TACOMA – Reaching a cherished goal is always special, but Chase Tebbets added some drama to a moment he’ll never forget.
After finishing second at the Mat Classic as a freshman in 2016, Tebbets finished first in the next two 4A state wrestling tournaments. Saturday at the Tacoma Dome, he got a third championship, outlasting second-ranked Jack Latimer of Camas 6-4 in overtime.
“It’s a relief. I knew I had a huge target on my back,” said Tebbets, who will wrestle next year at Simon Fraser University. “I knew it was my last high school match so I just went out there and went hard.”
Tebbets fell behind 3-2 after the first period, but chose to start the second period in the down position and immediately escaped to tie the score. He traded points with Latimer in the third, setting up the overtime.
“I took a shot, but I really didn’t get his leg. But I somehow scooped it up and tripped him,” Tebbets said of the winning points.
Tebbets began the day with a second-round pin of Mountain View’s Kirill Chirva then made even quicker work of Glacier Peak’s Parker Hardy, grabbing a quick lead with an early takedown then pinning Chriva at 1:05.
University sophomore Drew Roberts’ dream of winning consecutive state championships in different states ended with a 3-2 semifinal loss to Sunnyside’s Andrew Macias at 120 in 4A.
After a scoreless first round, Roberts started the second in the down position and picked up a hard-earned escape to take a 1-0 lead. In the third, Roberts started up and Macias scored a reversal to grab a 2-1 lead.
Macias got the cushion he needed to withstand a late escape by Roberts when the Titans star was penalized a point for intentionally leaving the mat.
Roberts – who won the Oregon 5A 113-pound title for Crescent Valley last season – shut out freshman Mateo De La Pena of Kennedy Catholic 7-0 in the quarterfinals. After losing to Macias, Roberts battled through the consolation bracket, taking third with a 3-0 win over Tahoma’s Austin Michalski.
Mt. Spokane handily won the team championship in 3A as senior Blake Haney won the 138-pound title over sophomore teammate Casey Howerton and 113-pounder Jarrett Sharp lost a final to Bonney Lake’s top-seeded defending champion Yusief Lillie.
Wildcats coach Travis Hughes gave all the credit for the second consecutive team title to his athletes.
“The kids are good wrestlers and they’re good kids,” he said. “They’re just talented kids, we haven’t done anything we haven’t been doing for 20 years.
Meanwhile, three North Central wrestlers came through with titles.
Kenndyl Mobley, a freshman but also a Fargo national champion, took a championship at 106 in 3A that didn’t surprise coach Mike Bundy in the slightest while senior Clayton Gilliam, at 126, took his second title in three years despite being on the mend from a case of mononucleosis.
The top-ranked Mobley opened the championship session with a hectic 15-10 victory over Bethel junior Donnie Krissak, who chalked up his second runner-up finish in as many seasons.
“Once he won a national championship at Fargo, I thought he’d win state,” Bundy said. “He’s a special kid, his work ethic is top notch. He’s always in the wrestling room; he always wants to learn more.”
Mobley expected stronger competition.
“I was hoping for some better matches,” he said. “There weren’t a lot of high-level kids in my bracket.”
Gilliam, who got off to a big lead then coasted to a 10-1 triumph over Edmonds-Woodway’s Grayson LeCompte, has reached the finals every year of his career. Despite coming down with mono a few weeks ago, he decided to push through to make a final trip to state.
A loss to Kamiakan’s Austin Almaguer a year ago made him want to get back to the top of the podium, where he had been in 2017.
“It wasn’t that hard. Mono doesn’t mess with your respiratory, but it was a little nerve-wracking if my spleen was inflamed,” he said. “I was a little shaky a couple of weeks ago. I was wondering if my season was going to end.
“I’m glad it didn’t. I’m glad it ended here with a win at state.”
Top-ranked Kadin Shaw also won for North Central, beating Cody Coffey of Bonney Lake 3-1.