TACOMA – Nolan Doloughan hadn’t reached the finals of an important wrestling tournament since the eighth grade.
The Freeman High School junior excelled at Mat Classic XXX, pinning two opponents and winning a tough overtime quarterfinal match, only to see a familiar face waiting for him in Saturday’s 1A 138-pound finals at the Tacoma Dome, teammate Logan Holt.
Holt came in the top-ranked wrestler at 138 in 1A, with second- and third-place state finishes on his resume. Doloughan is no slouch, ranked eighth, but he knew the job would be a tough one and he ultimately came out on the short end of a 7-1 score.
“It’s awesome that they’re both there,” Freeman coach Chad Ripke said. “As a coach you don’t have a favorite in the race. You love them equally. You want them both to succeed.”
Holt didn’t relish having to defeat a teammate for his first state crown, but wasn’t about to give it back.
“It’s awesome,” he said. “It was sad, but at least one of us was going to win a state title. The coaches told us to wrestle our asses off.”
Ripke and three assistants split up into the two corners for the bout, but simply watched, not wanting to offer advice to either.
“Logan is just a storybook Freeman kid, hard worker, doesn’t say a word,” Ripke said. “He’s so humble, he deserves everything he got. I’m sure gonna miss that kid, but I’ve got Nolan for another year. I can’t wait for his senior season.”
Doloughan’s overtime win came in Friday’s quarterfinals over Rodrigo Ozuna of Warden. Then, in Saturday morning’s semifinals, he trailed Elma junior Justin Sample in the third period, but suddenly reversed his fortunes and got a pin in the final minute.
“Nolan had the tournament of his life. He had a storybook state tournament,” Ripke said.
Doloughan was a little rattled before the match, as much by the concept of wrestling for a state championship as competing with a team mate. He and Holt had never met in an actual match previously, only in practice.
“It was different,” he said. “But I was more just nervous to be at state. I’ve never been here before.”
Ripke’s team had two other wrestlers reach the finals, but Hunter Nees lost to Luke Weaver of Sultan 7-2 at 120 and Brandon Iris fell to John Knight of Colville 5-2 at 182. The end couldn’t sour the run the Scotties had throughout the tournament.
“We came here with six guys and had a perfect 12-0 day yesterday. We just had a magical day. Don’t know if that’s ever been done with that many kids,” Ripke said. “We piggybacked on it today. We’re (20-6) in the tournament. What we’ve done is just amazing.”
Amazing though Freeman performance may have been, it was Deer Park which claimed the 1A championship without claiming a single individual title. The Stags scored 159 to outdo Colville, which was second at 136.
“I wouldn’t say its more satisfying to win without a champion because you always want to to have those, but that defines our season, a team win,” Deer Park coach Matt Jorgenson said. “These kids never missed practice, put in the offseason work. It was a team deal.”
For Deer Park, Brett Hodgson, at 152, was runner-up to Trevor Morrison of Colville while Amir Nuriddeen at 220 and Gabe Sanchez at 285 lost decisions in the final two weight classifications of the night. Nuriddeen picked up some unexpected points when he pinned Forks’ top-ranked Luke Dahlgren. Jorgenson also pointed to a third-place finish at 160 by Caden Boswell, who had dropped down a weight to help the team.
Other 1A individual champions included three-time state champion Trent Baun of Colville at 126; Jeff Friedman of Lakeside at 113; Ethan Davis of Medical Lake at 132; and Kaden Krouse of Chelewah at 170.
Top-ranked Kiran Srikanth of Pullman claimed the 2A 170-pound title. In 2B/1B, Graham Rocha of Northwest Christian at 138, Joe Pearley of Wilbur-Creston at 160 and Ethan Landt of Reardan at 182 were champions.
On the girls side, West Valley’s Jasmine Fryer reached the final with a win over Veronique Abaglo of Fife but was pinned by Federal Way’s returning finalist Mariah Stewart.