SK takes 3rd in SPSL boys wrestling tournament

South Kitsap came to Rogers Feb. 2-3 and solidified its position as one of the best 4A wrestling programs in the state with a third-place finish in the South Puget Sound League Boys Championships.

Sumner won with host Rogers second, but the Wolves were a force to be reckoned with.

“They leave it all out there,” SK coach Conner Hartmann said of his wrestlers. “There’s always things you can clean up here or there. Effort? I never have to worry about that.”

Two Wolves won their weight classes. Senior Stone Hartford lived up to his return to the top of the Jan. 22 state Wrestling Report 4A rankings, recording pins in all four of his matches at 144 pounds.

Sophomore Brennen Williams, also ranked in the top five, pinned all his opponents leading up to the 126-pound final, where he won by medical forfeit. However, Williams did cost his team a point via an unsportsmanlike penalty by throwing his headgear following his semifinal victory.

“The reality is that these kids give so much to the sport,” Hartman said. “Their lives are wrapped up often by wrestling. When things don’t go your way, it can challenge who you think you are as a person.”

Four other Wolves made it to the finals and placed second, including the Sternod brothers—freshman Dylan at 106 pounds and junior Hayden in the 113-pound bracket.

Dylan said: “I love my brother, and my hope is for both of us to win state this year. I started wrestling because he was wrestling, and I’m just here having fun.”

Junior Braden Shook at 150 pounds and senior Chase Eaglin at 157 pounds were the two other second-place finishers for the Wolves.

Other notable finishes included senior Tyler Pursell taking fourth at 144 pounds, freshman Landon Crittenden at 120 pounds and junior Oliver Miller at 150 pounds with fifth. Freshman Blake Jackson at 106 pounds, sophomore Gavin Phillips at 120 pounds and junior Trey Outhwaite at 285 pounds all took seventh.

The injury bug also bit the Wolves as freshman Quincy Willson’s 7th-place match was cut short due to what multiple sources confirmed to be an elbow injury.

Freshman Blake Jackson works to keep his head away from the mat.

Freshman Blake Jackson works to keep his head away from the mat.