2012 Mat Classic
This Special GoLakeChelan' Coverage sponsored by:
The Chelan Wrestling Team placed second at the Mat Classic State Wrestling Championships and took the podium for their trophy and photo op.
Cole Schwartz (182 lbs) turns his opponent on his way to his second State Championship Wrestling
Cole Schwartz wins his second straight State Wrestling Championship at the Tacoma Dome on Saturday, February 18.
PHOTO GALLERY HERE
Chelan wrestlers take second place at Tacoma Dome
Cole Schwartz successfully defends last year’s state championship
By Richard Uhlhorn
“It was a goal all year by the team to come in no lower than fourth place here,” said and ecstatic Coach Jay McGuffin. Chelan’s Wrestling Team were the eventual runner-ups to the always strong Orting Wresting Team. “Taking second place is a culmination of everything we put into this season,” McGuffin added. “I couldn’t be more proud of how these guys did. Over the last two days they did everything I asked of them.”
It was bonus points that got Chelan to the second place rung on the leader board for the 1A Classification. Bonus points come from wrestler’s scoring falls and major decisions.
The largest major decision for Chelan came late in the Saturday evening finals when Cole Schwartz won his second State Championship in the 182 pound classification against Royal’s Damien DeLarsoa in what turned out to be Schwartz’s longest match of the season. He ended up beating DeLarosa in a 17-2 technical fall.
Cole made the finals by scoring falls on his two Friday opponents. His first came against Ben O’Brien of Montesano in 1:50 of the match. Cole then pinned Stuart Stewart of Cle-Elum in 1:44 of that match. He then faced Anthony Heller of Royal and claimed a 16-3 decision to battle in the finals.
Also in the 182 pound classification with Schwartz was junior Alex Cortez. Alex finished this year’s state appearance in fifth place. He pinned Collin Hornby of Rochester in his first bout on Friday in 1:09 of the first round. Cortez then lost a close 8-6 decision in overtime to Damien De LaRosa that put DeLaRosa into the finals against Schwartz and Cortez in the loser bracket.
Cortez defeated Nathan Conklin of Riverside 15-5 on Friday to make it into Saturday’s medal round. He faced Ben O’Obrien of Montesano 14-2 before facing senior Anthony Heller of Elma, losing a close 3-1 match. Cortez then battled Hunter LeCaire of Colville to win fifth place with a 9-3 decision.
Alex Cortez battles for an escape at State.
Junior Erick Garcia also found himself in the finals after defeating Zillah’s Angel Rodriguez 13-1 in his first match and then pinning Granger’s Adrian Guerrero in 1:01 of the semi-final match.
If is always tough to go up against the best this state can throw at you. In Garcia’s case, his final match of the day was against 3-time State Champion, senior Drew Templeman out of Orting.
The final decision went to Templeman at 10-2, but Garcia gave him all he wanted in the match. After losing Garcia said he’d be back next year to claim his state championship. “I feel great,” said Garcia after the match. “I’m having a good time.”
Erick Garcia (126 lbs.) escapes from an attempted takedown by three time state wrestling champion Drew Templeman of Orting. Garcia lost the decision 10-2 and captured second place out of the 16 man field vying for a chance to wrestle in the finals.
Erick, who is a junior this year, has plans to come back next year and win a state championship. “He reminds me a lot of Frank Velazquez,” said Coach McGuffin. “He’s extremely quick and aggressive.” Velazquez was Chelan’s three-time state champion.
Garcia won his first match against Angel Rodriguez of Zillah in a 13-1 major decision. Then Garcia qualified for the finals by beating Tyson Dick of Elma 7-2.
At 160 pounds, Billie Poppie had high hopes to win the state championship. He was on track to get into the finals until he faced Alex Myrick of Royal who defeated Poppie in a very close decision 7-6. Up to that match, Poppie was on track with 16-4 decision over Layne Sutten of Elma and a fall over Jesse O’Bryan of Nooksack.
Poppie faced Alex McCrum of Stevenson and pinned him in 4:56 of that match, but loss to Nolin Bare of Goldendale 4-0 in the third and fourth place battle.
Billie Poppie battles an opponent trying to score a point with an escape.
Alby Paz (160 lbs.) lost to Alex McCrum in his first match of the state finals by fall in 1:40. Paz then defeated Brandon Griffiths of Cascade Christianin a major 13-3 decision. He then beat Josh Judd of Lakeside 13-1 and finished off Clayton Farr of Ridgefield with a 36 second pin. In his battle against the eventual third place wrestler, Nolin Bare, Paz lost a 7-5 decision after hurting his shoulder.
Alby Paz fought to regain control in one of his state matches. He battled an injury that kept him out of the medal round
In the 195 pound class, sophomore Asa Schwartz defeated Abidan Duarte of Granger 5-2 before having to take on CTL rival Dylan Green (the eventual state champion) of Omak, losing to the senior in a close decision 4-3. Green lost to Asa’s brother last year in the state championship final.
Asa came into Saturday’s session with his eyes on third place and he attained third place beating Abidan Duarte of Granger 4-3 and then pinning Kurt Wilkins of Goldendale in 3:26 for third place.
At 195 pounds Asa Schwartz did well enough to take third at the WIAA State Wrestling Tournament. Asa is only a sophomore and will be back next year to seek a state championship.
In the heavyweight division Luis Garcia had all of the coaches smiling as he only lost one match out of his total of four matches. Unfortunately, Garcia lost his second match on Friday to Josh Aho in a 4-0 decision. All of the rest of his matches to third place were by fall.
Garcia pinned Joseph Choi of Montesano in 1:35 of that match, then he pinned Avery Smetana of Freeman in 1:49 and then added insult to injury by pinning Kyle Hall of Riverview in 57 seconds of the first round. Garcia went on to claim third place by pinning David Cutrell of Omak in 1:38.
Luis Garcia celebrates his third place win at Mat Classic in the 285 pound class.
All in all, the two day tournament was an incredible testament to the team’s efforts throughout the season. Chelan won the league title, district title and came in second at regionals and state.
“It’s been six years for me,” said a smiling Coach McGuffin. “This is a season you just don’t want to see end.”