Senior Gage Schmidt gave it his best against one of the best at Mat Classic this past Saturday and lost his bid to be the 2009 1A State Champion in a 4-2 decision against Rogen Lopez of Vashon Island. In photo 1 below Schmidt gets some last minute advice from Coach Jay McGuffin. In the middle three images from top to bottom; Schmidt in action against Lopez, Schmidt in denial, and bottom, Schmidt being consoled for an excellent job. Far right; Rogen Lopez gets dressed down by the referee for his unsportsmanlike antics to the crowd after winning his second State Championship for Orting.
Chelan places 5 in trophy round at Mat Classic
Senior Gage Schmidt takes second
by Richard Uhlhorn
It is, according to Coach Jay McGuffin, the largest high school sporting venue in the nation and this past weekend, Mat Classic proved once again how exciting and tough it can be to wrestle at this level of competition.
For Gage Schmidt (140 lbs), Davey Anderson (189 lbs), Jose Garcia (145 lbs.), Tyler Allen (152 lbs.), Dillon Parker (119 lbs.) and Sean Gervais (215 lbs.) it was a last hurrah to wrestle against the best this state has to offer and the end of their high school wrestling careers.
This was the year that expectations were high, very high, amongst the seniors on the wrestling team, and those expectations were a run for the state championship title by all the seniors.
Only 16 wrestlers in each weight class out of the hundreds of wrestlers in the state qualify to wrestle at Mat Classic. So each wrestler shares company with the absolute best this state has to offer.
Gage Schmidt was the only Chelan wrestler to make it into the championship match. Schmidt faced off against Rogen Lopez of Vashon Island. Lopez was a past state champion in the 130 pound class and had moved up to 140 pounds.
The two wrestlers gallantly tried to get the first takedown and it did not happen during the first round. By the end of the second round of wrestling, the score was 2-1 with Lopez leading. In the third round, Schmidt escaped and tied the match up 2-2, but Lopez got the final two points on a reversal to take the decision 4-2 leaving a disappointed Schmidt in second place. "Gage gave him all he wanted," said Coach Jay McGuffin. It was won in the last 10 seconds and that is a quality match. It was unfortunate for Gage to be on the losing end, but on any given day, the outcome would be reversed."
Senior Tyler Allen had a tough tournament. He began by beating Dillon Jimmie of Nooksack in the 152 pound class with a pin in of his first match. LaCenter's Bubba Myers got Allen in the second match by a pin and then lost to the eventual state champion Chris Castillo of Zillah to wrestle Allen once again for fifth and sixth.
It was a different match for Myers who got out front 3-0, but Allen battled back to a 2-4 deficit at the end of the second round. Allen then had an escape and took Myers down, but the referee didn't see it as a takedown and Allen lost this match 4-3 at the bell giving him a credible sixth place at state.
At 112 pounds, junior Jose Lopez battled through Friday's action with two straight wins over Meridian's JJ Hansen and Warden's Carlos Gomez and was one match away from getting into the championship match when he ran afoul of Vashon Island's Sam Chapman and lost a close decision 2-0. This put Lopez up against Michael Baumgarden of Lakeside for third and fourth place and Lopez won a 3-0 decision over Baumgarden to take third. "Amazing... just amazing," said a happy Lopez after giving Coach Jay McGuffin a big hug.
Senior Jose Garcia won his first match in the 145 pound class with a 10-4 decision against Rodney Treece of Zillah, but lost to 12-4 against Orting's John Thompson in his second match dropping him to the bottom bracket. Garcia then faced Tanner Bolt winning a 7-2 decision.
Garcia worked his way back into contention beating Kasey Green of LakeRoosevelt 5-0 and Jacob Rae of Connell 5-0. Garcia then faced Kevin Kreps of White Salmon for third or fourth place and won that in a 8-1 decision for third place in State.
Senior Davey Anderson (189 lbs) was moving right through the order, beating his first two opponents easily. Anderson pinned Corey Compton of Meridian in of his first match and then won a 7-0 decision over Kane Loerner of Zillah.
On Saturday, Anderson ended up in a close match against Chewelah's Russell Whitley and ended up losing a 3-2 decision, only one point out of the championship round. He came back through the ranks, defeating White Salmon's Seth Bell 15-4 and then defeated Ira Alefteras of Montesano for third place in a 5-1 decision.
Coach McGuffin had great hopes for seniors Sean Gervais and Dillon Parker. Gervais, a 215 pound wrestler attempted to wrestle with an injured foot and lost his first match, won the second match and then lost his third which put him out of contention. "I just wish I had come here healthy," he stated on Saturday.
Parker (119 lbs.) was expected to do well. He injured his elbow several weeks ago, but seemed ready to go. Parker won his first match by pinning Blake Markva of Rochester, but lost his second and third matches to be ousted from the competition. "I had a couple of bad matches," said Parker.
Junior Hank Burton (130 lbs.) lost his first match to LaCenter's Chris Maloyo, won his second match against Chencho Lopez of Royal in a 7-6 decision and then lost his third match to Warden's Scott Henderson to finish off his junior year of wrestling.
Overall, the Chelan Wrestling Team did very well, placing five in the medal round and placing seventh as a team. Coach McGuffin, a three time state champion with the Cashmere Bulldogs, and his old coach John Durheim both commented that half of the teams in the top ten are from Region 4. "We have four regions equaling 48 teams and five of the top ten are from our region," said Durheim. "That's not bad."