono, Ehret, Toby Brown (135) and Mecham had pins.

Two Patriots win title

Liberty’s Hamilton Noel, a 152-pounder, and Jay Chakravarty, a 160-pounder, each won their weight class at the Battle of the Border Tournament in Blaine.

Bob Taylor: 392-6434, ext. 236, or Comment at

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