The Thunder Mountain High School wrestling team has a goal to beat Ketchikan at the Region V Wrestling Championships next month in Craig.
That’s been the goal for a number of years, according to Falcons coach Josh Houston, but this year it’s more attainable than in the past.
“It’s always the goal,but I think we’re in a better position to do that this year,” Houston said in an interview on Tuesday. The Ketchikan Kings have won the last 11 region crowns.
The TMHS wrestling team took on their rival Kings — and 10 other teams — on Friday and Saturday at the Bill Weiss Invitational in Ketchikan. The Falcons finished third with 116 points despite being shorthanded with less than half of the team in action.
The Falcons are 25-deep this season, Houston said, but because of eligibility requirements and other factors, only brought eight to Ketchikan.
“We brought a very small team but we had actually quite a bit of success over there for the amount of kids we brought,” Houston said.
Ketchikan got first in the meet with 201 points and Glennallen was second with 154 points.
Four Falcons, including Carson Cummins (103), Kadin Messmer (112), Nick Tipton (189) and Camden Erickson (215) recorded first-place showings.
Tipton’s title in the 189-pound bracket was especially impressive, according to Houston, because he twice defeated one of the state’s best in Glennallen’s Kael Gerlach. The Glennallen talent is coming off a runner-up finish at the state meet.
“That was a huge win for Nick,” Houston said.
Tipton, one of the team captains along with Erickson, is one of four seniors wrestling for Thunder Mountain this year. The others are Chase Foster, Jahrease Mays and Mauricio Hernandez.
TMHS heads to the Lancer Smith Memorial in Wasilla next weekend.
• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or firstname.lastname@example.org.