Forfeits hurt Patriots against Mount Si

January 31, 2012

By Sebastian Moraga

Shane Small (top) wrestles Mount Si High School’s Tye Rodne at Bellevue Jan. 28. Small, a 152-pounder from Liberty High School, defeated Rodne, 8-4, but Mount Si overcame the Patriots, 51-21. By Sebastian Moraga

The Liberty High School wrestling team tried but could not overcome Mount Si, losing 54-21 Jan. 28 at Bellevue High School.

Both teams, along with Mercer Island and Sammamish, went to Bellevue to make up KingCo Conference 3A/2A matches the mid-January snowstorm had postponed.

“I don’t think it’s ever helpful,” Patriots assistant coach Wright Noel said of the time away from the mat. “It takes a while to get the kids back in it after they have done nothing for a week. But all the schools have had to deal with the same issues.”

The delay caused the Liberty upperclassmen to not have a Senior Night, he said.

“That’s always tough on our seniors,” he said.

The squad that showed up on Wolverine Way to grapple with Mount Si was not a full-force band of Patriots, as evidenced by the four forfeits that gave the Wildcats 24 points. Liberty forfeited at 285, 195, 113 and 106 pounds.

“And we have a couple of kids injured, so that hurt,” Noel said. “But Mount Si did a good job.”

Mount Si head coach Tony Schlotfeldt said his team is working on being a tougher, more hard-nosed squad.

“It helps in the post-season if you wrestle tough and clean,” he said. “We need to wrestle with persuasion. We’re still young so we lack that experience.”

The Patriots did their share of hard-nosed wrestling. After 120-pounder Mike Shaw lost by pin to Mount Si’s Ryley Absher and 126-pounder Zach Toombs lost a 9-5 decision to Wildcat Tanner Stahl, 9-5, Liberty came back to win three times in the next four matches.

The first came when 132-pounder Nate Sjoholm pinned Mount Si’s Adam Taylor in the third round. Then, 138-pounder Connor Small pinned Justin Edens in the second period. After Jimmy Andrus lost to Mount Si’s Aaron Peterson by pin at 152 pounds, the Patriots’ Shane Small defeated Tye Rodne, 8-4, at 152.

Liberty would win one more match of the next six, Jacob Tierney’s pin of Cole Palmer at 170 pounds.

Next up for the Patriots is the conference championship, which they host Feb. 4. Any wrestler finishing third or higher makes it to regionals at Juanita Feb. 11. The top four wrestlers per category at regionals advance to the 3A state tournament in Tacoma, Feb. 17-18.

“We could see them again,” Noel said of the Wildcats. “That’s why these matches are important, so you can get a better seeding.”

The loss to the Wildcats aside, Noel predicted that better days lie ahead for the Patriots.

“We will be fully healthy at districts,” he said.

Long week for Patriots

Liberty also fell to Bellevue, 36-33, Jan. 28.

Toombs, Quinn Magendanz (160), Tierney and Luke Oman (285) had pins for the Patriots.

On Jan. 27, Liberty downed Lake Washington, 36-20. Conner Small had a pin for Liberty.

On Jan. 26, the Patriots lost a tough match to Mercer Island, 43-33. Sjoholm, Conner Small, Romney Noel (152), Noel Brandon (182) and Oman (220) had pins for Liberty.

Sebastian Moraga: 392-6434, ext.221, or smoraga@snovalleystar.com. Comment at www.issaquahpress.com.

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