Patriots’ wrestlers leave state battered, but better

February 19, 2013

Her face was caked in sweat, her shoulders had mat burns and her nostrils were leaking red. And yet, Joanna Moreira could not stop smiling.

The Liberty High School wrestler had just defeated Angelica Vaschenko, from Franklin Pierce High School, in the second round of consolation at the state tourney in Tacoma. The win, a 12-8 tussle of wills, assured that the 137-pound Patriot from São Paulo, Brazil, would finish better at state than in 2012.

“This is a big accomplishment,” she said. “I wanted to be better than I was last year.”

WrestleMoreiraLHS 20120215

Joanna Moreira, Liberty High School sophomore, complete with nosebleed, is declared the 10-5 winner over Centralia’s Jenna Gillaspie in her first-round, 137-pound bout during the state 3A wrestling championships Feb. 15 at the Tacoma Dome.
By Greg Farrar

In 2012, a freshman Moreira had lost in the second round of consolation. This year, she finished eighth. A week earlier, she had finished third at regionals in Sedro-Woolley, improving her 2012 performance by one spot.

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Wrestlers end strong at state

February 19, 2013

The local 4A wrestling programs were well-represented at the 25th annual Mat Classic Feb. 15-16 where 14 area wrestlers battled the state’s top athletes for a chance to medal in high school’s biggest tournament.

After taking second at the Region 3 Tournament the weekend before, Skyline High School wrestlers filled eight of the 14 weight classes at the state championship. By the time the two-day tournament was about over, the excitement of having eight wrestlers make it to the final 16 had taken its toll on Gus Kiss’ vocal cords. By 2 p.m. Saturday, the Skyline coach’s voice was all but gone.

“We’re really proud of the fact that we brought eight kids and one alternate,” he said in an almost whisper. “It’s a culmination of hard work and dedication, and it’s nice to see the end result.”

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Skyline Spartans crowned wrestling champs

February 5, 2013

Not only are the Skyline High School Spartans the KingCo 4A champions but seven of their wrestlers are individual district champions as well.

At the KingCo 4A Championships Feb. 2, the Spartans won with 229 team points. Issaquah came in second with 209 points.

“Having eight in the finals and seven champs was something certainly very, very special,” Skyline coach Gus Kiss said.

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Eagles wrestlers wrap up rally against Roughriders

January 22, 2013

Jerdon Helgeson (top), Issaquah High School senior, is about to have the referee call his pin in the first period of the 152-pound match Jan. 17 against Roosevelt sophomore Taka Olds. By Greg Farrar

Jerdon Helgeson (top), Issaquah High School senior, is about to have the referee call his pin in the first period of the 152-pound match Jan. 17 against Roosevelt sophomore Taka Olds. By Greg Farrar

The Issaquah High School wrestling squad raised its overall mark to 6-1, when it hosted Roosevelt at the Eagle’s Nest Jan. 17 and knocked the Roughriders out of their saddles with a 39-31 comeback victory.

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Skyline High School wrestlers grapple with perfection

January 22, 2013

Boden Longmore, Skyline High School freshman, keeps Ballard’s Kristjan Sigmar in trouble throughout their 152-pound match Jan. 17, collecting 16 points to win by technical fall. By Lillian O’Rorke

Boden Longmore, Skyline High School freshman, keeps Ballard’s Kristjan Sigmar in trouble throughout their 152-pound match Jan. 17, collecting 16 points to win by technical fall. By Lillian O’Rorke

Despite never having a full roster, the Skyline High School wrestling team secured a perfect dual meet record Jan. 17, when it defeated the Ballard Beavers, 45-18, to clinch a 10-0 season.

“Throughout the season, we’ve been giving up anywhere from 6 to 30 points because of forfeits,” coach Gus Kiss said. “It’s adversity, and they persevered. They wrestled well through it.”

That night, the two teams wrestled as many matches as they gave up. The Skyline Spartans forfeited both the 182 and 285 weight classes, giving up 12 points to Ballard.

The Beavers’ take would have been twice that if not for the double-forfeits at 170 and 195. Skyline also gained 18 points when Ballard forfeited the three lightest weight classes.

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Illness decimates Liberty High School wrestlers

January 22, 2013

Connor Small (top), Liberty High School sophomore, controls Hazen junior Malik Haythorne during their 152-pound match Jan. 15, taking an 8-1 victory. Small would also win his match Jan. 17 against Bellevue by a technical fall. By Greg Farrar

Connor Small (top), Liberty High School sophomore, controls Hazen junior Malik Haythorne during their 152-pound match Jan. 15, taking an 8-1 victory. Small would also win his match Jan. 17 against Bellevue by a technical fall. By Greg Farrar

As the nation struggles through a particularly aggressive flu season, many Liberty High School wrestlers know only too well the ailments that accompany the illness.

The flu knocked out nearly the entire team last week, when the Patriots dropped matches to Hazen and Bellevue, Liberty coach Manny Brown said.

“With injuries and sickness, I think I had maybe six wrestlers that are at full strength,” he said. “But the other teams have illnesses too.”

Despite going into the matches with a short-handed squad, Brown said the remaining Patriot wrestlers stood tough through adversity.

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Maywood Middle School hosts youth wrestling camp

January 8, 2013

Maywood Middle School is offering a youth wrestling camp for grades 1 through 5 from Jan. 9 to Feb. 13 on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

The classes run from 6:15-7:30 p.m. on each day the class is offered. The cost for classes is $60 per participant.

Call Wright Noel at 837-4717, ext. 106, with questions.

Liberty High School’s first female wrestler defies odds

January 1, 2013

Joanna Moreira, Liberty High School sophomore (right), wrestles her opponent at the Auburn Mountainview Girls Tour in December. By Laurel Bluhm

Just a day before competing in last year’s Mat Classic, Liberty High School wrestler Joanna Moreira stood high up in the rafters of the Tacoma Dome and stared down at the 12 perfectly placed mats laid across the floor.

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Skyline High School wrestlers win Sammamish Plateau faceoff

December 11, 2012

In a match Dec. 6 where there were just as many pins as decision wins and even more forfeits, the Skyline High School Spartans beat the Eastlake Wolves, 40-30.

“We brought some intensity. Eastlake stepped up,” Skyline coach Gus Kiss said. “Our kids still had to step up and we did.”

The Spartans gave up 24 points in forfeits at 170, 180 and the top two heavyweights, but received one forfeit at 106.

Skyline racked up three pins, all within the first period of the match. In the 113 weight class, Nathan Swanson won in 1 minute, 32 seconds. At 120, Kody Nguyen pinned his opponent in 31 seconds.

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Skyline High School wrestling struggles to fill top of roster

November 27, 2012

With 32 athletes already signed up and several returning state qualifiers, the Skyline High School wrestling team is hopeful as it continues to hunt for a heavyweight competitor to complete the lineup.

“We are strongly optimistic. We have a good bunch of returning young men and we have some good athletes that are turning out,” coach Gus Kiss said.

The Skyline Spartans finished 7-3 last year in KingCo dual meets and qualified four wrestlers for the State Mat Classic, including Kara Alden. The team’s only female went on to become the team’s top finisher after taking sixth place in the 145-pound girls division. She returns this year as a junior.

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