The young Patriot team braved the weather on Friday, December 16th, in order to wrestle at the Westside Freshmen/Sophomore Tournament. The Patriots were able to finish 1st in the 16-team tournament! The Patriots were chasing the Bellevue East Chieftains, and their 8 finalists, for most of the tournament.
Austin Sloger at 106 pounds lost a heart-breaker in his semi-finals match; a match he was winning by a few points before getting rolled under for a defensive pin by Nate Hartman of Millard West. With no quit, however, Austin fought back with two consecutive tech falls to win third place.
Garrett Carbullido (113) and Justin Jeanette (120) each recorded three pins during the tournament en route to individual championships. In a wild, back-and-forth match in the 113 pound finals, Carbullido was able to throw Jeromy Nielsen in a headlock after a scramble in the neutral position to secure the pin in the third period of a 5-5 tied match. Jeanette needed only 34 second in his finals match to pin Chris Ugarcina of Lincoln Northstar.
At 126 pounds, Blake Smith made it to the finals with first period pins in his first two matches. His finals match was against Clayton Dillon of Bellevue East. After a 0-0 match heading into the third period, Dillon managed to get an escape followed by a headlock to go up 6-0. Blake fought off his back for about 30 seconds before getting out of bounds to end the pin threat – a move that would help keep the Chieftains from gaining bonus points in the team race.
Garrett Mandolfo (132) and Seth Rakes (138) didn’t place in the top 4 in their respective weight classes, but each managed to win two matches, which gave the team valuable points in the team race.
Alfonso Cunningham (145) dominated his bracket. He came from the second seed to earn first place in his weight class by pinning all four of his opponents in the first period! Along the way, he beat a wrestler that was 4-1 on the year and another opponent that was 7-2 for the year.
Dakota Lynch at 152 pounds also fell victim to the defensive pin in his second match of the day. He was wrestling John Black of Omaha Bryan in the quarter finals when he locked up a cradle after a quick takedown. While trying to turn Black’s shoulders to the mat, Dakota put his own shoulders on the mat and Black came away as the victor. Dakota showed no quit and fought back to earn a medal. Since he could not wrestle his sixth match for third and fourth place, he had to forfeit and went away with fourth place.
At 160 pounds, Isiah Jackson made the finals with an 8-3 decision in his semi finals match. In his championship match, he wrestled freshmen Connor Rinn of Millard North. Rinn was able to pin Isiah with time running out in the first period to drop Isiah to a silver medal.
Freshmen Chris Wortman at 170 pounds was the third victim of the defensive pin for the Patriots. In his semi finals match, he jumped out to a 3-0 victory over eventual 170-pound champion Nolan Johnston. Chris had both legs in, but got too high on the short, stocky Johnston and got rolled under for a defensive pin. With a pin in his next match, Chris would wrestle for third and fourth. After dropping Dalton Hazel of Bellevue West, Chris finished in fourth place.
Sophomore Dalton Frederick who normally wrestles at 170 pounds moved up for the team to wrestle 182 pounds. In the eight-man bracket at 182 pounds, Dalton earned two tough-nosed decisions before getting a pin against Christian Guillen of Bellevue East to win the championship and seal the team title for the Patriots.
Krew Tran at 195 pounds came from the third seed, and with two pins in his first two matches, made it to the finals. His finals opponent was undefeated Jaylon Walker of Omaha Bryan. In the last match for the Patriots, Krew got a last second point to push the match into overtime. A one-minute sudden death overtime period could not determine a winner so Krew and Walker had to go into double overtime. Krew could not get an escape during his 30 second period, and he dropped a close 6-5 decision to finish in second place.
Overall, the Patriots led all other teams with 25 pins. Millard West was second with 23 pins, and team runner-ups, Bellevue East, claimed 19 pins. The pins were the difference in being the team Champions and being team Runner-ups. Both the Patriots and Chieftains were able to get 10 placers with 4 champions.