Wolves build momentum for tourney

For Brent Chriswell and the South Kitsap wrestling team, Saturday’s South Kitsap Invitational showed just what needs to be done before the post-season begins in two weeks.

For Chriswell, that means keep doing what he has been doing — winning matches quickly and efficiently, like Saturday’s championship final at 189 pounds, which the senior won by pinning Laurice Gerig of Olympic.

For the team, it means keep heading in the right direction and build on its second-place finish at its own invitational.

“I like the character we showed (Saturday),” South coach Chad Nass said. “Especially the way we battled.”

The Wolves had three wrestlers make the finals and five others placed third in scoring 161 points. Peninsula, on the strength of seven wrestlers in the finals, won the meet with 201.5 points, while Evergreen out of Vancouver took third at 156.5

Chriswell, who needed just one minute, 51 seconds to pin Gerig, has not lost a match yet this year. And even though he incurred the wrath of his coach and his mother after his win for trying a couple of new but unnecessary moves, he is on pace to become the school’s first-ever two-time state champion.

“I’m just trying new things, trying a new style,” Chriswell said. “All my matches are going so quick and everyone is telling me, ‘Put on a show, put on a show.’

“I wasn’t trying to embarrass him and in no way was I trying to make him look bad,” Chriswell said. “I wrestled him hard and I didn’t let up.”

Nass said he wasn’t pleased with Chriswell’s new moves and hopes he will just wrestle the way he’s capable of the rest of the way.

“It’s inexcusable, and we had a long talk after the match, and he understands that,” Nass said. “He’s really well-respected by not only the wrestlers he wrestles but by the other coaches, and to do something like that diminishes that and I don’t want to see him lose that respect.

“When people look back and remember Brent Chriswell, I want them to remember him for the competitor he is and the big matches that he won and things like that,” Nass said. “Not because he went out and acted like an immature 17-year-old in the finals of a tournament.”

Javan Minor and Kurtis Fenton were the Wolves’ two other finalists, each losing close matches in the championship round.

Minor fell 8-4 to Tyler Hove of Peninsula in the 130-pound weight class, while Fenton was edged by Olympic’s Camie Yeik 4-3 in the 103 finale.

Fenton and Yeik have developed a bit of a rivalry over the past three weeks. Yeik, who is one of the areas lone female wrestlers, has defeated Fenton twice in the three times they’ve met this year.

“I think those two are going to meet up again a couple more times before the year is all said and done,” Nass said. “He really wanted to go out and wrestle a good match, and he did wrestle well, but she’s tough. I think (the match) will be good for both of them.

“Javan a great day,” Nass said. “He’s just been steadily getting better all year. If you look at his performance over the last couple of weeks, he’s just been getting a little bit better and a little bit better.”

While Chriswell and the Yeik-Fenton match drew most of the attention, South showed its depth by having five athletes finish third while four others finished sixth or higher.

Rodger Nuttall rebounded from a lackluster performance in South’s dual match with Shelton last week to take third at 125 pounds. Jesse Barich (140), Bobby Arendsee (152) Ian Richardson (160) and Orry Perez (171) all took third, and all received high praise from their coach.

Other South placers included Kyle Bamonte, Kevin Wix, Carl Welch and Ryan Sparber.

South faced off against North Kitsap late Tuesday for the Narrows League Bridge Division title and will travel to Olympia Thursday night for a crossover match with either Olympia or Capital to decide the Narrows League title.

The sub-regional round of the state tournament begins Feb. 3-4 in Bremerton. The top four placers in each weight class will advance to the regional round Feb. 10-11 at Mountain View High in Vancouver.

The Mat Classic is scheduled for Feb. 17-18 at the Tacoma Dome.

South Kitsap Invitational

Team scores: 1. Peninsula 201.5; 2. South Kitsap 161; 3. Evergreen (Vancouver) 156.5; 4. North Kitsap 155, 5; Sumner 129; 6. Olympic 114; 7. Olympia 86; 8. Central Kitsap 64.5.

Championship Matches

103 — Camie Yeik (Oly) d. Kurtis Fenton (SK) 4-3. 112 — Jordan Hidalgo (Sum) d. Joel Myers (Pen) 15-10. 119 — Derek Roberts (Pen) p. Blake Eickmeyer (CK) 1:20. 125 — Franco Cruz (CK) d. Matt Lowry (Ev) 8-4. 130 — Tyler Hove (Pen) d. Javan Miner (SK) 8-4. 135 — Kyle Hollenbeck (NK) d. Colby Grant (Sum) 8-2. 140 — Chessjuan Monk (Ev) d. Jake Grant (Sum) 8-2. 145 — Ehli Keel (Pen) d. Zack Grant (Sum) 4-2. 152 — Matt Haas (Pen) d. Jake Cornelison (Ev) 17-0. 160 — David Holt (Sum) d. Kane Rable (Ev) 1:06. 171 — Justin Schuele (Ev) d. Mark Grandia (Pen) 7-1. 189 — Brent Chriswell (SK) p. Laurice Gerig (Oly) 1:51. 215 — Joseph Silverman (Olyp) d. Jayde Delgado (Pen) 16-5. 275 — Tyler Wooldridge (Ev) p. Kevin Siperek (Oly) :19.

Other South Kitsap placers: Kyle Bamonte, fourth place, 119 pounds; Rodger Nuttall, third place, 125; Daniel Mazuti, fourth place non-scorer, 130; Kevin Wix, fifth place, 135; Brian Padmos, sixth place non-scorer, 135; Jesse Barich, third place, 140; Bobby Arendsee, third place, 152; Ian Richardson, third place, 160; Orry Perez, third place, 171; Carl Welch, sixth place, 215; Ryan Sparber, fifth place, 275.

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