Sports

CK's Matman tourney tests Wolves' mettle

By AARON MANAGHAN

Central Kitsap Reporter

One of these days, Brad Feddersen is going to get it right.

The South Kitsap senior has had a knack for finding his way to the podium this season, claiming third place at the Auburn Invitational to begin the season while battling to the third-place match, taking fourth, at the Skagit Valley Invitational at Sedro-Woolley.

So it came as no surprise at the 31st Central Kitsap Matman Classic that Feddersen again found himself on the third rung of the podium.

“I’ve been used to the back door,” Feddersen said of his consolation run. “Third’s my place, I guess.”

After falling to Zac Nix of Rogers (of Puyallup) 17-14 in a fast-paced first-round match, Feddersen again buckled down, preparing for a long run through the consolation bracket, just as he has earlier.

But he was never more motivated in his charge to third than in the third-place match itself. After all, with Nix again lined up opposite him, how often to you get to go up against the person that beat you in the same tournament?

“It’s just that revenge factor,” Feddersen said. “It gives you a little extra drive at the end.”

It did, as Feddersen pinned Nix in 3 minutes, 32 seconds to avenge the loss and share third place with Bremerton’s Andres Garcia.

Third- and fifth-place matches did not take place as it would have forced those wrestlers to exceed the five-match limit for one day.

“It would have sucked to lose twice,” Feddersen laughed. “I was so fired up. That’s all I thought about.”

The finish earned Feddersen a light ribbing from Coach Chad Nass, as well.

“That’s really cool,” Nass said.. “I always give him a hard time because he really wrestles well in the consolation brackets. He just can’t make it in the front door for some reason.”

Nass said he’s not exactly sure why Feddersen has wrestled better following first-round losses, except to say that once the pressure lightens up, Feddersen lights up.

“I think so,” Nass said. “The pressure is off a little bit so he can just go out there and wrestle.”

Feddersen’s effort highlighted a tournament in which the Wolves got to showcase some talent not named Foxworthy. SK was without Matt Foxworthy, the state’s top-ranked 4A 215-pounder, as he recovers from nagging injuries.

“He’s just been a little banged up,“ Nass said. “The season is so long. If you don’t rest a little now, it never gets better.”

Also without Quincy Lyman, the Wolves were still able to finish 11th of 16 teams in what some were calling the toughest invitational tournament in the state this year.

“We did OK,” Nass said. “We have a few kids out, but I think everybody does at this part of the year.”

By far the toughest weight class was 112, which meant tough times for Simon Kipperberg. No slouch himself after qualifying for state at 103 a year ago, Kipperberg would find himself matched up with last year’s 4A 103 state champ and runner-up, as well as two 3A state placers.

In fact, the class was so deep, seeding reflected it — an unusual occurrence at high school tourneys. Most tourneys are seeded for the top four competitors.

“All the coaches agree, (112) was the stacked weight class of this tourney,” Bremerton coach Jeff Barton said. “(112) was seeded to eight. That’s almost unheard of. It was a pretty amazing class to watch too.”

Kipperberg was one of those eight, winning his first-round match, setting him up with Graham-Kapowsin’s Efrain Agular, the eventual winner, in just the second round. Kipperberg was able to advance all the way to the consolation semifinals before Auburn-Riverside’s Michael Turner won 10-1 to give Kipperberg a fifth-place tie.

Knowing the class was stacked, Nass said the goal was to just let Kipperberg do what he could.

“Obviously, just get as high on the podium as you can,“ Nass said. “For him, he had a pretty tough draw. But I thought he came back in the back door nicely.”

Agular beat top-ranked 112er Zach Zweifel of Lake Stevens, the defending 4A 103 champion, which Nass said again just showed how tough the competition really was.

“I wasn’t disappointed in his effort at all,” Nass said. “Bracketology sometimes just doesn’t work in your favor.”

Adam Ferguson (125) took his first-round bout with Jeremy Voss of Tahoma via pin in just 1:18. After then falling in a close 10-6 decision to Lake Stevens’ Sean Anderson, Ferguson rallied back to tie for third place with Anderson.

DeAndre Jackson had a nice tournament, winning his opening match 20-8 against Mount Spokane’s Matt Littrel.

He fell to second-place finisher Michael McAlister of Rogers 16-0 in the second round, but finished in a tie for fifth-place at 160, another tough bracket featuring several returning state placers.

Olympic’s Ivan Gaeta was able to pin Jackson in 2:59 to keep Jackson out of third.

“He’s been coming a long of late,“ Nass said of Jackson. “He wrestles extremely hard. He’s starting to catch fire this year.“

Even heavyweight Tom Decker earned a podium appearance for the Wolves, taking fifth at 285. Nass said Decker highlighted the efforts of the team’s more inexperienced grapplers.

“I thought the kids wrestled really well,” Nass said. “Our heavyweight, this is the first tournament he’s placed at. He was really excited.”

And with some of those young wrestlers getting to measure themselves against some of the state’s finest, Nass said it was just another learning opportunity.

“I think just the learning experience,” he said. “We had some young kids in matches that probably could have won. It was just some tactical stuff.”

And as Feddersen said, getting those opportunities is what it’s all about.

“That’s how our coach schedules it; the toughest we can get,” he said.

The Wolves travel to Wilson for a dual meet at 7 tonight.

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