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The Bears 2005 Post-Season Preview


The Bears will be led into the post-season by Junior Gonzalez. Junior is 62-2 in the past two seasons and came within a point of making it to the state finals last season. Juniors only loss this year was to Justin Eastman of Rochester. Junior was actually beating him pretty good in the Hoquiam finals, until he was thrown to his back and lost 9-8. There could be a rematch at state. Due to his loss to Eastman, I would suspect he will be on the same side of the bracket as state runner-up at 140 last year, Keith Johnson of Port Townsend. It will be a tough road to the finals again this year, but Junior is capable of winning it all.

Brandon Ashley will be going into his final post-season probably in the best shape of his career. He is 24-2 on the year, with both losses coming at the hands of Conrad Garza of Othello. He should get another couple shots at Garza at districts and regionals. Garza is not unbeatable and Brandon has the ability to come back and beat him. There are some good 112 pounders out there but are they better than Garza or Ashley. Will these two in the state finals as well? Anything is possible.

Tony Chapin will have some work ahead of him to make it to state. He has come on strong late in the season and even gave David Rae of Connell a good fight in a late season dual. There are plenty of guys ranked below Tony who would like to steal away a state spot. Tony will have to respect everyone he wrestles in this post-season. From the looks of the dual with Rae, Tony may be better comditioned than some of the other wrestlers. If he can keep it together into the third round, his conditioning should prevail.

At the beginning of the season it looked like going to state was a sure thing for Troy Cunningham. The emergence of Matt Garza of Othello, Jake Horn of Ephrata, Jared Reyes of Quincy and Jake Luczynski of Cascade has made the 103 weightclass very crowded. Throw in senior state veteran Miguel Zuniga of Connell and even Derek Stelter of Othello and qualifying for state is anything but a sure thing anymore. Troy showed what he is capable of in his match with JJ Garza. It will take 6-8 matches like that to make it to state.

At 160, Ryan Phipps is down to his last chance at making it to state. Ryan should be able to get his way through districts and make his 4th appearance in the regional tourney. Regionals is going to be extremely tough. Collins of Chelan, Echavarria of Quincy, Ferguson of Naches, Parkins of Cashmere and Soto of Grandview all stand in his way of a trip to state. Phipps has the potential and know how to beat any one of these guys. He will need to find a way to beat at least two of them this post-season.

What a turnaround season it has been for Jose Prado. He is 13-11 on the season and even has some tournament hardware from the season. Jose is in the same boat as Phipps as far as regionals goes. First he will need to make it to regionals. That will not be an easy task, but it will be easier than if he was wrestling the North District. 5 of the top 7 wrestlers at 215 come from the North Division. That leaves Prado with a great chance at qualifying for regionals.

Jerry Haug could wrestle at either 130 or 135 for the post-season. My guess is he will be 130. He is another wrestler who will have to beat some guys he hasn't beaten before to make it to state. Jerry has shown flashed of brilliant wrestling. He will need to put together a few of those flashes to advance to state, but he is capable of it.

Not sure if Ryan Burns hand will be ready for districts. He will need to be completely healthy to take on the monumental task of overtaking the guys in front of him. Ryan has lost valuable wrestling time since punching that wall at Grandview. He has had a good career at Ki-Be.

The rest of the Ki-Be post-season squad will consist of seniors Tommy Small and Jeff Slape, and sophomores Johnny Rivera, Kyle Hagins and Justin Hunt. All five of these guys have been improving throughout the year and will give a good showing at district. I really wish that there were three more years for Small and Slape, they could have been really, really good with a bit more mat time. Hagins, Rivera and Hunt have that mat time, it will depend on what they decide to do with it that will determine how good they get. Daniel Gonzalez is a late season addition at 189-215 who could do very well.

It would be nice to send 5 to 7 guys to state this year. It makes the state weekend more exciting. There should be some great wrestling this post-season, some of it will be by the guys from Ki-Be.

District Records   Regional Records   State Records   Overall
Wrestler W L Titles   W L Titles   W L Titles   W L Titles
Brandon Ashley 8 2 2   6 5 -   6 4 -   20 11 2
Justin Hunt 1 3 0   0 0 -   0 0 -   1 3 -
Kyle Hagins 1 3 0   0 0 -   0 0 -   1 3 -
Jerry Haug 3 7 -   1 3 -   0 0 -   4 10 -
Ryan Burns 4 4 -   1 5 -   0 0 -   5 9 -
Junior Gonzalez 8 1 2   7 2 1   9 6 -   24 9 3
Tony Chapin 6 2 -   5 4 -   0 0 -   11 6 -
Ryan Phipps 7 6 -   2 6 -   0 0 -   9 12 -