South Kitsap wrestlers place fifth at Mat Classic

South Kitsap wrestlers place fifth at Mat Classic

Six wrestlers medaled for the Wolves at the state wrestling tournament


Kitsap News Group

Eight South Kitsap wrestlers advanced to the second day of competition of the Mat Classic state wrestling tournament at the Tacoma Dome Feb. 17-18.

Six were able to medal and two competed in their respective weight-class final matches, all helping the Wolves finish in fifth place.

“It feels really good to finish fifth and bring home six medalists,” head coach Chad Nass said.

“As a coach, you always want more and you feel bad for the ones that did not place, but this sport is not always fair. And that’s what you love and hate about it at the same time.”

Ashton Schessler (113-pound weight class) finished in eighth place; Devin Gentz (120-pound weight class) and JJ Leota (182-pound weight class) finished in sixth place; Nathan Marin (160-pound weight class) finished third; and Mason Eaglin (138-pound weight class) and Sebastian Robles (145-pound weight class) both earned the silver medal.

“It felt good to do better than last year and make it to the final,” Robles said, “but next year I want to win it all. I have a better drive to win it.”

After winning their first two matches Feb. 17, both Robles and Eaglin were set up to compete in the semi-final for their first matches Feb. 18.

“We have been stressing all year the importance of wrestling hard on day two of tournaments because tournaments are not won and lost on day one,” Nass said.

“They are decided on day two. Our kids came out and had a great start to day two by winning five of our six matches, including putting two in the finals.”

In his semifinal match, Eaglin beat Devante Goodman of Mead High School to face Josh Franich of Puyallup. After leading the entire match, Franich pinned Eaglin in the last minute.

“It’s the worst pain ever,” Eaglin said. “It was a roller coaster of feeling good going in and during, and then it sucked.”

The next match featured Robles, who competed against Braedon Orrino of Graham Kapowsin.

“The coaches told me not to focus on Mason’s match because I was so sad that (he) lost,” Robles said.

“I went in thinking ‘I’m going to beat this guy. I’m going to be a state champ.’

“And then in the first five seconds, I got dominated. That guy was a man, he was so big.”

Although neither match went how they wanted, both finished second, which they considered to be a great achievement.

“At the end of the tournament I told the kids how proud I was of them, and how proud our school and community should be of them, not just by the results but the way they carried themselves and represented our school,” Nass said. “They were very gracious in both victory and defeat.”

Also finishing in the top three was junior Nathan Marin. Marin won his first match against Kaleb Solusod of Issaquah before falling to James Rogers of Battle Ground.

On Saturday, he beat Warren Han of Kamiak and Baylee Tran of Curtis to earn third place.

“Before my match, Coach Nass asked me, ‘The toughest guy takes what? Third,” Marin said.

“Things went wrong and Izaiah got hurt — which sucked — and we could have placed higher,” Eaglin said, “but regardless of those things, we did really well.”

Eaglin, Robles and Marin attribute their success to their hard work, the team’s cohesiveness, their coaches’ belief in them — and the “strangeness” of the South Kitsap wrestlers.

From double high-match, to Robles’ inspirational Naruto anime references. From random dance cirlces around unsuspecting teammates, to Eaglin swearing he pins coach Nass on a daily basis, and Robles explaining how players on the team like to hold his pockets. The Wolves wrestling team is one of a kind.

“We’re known as the weird team,” Eaglin said.

“We like to think of ourselves as a clan of assassins. But although we goof around, we get the work done.”

Next up is nationals in Virginia Beach in March] . Eaglin, Robles and Marin will be competing to prepare for next year, when they will have one last shot to claim a state title.

“The biggest thing right now is for us to stay together as a team and keep training,” Robles said.

Nass agreed, saying in the 21 years he’s been coaching, this was the tightest group he’s ever been around.

“The biggest thing I will take from this season is the bond the kids have formed with one another,” Nass said.

“All the kids got along with each other and there was never any drama between them. I think 20 years from now, most of them will still be friends and in contact with one another.”

The Wolves finished fifth in the Mat Classic with 90 points. Next year, they’re hoping to break into that coveted top four category.

South Kitsap wrestlers place fifth at Mat Classic
South Kitsap wrestlers place fifth at Mat Classic

More in Sports

The North Kitsap passing game struggled Thursday, but quarterback Colton Bower rushed for 133 yards and two touchdowns in his team’s 32-0 win over Bainbridge. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Weather forces NK to use ground game in 32-0 win over BI

If North Kitsap hopes to go far in the state high school… Continue reading

Bainbridge quarterback Jack Grant, left, hands off to Garrett Goade as Port Angeles defender Jeremiah Hall closes in on Friday night in Port Angeles. (Keith Thorpe/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
Football Roundup: Week 7

Port Angeles 27, Bainbridge 7 The Spartans had their opportunities, but the… Continue reading

Colton Bower passed for 363 yards and six touchdowns in North Kitsap’s 56-21 win over Bremerton. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Bower throws 6 TD passes, runs for 100 yards in romp

Friday night brought together a North Kitsap team that loves to air… Continue reading

Bainbridge senior Eden Michael took home a second-place finish in the final regular season cross country league meet at Battle Point Park. Michael’s performance helped lead Bainbridge to a team victory. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group photos)
Bainbridge girls win final league meet

NK girls, Kingston boys each run to 2nd place

Bainbridge senior Maddy Brown looks to pry the ball loose from a Sequim player during her team’s 1-0 win Thursday night. Mark Krulish/Bainbridge Island Review photos
Bainbridge maintains top spot with 1-0 win over Sequim

Keeping the positive momentum going was the order of the day for… Continue reading

Bainbridge sophomore Kathryn Houseman swims to victory in the 500-yard freestyle in Tuesday’s tri-meet against North Kitsap and Kingston. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
BHS swimmers dominating on road to state

With a reloaded roster full of experienced underclassmen, the Bainbridge girls swim… Continue reading

Finn Miller plays defense against his Mercer Island counterpart, Finn Friedland (7), in Monday night’s water polo match agains the Islanders. Bainbridge won 17-8. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
BHS water polo beats Mercer Island to remain undefeated

In the 50-year history of boys high school water polo in Washington… Continue reading

North Kitsap improved to 4-0 on the season with a 42-7 win over Olympic on Friday. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Football roundup: Week 5

North Kitsap 42, Olympic 7 The Trojans hung tough for a while,… Continue reading

Colton Bower
Big passing plays spark N. Kitsap over Olympic

The Vikings didn’t get off to their fastest start on Homecoming night,… Continue reading

Allie Wildsmith of Bainbridge blasts a shot through the North Kitsap defense during her team’s five-set win on Thursday night. (Mark Krulish/Kitsap News Group)
Wildsmith leads Bainbridge to wild finish in win over N. Kitsap

Every time Bainbridge needed to help turn the momentum of the match,… Continue reading

Mark Krulish
Community comes together over COVID cancellations

We’re a few weeks into the Fall 2021 prep season, and although… Continue reading