There’s always a few surprises and a few wows, but at the end of the day Kelso is right where they expect to be. And that more often than not is at the top of the 3A Sub-Regional Tournament.
The Scotties scored five champions and advanced 12 to next week’s regionals in conquering the district in which they’ve reigned for 21 of the past 23 years. Kelso came back from a 60-point deficit to top Mountain View 348-331.5 on Saturday at Hudson’s Bay. Prairie came in third with 253.5.
“We had some kids that wrestled really well,” coach Bob Freund said. “We had a couple kids stumble. You never get all the kids through you think you can get through, but I thought we’d have somewhere between 11 and 14 that had a shot it. We were in there.”
Leading the way was the state’s third-ranked 106-pounder Alan Luff, who breezed to a title Saturday. Joining him atop the podium were Derick Soto (138 pounds), David Perry (220), McKinnley Franklin (285) and Jakob Webb (152), who won by default in the finals over his brother, Shale.
The top three in each weight class advanced to regional on Saturday at Inglemoor High School.
“At this point, it’s getting to that next level and starting all over again,” Freund said. “Hopefully we can get some guys through and go make some noise in Tacoma in two weeks.”
Also advancing from Saturday’s sub-regionals were Jacob Fowler (126), Jovani Jimenez (132), Joe Carroll (145), Michael Hause (170), Blake Fowler (182) and Ben Hunnicutt (120).
“Ben Hunnicutt has been out with a dislocated shoulder; he’s had one match since December,” Freund explained. “He got third, and he’ll advance. He gets another week to rehab.”
And another week in that Kelso wrestling room, which boats two four-time state champions and a hall of fame coach helming the ship. Not a bad place to be with a Mat Classic spot hanging in the balance.