Petersburg hosts wrestling season opener
Petersburg Viking wrestler John Brooks finished in third place at the home tournament Oct. 13. Brooks is shown here pinning his opponent Douglas Palacios of Mt. Edgecumbe for the win in the match.
Petersburg had its first wrestling tournament in over a year Oct. 12. The Vikings have ten wrestlers on the team including 98 pound sophomore D. J. Toyomura, who finished the weekend with a 4 and 0 record. In his first tournament championship, Toyomura was matched with first seed Wrangell opponent Curtis Wimberly and Toyomura won. He was then matched with Craig wrestler Seth Packer for another win. With a forfeit in the championship round, Toyomura bested the five wrestlers in his 98 to 106 pound weight class.
“With the small number of grapplers in the 98 to 106 weight class,” Head Coach Martin Massin said, “we had to combine them for better competition.”
The only senior on the team is Kris Thorsteinson, who finished in third place with a win against Zane Durr of Haines. Thorsteinson began with a win over former Viking turned Wrangell Wolf, Asia Prus. He then bested Hoonah opponent Sam Shelkey and was handed his first loss of the season at the hands of Thorne Bay’s Tell Tripple in a seven to six match.
Viking sophomore John Brooks wrestled in the 132 pound weight class and finished with a third place win.
“He started out very strong,” Massin said. “John fought hard through the backside of the bracket to make it to third.”
Brooks began with a win against Greg Bennum of Kake then lost to Roger Miller of Wrangell. He then came from behind to win against Josh Young of Sitka, Francis Charles of Hydaburg, Hunter Fitch from Craig and Douglas Palacios of Mt. Edgecumbe.
Junior Bret Martinsen wrestled up a class to fill out the 138-pound weight class for the Vikings.
Martinsen finished in fourth place with a beginning win against Tommy Togiak of Edgecumbe then a loss in the semi-finals against Jaren Sumuaung of Sitka. Martinsen then won against his teammate Logan Turcott but received his second loss of the tournament from Wyatt Paton of Craig.
Junior Logan Turcott, who fought in the 138-pound weight class, did not place in the tournament and his first loss of the weekend came from Paton.
“He had a very exciting match against Unger,” Massin said. “He fought well and came out with a victory.”
But Turcott was put out of the tournament by Viking teammate Martinsen.
145 pound Andrew Mathisen placed fourth overall with a good showing for his first tournament in over a year. His first match was against number one seed Tanner Thomason of Wrangell and that ended with Mathisen’s first loss. Mathisen then went on to win consecutively against Will Peele of Hydaburg, Herbert Lockuk of Edgecumbe, Cobin Latimar of Craig, Caullen Taylor of Haines and had a second loss to Jason Young of Edgecumbe.
The 152-pound Viking, William Ware started with a win against Nichols Hall of Edgecumbe and his first loss against J. Davis of Sitka. Ware went to the back of the bracket and came out to win against teammate Gus Petersen, Skaflestad of Hoonah and then lost to Jenson of Thorne Bay.
152-pound sophomore Petersen wrestled Andrew Nicolair of Edgecumbe and was handed his first pin of his wrestling career. Petersen then lost to teammate Ware for his second loss of the tournament and 195-pound junior Kaleb Simbahon finished 0 and 2 for the tournament.
“This was, by far the most difficult tournament I have ever had to deal with,” Massin said. “Two schools left on the ferry early Saturday and we tried to finish a full tournament by the time these teams had to leave.”
Massin said it was nearly impossible to get it completed.
“In the 23 years I have been coaching we have never left a tournament early due to a ferry schedule,” he stated. “When teams do this, it takes away from the sport and the students.”
Massin is lobbying to make a rule that if you can’t commit to stay and wrestle, then do not attend the tournament at all.
“Needless to say, Wrangell, Skagway, Hoonah, Hydaburg and Klawock did stay,” he said. “These teams were able to stay and finish Saturday with more mat time and wrestling experience.”
The Vikings traveled to Sitka this week.
“We started off at Sitka with some dual team matches, ” Massin said. “Thursday we wrestled Sitka and Mt. Edgecumbe, but we didn’t keep score due to the fact that both teams beat us with just the empty weight classes we couldn’t fill.”
Toyomura pinned Alphonsus Pete of Edgecumbe in the first period. Toyomura ended up with a third place win the tournament by losing to Deirdre Creed of Mt. Edgecumbe twice and beating Pete, and Seth Packer of Craig.
Thorsteinson pinned Hoonah’s Sam Shalkey in the 126 pound weight class but ended up in second place with a loss to two-time state champion Tanner Thain of Craig. Thorsteinson did get a little back by pinning Tell Tripple of Thorne Bay.
Martinsen beat Josh Young of Sitka and Tommy Togiak of Edgecumbe. Martinsen took fourth overall and his first loss was to champion Willie Brand of Craig. He went on to win against David Olin of Edgecumbe but was given a loss to teammate Brooks. Brooks took third and his first match was against Patton of Craig. Brooks went on to win against Togiak and Martinsen but was handed his second loss from Patton again for the third place finish.
Mathisen beat Cody Hutton of Sitka for the dual and he placed fifth overall.
James Poulson / Sitka Daily Sentinel
After taking the championship at the Petersburg tournament, D.J. Toyomura finished in third place in Sitka losing to Deirdre Creed of Mt. Edgecumbe over the weekend.
The 145-pound Ware beat Jontel Valentine of Sitka. Ware placed third overall in a tough 145-weight class. His first loss was to John Davis of Sitka. He then went on to beat Jacob Marshall of Wrangell, Christopher Pleasant of Edgecumbe and Theodore Jackson of Edgecumbe. Ware had his final loss to Davis.
“We did improve on the mat over the weekend,” Massin said. “We are working on our takedowns and being more aggressive with our opponents.”
Massin said he only took six guys to Sitka due to grades and the ASVAB test.
“We are heading to Anchorage for the Anchorage Christian Schools Tournament this weekend,” he stated. “This will let us see where we stand overall against everyone in the state in our respected weight classes. It is early in the season and we are farther ahead than I thought we would be by now and we are only getting better.”