These Chelan Goat wrestlers will be heading off to the Mat Classic State Championships this weekend to take on the best that this State has to offer.
Nine Chelan wrestlers qualify for Mat Classic
Chelan takes 12 to state; nine + three alternates
By Richard Uhlhorn
It’s been a great year for Chelan wrestlers and as the year winds down to an end, Chelan’s Wrestling Team will enter the Mat Classic in Tacoma this coming weekend ranked 3rd in the state behind Orting and Lakeside (9MF).
At the Regional Tournament held in Lakeside last weekend, nine Chelan wrestlers finished in the top four and qualified to wrestle at the State Tournament. “This is the most we’ve ever had go to the State Tournament,” said Coach Jay McGuffin is truly excited for his team.
Starting out at 112 pounds is Jose Lopez who came in second at the Regional event. He will face JJ Hansen, a ninth grader at Meridian in his first match on Friday, February 20. Lopez enters the State tournament ranked 7th in state.
At 119 pounds, Dillon Parker came out of the Regional event in third place and will enter the State tournament against sophomore Blake Markva of Rochester. Parker is recovering from an overextended elbow and hopefully will be at 100 percent by the time he hits the mat on Friday. Parker is ranked 4th in State and is highly regarded to bring home a medal.
At 130 pounds, Hank Burton has his work cut out for him at the State tournament when he meets up with sophomore Chris Mayolo of LaCenter. Mayolo is being heralded by some on the west side of the mountains as having a great chance to win the entire thing, but Burton is experienced and tough in his own right.
At 140 pounds, senior Gage Schmidt comes into the State tournament unbeaten. He will face off against Sam Williams of Castle Rock on Friday. Schmidt has state experience and finished his season off taking 1st at the Regional tournament. He is ranked No. 3 in State.
At 145 pounds, senior Jose Garcia has had a great year of wrestling and has state experience. He came in second at the Regional Tournament and is ranked the No. 2 wrestler in 1A this year. His first match will be against Rodney Treace of Zilla.
Senior Tyler Allen comes in at 152 pounds and ranked 5th in State. He also has state wrestling experience and came in 2nd at the Regional tournament. Allen will face off on Friday with Dillon Jimmie of Nooksack.
Freshman Cole Schwartz has proven his grit and determination at 160 pounds, battling his way into his first Mat Classic experience. Cole is not ranked in the top 10 wrestlers, but he is young, strong and will be facing the No. 1 seed Jason May of Tenino on Friday night.
At 189 pounds, Davey Anderson has been waiting for this year’s Mat Classic. “I’m feeling really good about it,” said Davey. He’s ready to step it up and win the State tournament, but he’ll have to get through some tough competition in that weight class. Anderson is ranked No. 3 in State and finished third at the Regional Tournament.
At 215 pounds, senior Sean Gervais is entering this year’s Mat Classic ranked 3rd in State. Sean will face the No. 1 seeded Luke Dixon of Forks on Friday night. Gervais has been battling a broken bone in his foot, but continues to wrestle through the pain. “I’m fine until it gets slammed to the floor and then it hurts, but I really want to do compete at State,” he said. So, instead of quitting due to his injury, Sean is going into the tournament with his eyes wide open.
In addition to the previous nine state qualifiers, Luis Rodriguez (112 lbs.); Joel Mata (125 lbs.); and Rudy Barrios (171 lbs) all finished in 5th place at the Regional Tournament and will travel with the team as Alternates in case a wrestler in their weight class can’t wrestle at the tournament.
For Coach Jay McGuffin, this is the culmination of a season of hard work. He says, ”I’ve been looking forward to this weekend now since the first day of practice; we have the motivation, technique, lungs, heart, and fire-power to possibly bring home a lot of hardware, individually and as a team……It’s gonna be a great weekend!!!!!”