In a tournament this tough with so many top Olympic League foes, coach Len Borchers said he hoped his Sequim Wolves would finish in the top third of the standings.
Riding strong performances from a half dozen of their 10 entrants, the Wolves captured fifth place in the 15-team North Mason Classic on Dec. 29, closing out the calendar year on a high note.
“I thought we did really well,” Borchers said. “There were four or five (returning) state champions, some good match-ups.”
Dakota Hinton picked up his first tourney championship of the season after two second-place finishes and a third.
Hinton picked up pins in his first two matches before dominating Aaron Dickson of Kingston in the final, 8-1. He’s now 17-4 for the young season.
“It was nice to see Dakota win a tournament; He really did (dominate),” Borchers said.
Sequim heavyweight Clay Charley wrestled his way into the finals before giving up a last-second
reversal in the championship to Kingston’s Walker Larson, settling for second place.
Charley pinned James Garcia of Lindbergh before edging Jaime Miranda of Aberdeen 5-3 in the semis.
“He’s developed a real effective heavyweight style,” Borchers said of Charley.
Picking up third-place finishes for Sequim were Royhon Agostine (113 pounds), Cody Field (145) and Austin Leach (182). Luke Mooney was fifth at 138 pounds.
Host North Mason won the event with 208 team points and three individual champions, followed by North Kitsap (169.5), Sultan (156) and Kingston (152.5). Sequim tallied 118 team points.
With little time off, the Wolves are back in action Jan. 4, hosting reigning Olympic League champion Kingston.
The Buccaneers feature returning state champion Bobby Reece at 152 pounds and North Mason Classic champions Larson (285) and Jack Welker (220).
The Wolves follow that up with a tournament of their own, the 15th annual Rainshadow Tournament on Jan. 7.
The event kicks off at 10 a.m., with finals scheduled for 3 p.m.
“We’ll see some good individual match-ups particularly with Port Angeles and North Mason,” Borchers said. “Both of those squads are real deep. We should be right on their heels for third. Our kids get pumped for their own tournament.”
The Wolves may be a bit thin in the middle weight classes, as 160-pounder Dorian Halverson is out with an injury. Borchers hopes to see Lopaka Yasumura in that role if the wrestler can make the weight.