These eight wrestlers qualified at the Regional Wrestling Tournament this past Saturday to compete at the WIAA Mat Classic in the Tacoma Dome this coming Friday and Saturday. Theyinclude Dillon Parker, Jose Garcia, Gage Schmidt, Tyler Allen, Tyson McGuffin, Jesse Allen, Davey Anderson and Sean Gervais
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Eight Chelan wrestlers qualify for Mat Classic
Jay McGuffin named ‘Coach of the Year’
By Richard Uhlhorn
Of the 17 wrestlers in the Chelan Wrestling Program that qualified to compete at the Regional Wrestling Tournament in Cashmere this past Saturday, February 9, eight battled through the tough classifications to qualify for the WIAA State Mat Classic which will be held in the Tacoma Dome this coming Friday and Saturday, February 15 and 16.
Fourteen schools representing Region 3 were on hand at CashmereHigh School with Lakeside bringing 21 of its wrestlers in all weight classifications. Chelan had 17 on hand to try qualifying.
After a full day of wrestling which began precisely at and ended at Chelan’s Dillon Parker, Jose Garcia, Gage Schmidt, Tyler Allen, Tyson McGuffin, Jesse Allen, Davey Anderson and Sean Gervais advanced to the state tournament.
“We wrestled really, really well. To have five out of eight in the finals is really nice,” said Coach Jay McGuffin. “It looks like we might have nine going to the state tournament… eight to wrestle and one alternate.”
McGuffin had just found out at the coaches meeting that he had been chosen as “Coach of the Year’ by his peers and said, “It’s nice to be recognized, but it’s still all about the kids. I also want to recognize Randy Gleasman for this honor. He has been a great mentor all season for me. He’s a guy I can talk too. I also need to mention my Dad (Randy McGuffin). The kids love him and he loves wrestling.”
It was a deserving honor for McGuffin considering that he won the League Championship two years in a row and this weekend, his team scored a third place finish out of the 14 schools represented.
Dillon Parker (112 lbs. – 24-2 season) had a tough match against Lakeside’s senior Ryan Norstadt, tying the match up 6-6 at the end of three rounds forcing Norstadt into overtime. Parker lost the match when Norstadt scored on a takedown in overtime to win the championship by a mere two points 8-6. These two wrestlers could well wrestle for the State Championship this year.
At 140 pounds, Gage Schmidt (30-4 season) faced Cashmere’s Josh Mason in the championship match and was out front 5-1 in the second round but Mason scored on a reversal to draw within two points of Schmidt to enter the final round. He tied it in the third round at 5-all with another two point reversal. Mason went on to win the match with another two point reversal 7-5. Schmidt should also do well at the State Championship.
Tyson McGuffin (152 lbs.) came into the Regional Tournament with a 26-9 record and faced Andrew Miller (29-3 season) for the championship. McGuffin and Miller had each beaten the other once during the season. In this match, McGuffin scored first with a takedown, but Miller reversed the position to tie the match at 2-all and then scored a point on an escape to lead the match 3-2 at the end of the second round. In the final round, both wrestlers worked hard, but Mason ended up with the 5-4 decision over McGuffin. These two wrestlers could see each other again at the Mat Classic.
Davey Anderson (189 lbs. – 17-3 season) probably had the toughest match of the entire Regional Tournament facing the very tough Reid Chivers of Lakeside. This is the same wrestler that finished Tate Collins off in the Championship match last year at the State Tournament. Anderson went after Chivers and kept the match close through two periods, scoring two escapes, keeping the match close. He drew within one point, 3-4 in the third round, but Chivers was able to score a two point takedown and finally won the match in the third by pin.
Sean Gervais (215 lbs. – 26-6 season) also had a Lakeside wrestler to contend with in the championship round. This was senior Dustin Baldwin and Baldwin never let up during this match, finally scoring a pin over Sean in the second round.
Jose Garcia (135 lbs.) took third place at the tournament. Tyler Allen (145 lbs.) battled it out for a fifth place finish to qualify for state and Jesse Allen (171 lbs.) was able to finish the Regional Tournament with a fourth place finish.
All in all it was a great day for Chelan wrestling and those wrestlers qualifying for the State Tournament should be proud of their efforts this season. “My stomach was turning a bit today,” said McGuffin. “This is a breaking point in the season. You either go home or go on to the state tournament. I’m proud of the entire team. They all wrestled hard all year.”
The wrestlers who did not qualify for the state tournament included senior Steven Swinford, who had an excellent season overall, but didn’t get a chance to wrestle that much in his 145 pound classification.
Junior Tyler Clark had a great tournament but ended up ending his season. “Boot camp’s over,” he stated after finishing his last match. Sophomore Micah Hargrove also had a good season but was ousted from contention. The rest were all freshmen and included Jacob Przespoleski, Adelberth Guillen, Luis Rodriguez, Erik Jimenez and Memo Venegas. They all need to be recognized for a great season that helped Chelan win its second league championship. Without them it wouldn’t have been possible.