Wrestlers close out careers on a high note

"When the dust settled at Mat Classic XII in the Tacoma Dome, two South Kitsap High School wrestlers emerged as back-to-back state placers at the 4A wrestling tournament Saturday.Seniors Arwin Snay (119 pounds) and Jakob Sheppard (189 pounds) each ended their high school careers on a winning note.Snay, who wrestled six matches in the two-day tournament, defeated Karl Krebs of Wenatchee 6-3 to finish in fifth place. He took fourth place last year.Sheppard, who defeated Pedro Ayala of Walla Walla 6-0 in the first round, routed Ayala 14-4 in a rematch later in the day to earn seventh place. Sheppard took eighth last year.In what SK coach Ron Hudiburg called one of the stronger tournaments in recent years, the Wolves finished about where he expected them to.With sophomore Evan Winslow (145) and seniors Micky Dougherty (135) and Nick Williams (171) also making it to state, Hudiburg knew all five would have had to do well for the team to place in the top 10.Instead, the Wolves finished tied for 33rd out of 76 teams.Dougherty ended up not competing because of a concussion suffered the previous week at regionals.Winslow went two and out and Williams only managed one win out of three matches, leaving the majority of points up to Snay and Sheppard.Snay defeated Krebs in the first round 14-4 before his much anticipated match against Heritage sophomore, Fred Farmer.Snay came out the aggressor in the first round and put Farmer on his back for the first takedown of the match. The South Kitsap wrestler took a narrow 3-1 lead into the second round before Farmer turned the tables and reeled off five of the next six points to win 8-4.Snay bounced back to defeat Towner Buck (Kentlake), and then got his revenge on Kentwood's Matt Boyovich, who had defeated him at regionals last week.With a slim 5-3 in the third round, Snay clinched a 7-3 victory with a late takedown.That set up Snay's fourth encounter with league rival Eli Grindstaff of Capital.In the three previous matches Grindstaff escaped with three low-scoring one-point victories against Snay.Both wrestlers followed the same pattern, with Grindstaff getting the best of Snay again with a 3-2 win.Hudiburg said Snay's match against Boyovich was Snay's biggest highlight in a stacked 119-pound bracket.Against Boyovich, that was probably his best match, Hudiburg said. Last year Snay had (at least one) easy match. But this year there weren't any.Other than his two wins against Ayala, Sheppard's matches were decided by two points or less.Close matches are pretty typical for these matches for any weight, Hudiburg said.Despite losing to Kamiak's Jerry Matson 3-2 in the second round, Sheppard was one match away from wrestling for third place, but fell to Port Angeles' Rob DeCou 4-2 to put him in the seventh-place match against Ayala.Leading DeCou 2-1 in the third round, Sheppard surrendered an escape to tie the score and then registered a takedown with only two seconds remaining in the match.Sheppard said he thought he could have wrestled all his opponents better, but the one against DeCou ate at him the most.I didn't shoot on the Port Angeles guy, Sheppard said. I just wrestled like crap. I placed lower than I expected to.Sheppard also noted the depth of his weight class too.They were just loaded staters, he said. I just got outwrestled, I guess. This might be the last time I wrestle, and that's kind of sad if you think about it.Dougherty said he was disappointed about not being able to compete at state, but what he will miss the most is the comradarie with his teammates.We have a close team and I'll miss that the most, Dougherty said. We all worked hard, and the feeling we got when we beat just shows we could have had a better performance here (at state). I'm just going to miss the team.Dougherty, who plans to wrestle at the Division III level at the Coast Guard Academy next year, said he has no regrets with his career.I worked all summer to try and get there and do something, he said. This was my chance, but you just gotta take what happens."

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