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Mat Classic XVII Preview


The Bears are sending 6 wrestlers to Mat Classic XVII. Junior Gonzalez joins 3 other Ki-Be wrestlers (Jay Draper, Travis Knutson and Ale DeLaPena) as the only 4 time state qualifiers in Ki-Be history. With a medal, Junior would join Knutson as the only 4 time state medalists. Junior's biggest test should come in the semi's against Justin Eastman of Rochester. Junior's only loss came to Eastman at the Hoquiam tournament, despite leading 8-4 in the third round.

Brandon Ashley will be making his third appearance at the tournament. He placed 5th at 103 in 2002. This could be the big year he has waited for since he was a freshman. Conrad Garza of Othello and Brandon are ranked as the top 2 wrestlers at 112-2A in the state. If all goes well, we will be seeing the 5th meeting of the year between these two in the finals. Brandon faces Aaron Grenz of Ridgefield in the first round. He defeated Grenz 9-3 at the Connell Invite early in the year.

Tony Chapin has come up big this post-season with a district title and a regional title. Looking at the brackets for state, it looks like the bottom half of the bracket is loaded with the top wrestlers at this weightclass. Brad Groce (Med Lake), Jake Horsman (Mt.Baker), Lucas Wolff (Chelan) and Micah Sohl (Vashon Island) will be knocking each other off before the finals. Since Tony is in the top half of the bracket, it looks as if he has a good chance of getting to the finals. His victory over Wolff at regionals was very impressive.

Ryan Phipps is another wrestler who just might be clicking on all cylinders at just the right time. He took apart a very good wrestler in Tate Collins in the 3rd place match at regionals. If Ryan can come out strong in his first round match, he could do very well in the medal race.

I think we can finally say that Daniel Gonzalez is for real. Beating a state medalist in the third place match at regionals makes Daniel a solid contender for a medal at state. The best thing he has going for himself is that no one knows who he is or what he is capable of. The surprise factor, along with his talent, could take him far in the touranment.

The CWAC 103 weightclass is usually one of the toughest in the state. Troy Cunningham has shown this year that he is capable of wrestling with the best. Kyle Johnson of Lakeside is his first competition in the first round. Johnson better be ready to wrestle, because we know Troy will.

The Bears could once again be on the board by the end of the tournament. The chances of a top 10 finish look good. All 6 of Ki-Be's entries could grab a medal this year. This should be a very fun tournament to watch for Bears fans.