Issaquah High School wrestlers give alumni entertaining week

January 17, 2012

By Bob Taylor

Almen Thorpe, Issaquah High School senior, has Dalton Mann of Woodinville in trouble on the way to a pin in his 132-pound match Jan. 11 on 50th anniversary Alumni Night. Thorpe also won matches by pin last week against Garfield and Bothell. By Greg Farrar

The Issaquah High School wrestling program, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, gave its alumni plenty to cheer about last week. The Eagles won four matches and placed third in the Jack Reynolds Invitational.

However, by far, the most fun the alumni had was Jan. 11 when the Eagles defeated two visiting teams in KingCo Conference 4A action.

On Alumni Night, Issaquah overwhelmed Garfield, 66-12, and downed Woodinville, 54-24.

“That was a real fun night,” said Issaquah High coach Kirk Hyatt, a 1975 Issaquah grad.

There were 55 alumni from classes 1962-2005. The list included Monique Ducey, Issaquah’s first female wrestler. Ducey, a four-year letter winner, competed for the Eagles in the late 1990s.

“She wrestled with the boys all the time,” Hyatt said.

Roger Wilson was another prominent person of Issaquah wrestling at the event. Wilson, who started the program in the fall of 1961, was Issaquah’s coach for 21 years. Issaquah had a 248-48 record. His teams won seven sub-regional championships and two regional championships, and often finished among the state’s top 10 at the state tournament.

“Roger was really glad to see a lot of his guys at the match,” Hyatt said. “My kids thought it was the coolest thing to see my coach there.”

In addition to the graduates, there were several parents of alumni who came to watch the festivities.

“We have been getting more and more alumni parents coming back to our matches,” Hyatt said. “I am very proud to see those people coming. At Alumni Night, the parents were yelling, jumping up and down, applauding and really getting into the spirit of the night. It was real cool.”

And the Eagles definitely gave their crowd something to cheer about in the two matches.

In the Garfield match, Torre Eaton (106), Jordan Hamilton (113), Louden Ivey (120), Max Tickman (126), Almen Thorpe (132), Jerdon Helgeson (138), Joe Tonnemaker (145), and Tucker Brumley (170) all had pins for Issaquah. Brumley has been a pleasant surprise for the Eagles this season. He is a former basketball player.

In the Woodinville match, Spencer Tickman (106), Thorpe, Taylor Evans (152), Andrew Ramirez (170) and Matt Solusod (220) registered pins for the Eagles. Tonnemaker won his match by a technical fall and Helgeson won with a major decision.

Issaquah also figures to attract a large crowd Feb. 3-4 when it hosts the KingCo Conference 4A championships. This will be the first time Issaquah has hosted a KingCo wrestling tournament since 1984.

The Eagles began last week with a 45-27 victory against Roosevelt on Jan. 10. Hamilton, Helgeson, Evans (152), Ramirez (170) and Jonathan Norris (285) registered pins for the Eagles.

Issaquah picked up its fourth victory of the week Jan. 12 when the Eagles overwhelmed visiting Bothell, 56-16.

Thorpe, Tonnemaker and Norris had pins for Issaquah. Max Tickman (126) won his match with a major decision.

The four victories boosted Issaquah’s KingCo record to 7-0.

“I am very fortunate to have a strong senior class this year. These guys have really been through the ringer the past couple of years. But they have gotten stronger and better. We have some underclassmen who have stepped up, too,” Hyatt said. “One of the best things about this team is that I have an incredible bunch of guys who are getting the job done in the classroom, too.”

On Jan. 14, the Eagles capped their busy week by competing at the Jack Reynolds Tournament at Mercer Island. Issaquah had 122.5 points. Yelm was first with 185 points and Granger took second with 178.5 points. Liberty was fourth with 112 points.

Tonnemaker won the 145-pound class with a 6-3 decision against Granger’s Abel Morales.

“After three years of always having been behind a guy who went to state, he has put his foot forward and is having an amazing season. He has really been fun to watch,” Hyatt said of Tonnemaker, who earlier this season defeated a state champion at the Eastmont Invitational.

Ramirez also won the 170-pound class at Jack Reynolds with a 7-6 decision against Liberty’s Jake Tierney.

Thorpe took second in the 132-pound class, Helgeson was runnerup in the 138-pound division, and Evans was second at 152. Helgeson lost to Liberty’s Conner Small, 5-3. Solusod took third in the 220-pound class by pinning Liberty’s Luke Oman.

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

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