TACOMA – The Freeman wrestling team, or at least its coach, has believed it has been overlooked this season.
The Scotties advanced nine to state after winning league, district and subregional championships.
A State 1A team title probably isn’t in the offing, but Freeman pushed three through to the semifinals Friday during the first day of Mat Classic XXVI at the Tacoma Dome.
Upper weights Markus Goldbach (182 pounds), Josiah Thompson (195) and Teigan Glidewell (220) showed why they deserve to be in the hunt for a state title today.
Goldbach, fifth at state last year, was nothing short of dominant, winning twice by pin and needing only 59 seconds on the mat in the quarterfinals.
“I feel I can contend for a championship,” said Goldbach, who was so dominant in his quarterfinal that it took him just 59 seconds to record a pin.
Thompson trailed 10-4 in his quarterfinal, but he didn’t quit fighting. He pulled within 10-9 when he stuck his opponent with 55 seconds remaining.
Glidewell advanced via tight decisions. He won 7-5 in the first round and 7-6 in the quarterfinals. He opened a 6-3 lead and rode on top for all but 10 seconds of the last period before allowing an escape.
“I had to be smart because I had one stall call on me,” Glidewell said. “I had to make sure I pressured him. I need to be in the finals to be satisfied.”
Other Northeast A wrestlers who advanced to the semifinals are Dalton Young and Hootie Judd of Lakeside (Nine Mile Falls) and Dustin Olson of Chewelah.
Judd squeezed out a pair of 3-2 victories.
“I missed a lot of scoring opportunities,” Judd said. “I took 30 seconds off in the third and couldn’t get it back. I was tired. I can’t do that (today).”
Blaine is the leader after the first day with 65 points. Freeman, which hasn’t finished higher than 10th, is third with 52.
Deer Park had the best day of Great Northern League teams, pushing four into the semifinals.
Colville had three, Clarkston and West Valley two each and East Valley one.
The Stags, led by defending champ Joe Grable (145 pounds), are in second with 48.5 points behind Sedro Woolley (56). Colville (41) is in fourth.
Grable got a pin in the first round and followed with a 14-2 major decision.
“I tried to get a pin for team points, but sometimes you don’t get it,” Gable said. “I feel good. I like being a defending champion in the tournament. You need all the confidence in this sport and it gives me a little edge.”
Other Stags moving on to the semifinals are Aaron Klauder (113), Matt Miller (152) and Jason Aebisher (170).
Other GNL semifinalists are T.J. Baun (106), Jesse Morrison (126) and Tyler Ward (126) of Colville; Spencer Clegg (106) and Dylan Beeler (220) of Clarkston; Jace Malek (220) and Ricky Miller (heavyweight) of WV; and Gabe Meyer (138) of EV.
The nine area double winners moved into title matches. The smallest division has a bracket half the size of the other divisions.
Kain Feltwell (126) and Kaleb Hafner (132) of Liberty advanced. Feltwell won convincingly by pin and technical fall while Hafner moved through behind 4-1 and 3-2 decisions.
“This is the third year I’ve been in the state finals and I got second my first two years,” Feltwell said. “And that ain’t happening this year.”
The others seeking titles tonight are Justin Chantry (113) and Cody Hoffman (195) of Selkirk; Kevin Knauff (152) of Garfield-Palouse; RC Carstenson (170) of Almira/Coulee-Hartline; Evan Lord (220) of Colfax; and Heiko Birkle (hwt) of Reardan.