FORKS — There won’t be a lot of wrestling tournaments in Washington this year as the state is still in the midst of COVID-19 protocols, so Forks and Port Angeles made the best of their opportunity with a tournament in Forks on Saturday.
The Spartans picked up nine first-place finishes among the boys and two more among the girls and won the meet with 222.5 points, while Port Angeles came in third with 126.5 points. Aberdeen finished second with 151, Ilwaco fourth with 99.5 and Hoquiam fifth with 65.
“I am just very proud of our kids and our coaches,” said Forks coach Kyle Weakley. “They have all worked very hard to implement the health and safety standards so that we can continue to compete in the sport that we love.”
On the boys’ side, it was a mix of new names and state 1A tournament placers from 2020. Forks got weight class wins from Matthew Montes at 113 pounds, Conner Demorest (120), Dalton Kilmer (132), Walker Wheeler (138 ), Colton Duncan (145), Jake Weakley (152), Nate Dahlgren (170), Hayden Queen (182) and Hayden Baker (220).
Port Angeles got a first-place finish from Daniel Cable, who despite being a speedster in football, wrestled at a fairly heavy weight of 195.
Coach Rob Gale said Cable’s speed is a testament to his athleticism.
“Daniel wrestled great. He’ll be a state placer next year,” said Port Angeles coach Rob Gale.
Gale also thought Carlos Rodriguez did well at 120, winning a pair of matches with pins and finishing second to Demorest, who won in a 6-1 decision. “He’s going to do well for us,” Gale said.
Port Angeles picked up a number of second-place finishes. One of the Roughriders’ best veteran wrestlers, Adam Borde, came in second at 145 pounds with a pair of pins. He lost a 6-2 decision to Duncan, a fifth-place state finisher in 2020 at 1A. Borde also came in fifth at state at the 2A level in 2020, so this was a battle of elite grapplers.
Port Angeles’ Raymond Rodriguez finished second at 138 with two wins. He was pinned by Forks’ Wheeler in the championship bout.
Tom Arand took third at 182 with three wins. His only loss was in the semifinals to Forks’ Queen, who finished fifth at state in 2020.
“He’s a 10th grader. He’s going to be one of my best wrestlers,” Gale said.
Zach Gavin came in fourth at 152, going 2-2 on the day and Tony McMahan was fourth at 170 with a win. Lance Menes took fourth at 285, with three wins.
Other Forks placers include Jesus Garcia Dominguez, who finished second at 113 pounds, losing only to his teammate Montes.
Andres Santos-Delacruz finished second at 132, losing only to teammate Kilmer.
Cru Demorest came in third at 152 with three wins and Sloan Tumaua finished third at 285, doing it the hard way by coming up with four wins after an opening-round loss.
Port Angeles’ Ethan Abrams won a pair of matches at 132 pounds. Gale said he is “one of the studs” on the Riders’ team, but that 132 is a tough weight class.
Forks’ William Perez won two matches at 132 as Spartans and Roughriders dominated this weight class.
On the girls side, there were three local winners. Forks’ Iesha Johnson was first at 106 pounds with three straight wins, while Karen Ensastegui-Salazar was first at 115 with three wins.
Port Angeles’ Willow Harvey took first with two wins at 136.
“She’s just a freshman. I think Willow Harvey loves wrestling more than anyone else on this team,” Gale said.
The Riders’ Natalie Johnson finished second at 106 pounds, losing only to Forks’ Johnson and Faye Dahcs finished fourth at 115 pounds.