MARYSVILLE — The Eagles wrestling team faced a tough opponent in the Marysville-Pilchuck Tomahawks grapplers on Thursday, Dec. 13, at Marysville-Pilchuck High School.
In the end it was the Tomahawks, led by head coach Craig Iversen, who took the win with a final score of 48-36. The Eagles, led by Iversen’s father, coach Rick Iversen, still put up a good fight, missing a tie by only one pin.
“The big thing I like to talk about is what a great night it was for the two communities,” said Rick Iversen. “A lot of people came out to watch, former wrestlers, managers, parents and cheerleaders. A lot of the time when you travel for athletics, you aren’t competing against a town, you’re competing against a shopping mall. But Marysville and Arlington are really both strong communities. That’s what I love about that match.”
Although the Eagles lost by 12 points, they knew the strength of the Tommies and came prepared to give them a run for their money.
“We knew how tough it would be,” said Arlington coach Barry Knott. “We wrestled 14 matches and every match resulted in a pin and we only lost by two pins. In the 195 and 220 matches, if we had pinned their guy instead of them pinning ours, we would have won. It was a lot closer than it sounds.”
The Eagles did find considerable success over the weekend, as they took top spots in two separate tournaments — the Monroe Bearcats Invitational and the Nathan Hale Barry Knott Invitational, both on Saturday, Dec. 15.
“We finished third at Monroe and had a champion at 106 pounds — Jeremy Nygard,” said Knott. “We also had a second place at 113 pounds — Boston Jones, and a second place at 145, Scotty Bardell, who lost 4-2 to a state champion from Reno, Nev. At 220, Gareth Henderson took second place as well. It was a great tournament for a team as young as we are.”
“At Monroe, the big shining moment was that we got to showcase our star freshmen,” he said. “Jeremy Nygard is going to be a star we know it and Boston Jones took second place to a state champion. It was really cool to see both of them able to go out there and put on a show.”
The Nathan Hale Barry Knott Invitational was named after Knott who coached at the school for 16 years.
“It was my first time there as an active coach,” he said. “A lot of former athletes came back to say hi. It was nice that we finished eighth out of 14 teams. Conner Gonzales was the champion at 145 pounds and Brice Clariday took second place at 195. We had two third place wrestlers, Trey Swanson at 106 pounds and Adalberto Ramos at 195 pounds.” The Eagles finished the tournament with 93 points.
Eagle wrestlers host the Arlington Double Duals with Jackson High School against Mountlake Terrace and O’Dea on Wednesday, Dec. 19.
“We hope to have all of our kids back in the lineup by the first of the year,” said Knott, who noted that a few of the athletes are out with injuries. “Then we are going to point for the postseason and qualify for the state tournament in February. We have some really outstanding wrestlers this year, like Conner [Gonzales], Scotty [Bardell], Jeremy [Nygard], Boston [Jones], and Bryce Thomas. Look for all five of those guys as potential state competitors this year.”