Sequim coach Len Borchers figured his Wolves might have a tough time with rival Port Angeles in Friday night’s showdown.
The visiting Roughriders got help that they didn’t particularly need, however, when a pair Sequim wrestlers bowed out thanks to illnesses, giving Port Angeles a total of four forfeits.
With that 24-point boost, Port Angeles toppled Sequim 51-21 on Jan. 14.
“I knew we were going to give up two (forfeits). I didn’t want to give up four,” Borchers said.
Still, Sequim grappler Austin Middleton picked up a pin at 130 pounds while Dakota Hinton, Derek Fruin and Dakota Hinton all won their matches.
Minus the four forfeits, Port Angeles wins by just six points.
Borchers said he was pleased even with some of Sequim’s losses. At 103 pounds, Sequim freshman Royhon Agostine battled P.A. freshman Josh Basden, ranked No. 6 in the state, before getting pinned.
“We still have guys making mistakes (but) we still like our chances with Royhon,” Borchers said. “He’s got more fight in him than most guys twice his size.”
Sequim heavyweight Clay Charley got an interesting match, taking on Nathan Cristion, currently ranked No. 2 in the state at 189 pounds. Cristion, who reportedly weighed in over the 189-pound limit wrestled as a heavyweight and edged Charley by two points.
This Sequim sophomore is on a roll.
After taking top honors in the 135-pound weight class at Sequim’s won Rainshadow Tournament, Derek Fruin topped the field at the Jan. 15 Bainbridge Island Invitational, as Sequim placed eighth overall out of 11 teams.
“(Derek) has really stepped up his game the last couple months,” Borchers said.
Fruin picked up two wins before defeating Port Townsend’s Mikael Callahan 10-2 for the win.
Sequim saw 12 wrestlers place in the top eight in their weight classes, though several weight classes were trimmed down; several of the competing teams sent wrestlers to other tournaments last weekend.
Still, Sequim’s Charley took second place in the heavyweight division after losing a 3-2 heartbreaker to Kingston’s Jack Welker.
Emilio Perete-Colin, Sequim’s 215-pounder, won three of four matches and took home third place while Middleton and heavyweight Jacob Cooper each split four matches to earn fourth place.
Sequim received a bit of bad fortune as Hinton, one of the Wolves’ more experienced grapplers, bowed out of the tournament after straining a rib cage muscle. He was injured in a match that saw him pin Blanchet’s Victor Hernandez in the third round.
The Wolves are back in action tonight (Jan. 19) at North Kitsap.
Borchers said he likes his team’s chances — if he can fill out most of the lineup card.
“If we’ve got everybody back, we should come out on top,” he said.
North Kitsap features Jake Velarde, the No. 2-ranked wrestler at 125 pounds, who may wrestle up a weight class to take on Middleton.
A scheduled Jan. 12 dual meet against the North Mason Bulldogs, the No. 6-ranked 2A team in the state, in Belfair was postponed to Jan. 20.
“We’d have to have really good day to upset them,” Borchers said.
Sequim finishes the regular season Jan. 26 with a home date against the Bremerton Knights.
Sub-regional and sub-district tournaments are Feb. 4 and 5 at Port Angeles High School. The West Central District tourney is slated for Feb. 12 at Washington High School in Tacoma, with top grapplers advancing to the MatClassic state tournament, set for Feb. 18-19 at the Tacoma Dome.
It’s a tough road for the Wolves, who see plenty of good wrestlers and highly touted teams in their own league.
The Olympic League includes the aforementioned North Mason squad, the No. 4-ranked Klahowya Eagles, No. 10-ranked Olympic, No. 18 Port Angeles and No. 19 Kingston.