Wednesday’s 2A Wrestling: W.F. West Claims 2A EvCo Title with Team Takedown of Centralia

MATT BAIDE / mbaide@chronline.com
W.F. West’s Roehre Cunningham takes down Centralia’s Juan Gaspar in the 113-pound match on Wednesday during an Evergreen 2A Conference wrestling match in Chehalis.

Rivalry Wrestling: ‘Green’ Bearcats Remain Undefeated in Runup to Tournament Season

By Jordan Nailon

jnailon@chronline.com

Seeking to clinch a fifth-straight Evergreen 2A Conference championship on their home mat the Bearcat boys left nothing to chance here Wednesday night with a dominating effort over their rivals from Centralia. The final score of 42-18 left W.F. West as the only unbeaten team left in the conference and should help to stoke their fires as they bear down in preparation for tournament time.

Christopher Powe, Chase Conaway, Darren Gray, Kyle Gray, Caleb Walters, Levi Walters, Mason Morones, Roehre Cunningham and Ka’imi Henry all notched victories for W.F. West in the title tilt. Aaron Adamo, Tristan Dickey, Mykka McAllister and Izz Almontes posted the victories for the Tiger boys on the evening.

“We were both undefeated coming in so whoever won would be champs,” said W.F. West coach Jamie Rakevich after the gym lights were turned back on. “It was kind of fun to have it come down to that.”

Rakevich listed Caleb Walters’ match as a standout of the night. The 120-pound sophomore defeated Centralia’s Eddie Matias with a pin late in the second frame after falling behind 7-2 to finish the first. With :40 seconds left in the second period he trailed 8-4, but then he flipped the script.

“Caleb had a huge match,” said Rakevich.

The Bearcats’ coach added, “Kyle Gray went out and had a good one and little (Darren) Gray went out and took care of business.”

‘Big’ Gray, a 145-pound junior, defeated Centralia’s Jesse Weeks 6-1 and ‘Little’ Gray, a 106-pound freshman, beat Jacob Reyna 3-2 thanks to a well-timed reversal with less than a minute on the clock.

There were plenty of additional bright spots mixed all around the Bearcats’ docket. Powe (195) defeated Manny Aguilar 4-1. Conaway (285) defeated Aiden Goodrich with a first round pin. Roehre Cunningham (113) bested Juan Gaspar 13-0. Levi Walters (126) dropped Davyi Gaspar 12-6. Mason Morones (138) downed Justin Lake 15-3. Carver Brennan (152) pinned Trevor Richey in the second period. And Ka’imi Henry (160) secured a 5-1 win over Caleb Hylton.

Rakevich credited his assistant coaches for having a relatively young crop of wrestlers ready to go in a series of high stakes matches versus their familiar foes from across the way.

“We’re pretty green,” said Rakevich. “We’ll see how things go next weekend.”

For Centralia, every victory was attained by a senior grappler. McAllister defeated Zach Evans with a technical fall late in the second round of their 132-pound match. Dickey pinned Ben Eklund in the first round of their 172-pound showdown. Almontes ran away from Isaac Reavis by a score of 18-8 in 220-pound action, and Aaron Adamo defeated Jack Mallonee 11-8 in a raucous 182-pound match to get the evening started.

The home Swamp Cup bout also served as Senior Night for W.F. West. That group includes two returning varsity wrestlers in Levi Walters and Cunningham, as well as Henry, Mallonee, and Conaway. Rakevich was happy to see the dogged group go out with a team win and a conference championship in their final Swamp Cup appearances.

“They’re great kids to have around,” said Rakevich. “They’re workhorses.”

In girls action preceding the boys matches Centralia won three of five bouts. Allie Silva kicked things off for the Tigers with a 9-1 victory over Natasha Dagger at 120 pounds. Faith Halseth kept things going for the Tigers with a pin of Savannah Johnson at 125 pounds and Jakayla Shipe defeated Brisa Leal-Sierra with a first round pin in their 170-pound affair.

Both teams are back in action at the 2A North Sub-Regional Tournament at the Northwest Sports Hub in Centralia on Feb. 3.

Rochester Falls to Tumwater, Black Hills in EvCo Dual

ABERDEEN — Rochester traveled to the coast for a double dual with Tumwater and Black Hills, and lost to the Thunderbirds, 46-26, and the Wolves, 59-29.

There were some bright spots for the Warriors. Jayden Lancaster (145) won both his matches, pinning Tumwater’s Mason Burbidge in 5 minutes, 45 seconds, and winning with an 18-3 tech fall against Black Hills.

Riley Cohron (126) also won both his matches for the Warriors. Cohron won by tech fall 17-2 against Tumwater and pinned his Black Hills opponent in 3:15. Jay Brant (113) won both his matches as well, earning a forfeit win over Tumwater and earned a win by injury default against Black Hills.

Nate Kilmer (170) picked up a win against Tumwater, pinning his opponent in 5:13.

Rochester coach Jason Dick was impressed with the performance of Lancaster and Cohron, and said he was proud of his kids for filling in to wrestle at higher weights to gain experience.

“That’s not done in a lot of schools. The kids swallowed their pride for the bigger picture of the team, and that’s huge,” Dick said. “Our kids are looking in the face and coming and battling. Things may be different next year.”

Rochester is off until the Saturday, Feb. 3, when the Warriors compete in the sub-regional tournament at the Northwest Sports Hub in Centralia.

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