Liberty’s Conner Small comes up big with state wrestling crown

February 24, 2015

Conner Small didn’t achieve the dream of a lifetime on his own. The Liberty High School senior wrestler spent countless hours working toward a state championship with his father Bill.

The process was a long and sometimes painful one — Small finished fifth as a sophomore and third as a junior — but it was ultimately rewarding as he captured the Class 2A state crown at 170 pounds to close the Mat Classic XXVII, Feb. 20-21 at the Tacoma Dome.

By Greg Farrar Conner Small, Liberty High School senior, exults to his supporters in triumph as he wins the 170-pound state 2A wrestling championship with a 7-3 win over Sedro Woolley senior Jacob Farrell on Feb. 21 during the Mat Classic XXVII at the Tacoma Dome.

By Greg Farrar
Conner Small, Liberty High School senior, exults to his supporters in triumph as he wins the 170-pound state 2A wrestling championship with a 7-3 win over Sedro Woolley senior Jacob Farrell on Feb. 21 during the Mat Classic XXVII at the Tacoma Dome.

 

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Grappling to state — Four Issaquah wrestlers head to Mat Classic XXVII championships

February 17, 2015

The Issaquah High School wrestling team qualified four participants for the Mat Classic XXVII state championships, and placed fourth overall on Feb. 14 at the Class 4A Region 2 championships at Inglemoor High in Kenmore.

By Greg Farrar William Tickman (left), Issaquah High School sophomore, takes control of South Kitsap sophomore Ashton Schessler on the way to an 11-8 win in their second-round 106-pound bout during the Class 4A Region 2 tournament Feb. 14 at Inglemoor High School.

By Greg Farrar
William Tickman (left), Issaquah High School sophomore, takes control of South Kitsap sophomore Ashton Schessler on the way to an 11-8 win in their second-round 106-pound bout during the Class 4A Region 2 tournament Feb. 14 at Inglemoor High School.

The Eagles sent 12 participants to the regional event, and scored 85 points to finish behind champion Yelm (283), South Kitsap (153.5) and Mount Si (107).

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Skyline High School’s Nathan Swanson captures regional wrestling title

February 17, 2015

Nathan Swanson has spent a lot of time honing his craft, and the Skyline High School senior wrestler saw his perseverance pay off during regionals.

By Greg Farrar Nathan Swanson (left), Skyline High School senior, sizes up Sebastian Robles from South Kitsap in a second-round 120-pound bout on the way to his win by fall at 5:44 during the Class 4A Region 2 tournament Feb. 14 at Inglemoor High School.

By Greg Farrar
Nathan Swanson (left), Skyline High School senior, sizes up Sebastian Robles from South Kitsap in a second-round 120-pound bout on the way to his win by fall at 5:44 during the Class 4A Region 2 tournament Feb. 14 at Inglemoor High School.

Swanson won three consecutive matches and won the title in the 120-pound division, which will earn him a high seed and possibly a deeper path into Mat Classic.

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Patriots send three wrestlers to state

February 17, 2015

Three Liberty High School wrestlers will compete at the state wrestling tournament Feb. 20-21.

Conner Small (170), Romney Noel (182) and Joanna Moreira (135) each qualified for the Mat Classic XXVII.

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Issaquah wrestlers win KingCo title with a little home cooking

February 10, 2015

The Issaquah High School wrestling team made the most of hosting the Class 4A KingCo Conference tournament, scoring 243.5 points to win the championship at the Feb. 6-7 event.

Six Issaquah wrestlers reached the finals of their respective weight classes, and four won titles, to propel the Eagles to victory over second-place Mount Si (203.5 points). Issaquah had a conference-best 14 qualifiers for the Region 2 tournament, Feb. 14 at Inglemoor High School in Kenmore. The top five wrestlers in each weight advanced to regionals.

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Patriots prepare for postseason

February 10, 2015

As the 2015 winter high-school postseason begins, most Liberty High School sports teams are finding that everything is just a little bit different this year.

By Greg Farrar Samantha Kelderman (31), Liberty High School sophomore forward, drives to the basket and draws a foul from Bellevue’s Kathryn Roberts during the second quarter Feb. 4.

By Greg Farrar
Samantha Kelderman (31), Liberty High School sophomore forward, drives to the basket and draws a foul from Bellevue’s Kathryn Roberts during the second quarter Feb. 4.

The Patriots are now playing at the 2A level for at least the next two years. Liberty previously played at 3A, opting up a classification, despite the school’s size.

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Double downed

January 27, 2015

By Greg Farrar Gunner Starren, Issaquah High School freshman, pins his opponent, Redmond's Malhar Patal, halfway through the first period in their 126-pound wrestling bout Jan. 22.

By Greg Farrar
Gunner Starren, Issaquah High School freshman, pins his opponent, Redmond’s Malhar Patal, halfway through the first period in their 126-pound wrestling bout Jan. 22.

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Cancer taps out

January 20, 2015

Patriots wrestling team tops Hazen, loses to Highline in fundraiser tourney

By Greg Farrar Romney Noel, Liberty High School senior, looks at the referee while working to get Highline’s Connor Shea into a pin during their 182-pound wrestling bout Jan. 16. Noel got the fall at 1:47.

By Greg Farrar
Romney Noel, Liberty High School senior, looks at the referee while working to get Highline’s Connor Shea into a pin during their 182-pound wrestling bout Jan. 16. Noel got the fall at 1:47.

When the Liberty High School wrestling team hit the mats last Friday, they were tackling more than their opponents. Read more

Eastlake wins battle of shorthanded squads over Skyline

January 13, 2015

Head coach Dexter Beckstead was honest about his feelings after the Eastlake Wolves walked away with a 39-27 victory over plateau rival Skyline HIgh School in a Jan. 8 wrestling meet.

By Greg Farrar Adrian Abraham (left), Skyline High School senior, and Eastlake senior James Jensen struggle early for a takedown early in their 160-pound bout, as a foretaste of an evenly fought match with near-falls for both. It was won by Abraham, 20-13.

By Greg Farrar
Adrian Abraham (left), Skyline High School senior, and Eastlake senior James Jensen struggle early for a takedown early in their 160-pound bout, as a foretaste of an evenly fought match with near-falls for both. It was won by Abraham, 20-13.

“It’s one of those situations where you win, but you don’t have a sense of accomplishment because there’s so many forfeits,” Beckstead said.

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Patriots’ swim title tops year’s best sports stories

December 31, 2014

It was another successful year for Issaquah community sports.

By Greg Farrar The trophy looks awesome up close for the Liberty High School swim team as it celebrates the school’s first-ever state swim team championship Nov. 15 at the King County Aquatic Center, earned in style with a 2A-record 348-point total.

By Greg Farrar
The trophy looks awesome up close for the Liberty High School swim team as it celebrates the school’s first-ever state swim team championship Nov. 15 at the King County Aquatic Center, earned in style with a 2A-record 348-point total.

Athletes at the three district high schools took home conference titles, state championships and, in Liberty’s case, made history in 2014.

Here is a recap of the year’s top sports stories, in no particular order:

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