Petersburg Pilot -

Vikings start season with tournament win at home


Orin Pierson

Viking freshman Mike File grapples with Luke Gunderson, beating the 138 lb. senior from Wrangell during Friday night’s bout.

The Petersburg High School wrestling team won the invitational tournament it hosted last weekend.

Eleven schools from across Southeast attended the round robin tournament.

Petersburg head coach Dan van Swearingen said his team out-pinned its opponents.

“Our team pinned all night and that’s why we had such high scores,” Van Swearingen said. “We were pinning machines.”

DJ Toyomura, Bill Ware, Logan Turcott and Kaleb Simbahon all went undefeated over the weekend.

Van Swearingen said a highlight of the tournament was John Brooks’ defeat of Craig’s Wyatt Patten—a returning regional champ.

The match went into quadruple overtime. Van Swearingen said Brooks made a final escape, winning as the crowd roared.

“Throughout the season it might go back and forth but now he knows he can beat him,” Van Swearingen said.

The coach said the Petersburg wrestlers looked as if they’d been competing for half a season already but they still have a thing or two to learn. He wants to instill a stronger sense of aggression in the athletes.

“You can be friends off the mat but I think our team needs to realize when you step onto that mat you just gotta turn off your nice and be mean and aggressive and take it to them,” Van Swearingen said. “Once we learn that we’re going to win even more matches.”

It was the team’s first meet of the season.


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