Juneau-Douglas High School sophomore Camden Erickson works on Palmer’s Jackson Acree at the 2018 ASAA/First National Bank Alaska Division I State Wrestling Championships at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage. Erickson is undefeated this season and looking to win his first state championship this weekend. (Michael Dinneen | For the Juneau Empire)

Juneau-Douglas High School sophomore Camden Erickson works on Palmer’s Jackson Acree at the 2018 ASAA/First National Bank Alaska Division I State Wrestling Championships at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage. Erickson is undefeated this season and looking to win his first state championship this weekend. (Michael Dinneen | For the Juneau Empire)

TMHS wrestlers head to state with high hopes

Meet begins Friday morning in Anchorage

Thunder Mountain High School is bringing its strongest and deepest wrestling team in at least three years to this weekend’s ASAA Division I state championships in Anchorage.

Five of the 11 Falcons qualifiers have 18 or more wins this season, and each of those five nabbed one of the top four seeds in their respective weight classes. The Falcons had three fewer qualifiers in each of the last two years.

“That’s really impressive to have half of your team seeded that you’re bringing up there, at least for Juneau,” TMHS coach Josh Houston said.

Freshman Carson Cummins (23-3) is seeded third, sophomore Kadin Messmer (22-4) is seeded fourth, senior Nick Tipton (24-2) is seeded third, junior Camden Erickson (20-0) is seeded first and junior Jake Ferster (18-4) is seeded third. Houston said the coaching staff is also petitioning for a sixth Falcon, senior Jahrease Mays, to get seeded. Only six of the 16 wrestlers in each weight class receive seeds, which helps prevent the strongest wrestlers from squaring off in the early rounds.

The first three rounds and championship semifinals take place Friday and the consolation bracket and state championship matches are slated for Saturday at the Alaska Airlines Center. TMHS qualified at least one wrestler in 10 of the 14 total weight classes. The Falcons qualified two wrestlers in the 140-pound weight class and one each in the 103-, 112-, 125-, 130-, 160-, 171-, 189-, 215- and 285-pound weight classes.

Erickson has been the Falcons’ top wrestler all season, and is looking for his first state championship.

“With him it’s going to more keeping him grounded and not letting it become cocky, but letting him feel confident,” Houston said. “There’s that fine line between confidence and cockiness and he’s not getting cocky, he’s staying where he should be, but it’s just going to be reinforcing that and telling him to remember go in and treat every match as serious as the finals match.”

Houston said less of an emphasis will be made this week on pinning opponents than last week. He said the Falcons realistically don’t have a shot at securing the Division I team title at the state meet like they did at the Region V Championships.

“We want to place as high at state as we can, but we’re not a contender to win a state title as a team,” Houston said. “So the point of getting pins at this point is just to get (matches) over with, not take any chances. If you got a chance to put a guy away, put him away, don’t give him a chance to come back and win the match.”

Wrestlers that finish in the top-six in their respective weight class score additional points for their team.


• Contact sports reporter Nolin Ainsworth at 523-2272 or nainsworth@juneauempire.com.


More in Sports

Trout Unlimited's Matt Boline holds a container with coho fry for official documentation of anadromous fish use in an unnamed creek in the vicinity of Juneau. (Photo by Jeff Lund)
I Went to the Woods: Survey says…

Our floatplane cleared the notch in the snowy ridge then turned slightly… Continue reading

Juneau’s PJ Foy, shown winning the 2023 100 yard butterfly in 48.27 for Thunder Mountain High School during the ASAA state championships at the Dimond Park Aquatics Center on Nov. 4, 2023, qualified for the 2024 June Olympic Team Trials by swimming a 100 long course meters butterfly in a personal best 53.44 on March 16, 2024, at the Speedo Sectionals in Federal Way, Washington. (Klas Stolpe / Juneau Empire file photo)
Alaskans secure spots at 2024 Olympics; Juneau swimmer PJ Foy will try for his spot on Friday

TMHS graduate seeking to qualify in 100-meter butterfly at U.S. Olympic Team Trials.

At least one female wood duck has invented a novel feeding technique. (Photo by Bob Armstrong)
On the Trails: Wood ducks, redstarts, yellowlegs and flowers

Mid-June, and a few days ago we saw a wood duck with… Continue reading

Competitors in the AlaskAcross 2024 race prepare to depart from Eagle Summit at 10 a.m. on June 8, 2024. From left are Bruno Grunau, Mark Ross, Forest Wagner, Mike Fisher, Sarah Hurkett, Clinton Brown, Tracie Curry and Curtis Henry. (Photo by Ned Rozell)
Alaska Science Forum: Journey through a sub-Arctic summer night

“You guys are the result of thousands of years of selection,” Fran… Continue reading

Barn swallows firmly attach their nests to walls, so they support the weight of nestlings and visiting adults.  (Photo by Bob Amrstrong)
On the Trails: Spring to summer

Spring temperatures were cool this year, but the lengthening days gave birds… Continue reading

In the spirit of Dolly Parton’s country music roots, race participant Mendenhall River Community School Principal Eric Filardi runs in costume with young Lucy Vogel wearing heart-shaped sunglasses as they enjoy the sunny Saturday weather on the Airport Dike Trail race course. About 85 runners participated, many wearing pearls and pink hats provided at the starting tent. (Laurie Craig / Juneau Empire)
Busting out the pink and pearls at the first Dolly Dash

Dolly Parton-inspired fun run raises funds for free books for kids.

A cruise ship makes its way through early morning fog last summer. The passengers who have been arriving lately have not been experiencing similar tranquility. (Photo by Jeff Lund)
I Went to the Woods: Racing the weather

Daylight is unstoppable this time of year. Not like up in the… Continue reading

People often use sea ice, as seen here off Alaska’s northern coast outside the town of Utqiagvik, for travelling. (Photo by Ned Rozell)
Alaska Science Forum: Did sea ice help populate the Americas?

Human footprints preserved in mud at White Sands National Park in New… Continue reading

Brown-headed cowbirds are professional egg-dumpers, always parasitizing the nests of other species. (CC BY 2.0 public domain photo).
On the Trails: Egg dumping behavior

Egg-dumping refers to the behavior of a female who puts her eggs… Continue reading

Juneau-Douglas High School: Yadaa.at Kalé’s Landon Simonson is greeted at home after hitting a grand slam on Friday during the Division I Alaska School Activities Association Baseball State Championships in Anchorage. (Stephanie Burgoon/Alaska Sports Report)
JDHS baseball, TMHS softball teams make it to final day of state tournaments

Crimson Bears play for consolation title after grand slam win Friday; Falcons still in title hunt

Members of the Thunder Mountain High School softball team pose for a shot following their 18-0 victory against North Pole High School on Friday during the Division II Alaska School Activities Association Softball State Championships in Fairbanks. (Thunder Mountain Softball photo)
Final flight of the TMHS Falcons ends with 6-4 loss on final day of state softball tournament

“It’s been a fun ride,” coach says as team wins conference title, goes 29-12 during its final season.

Juneau’s Nate Fick leaps to make a catch while another Eagle River run scores during the opening game Thursday of the Division I Alaska School Activities Association Baseball State Championships. (Stephanie Burgoon/Alaska Sports Report)
Crimson Bears finish sixth at state baseball tournament, coach calls season promising for young team

JDHS loses to Chugiak in consolation finale; scenarios for next season expand due to TMHS merger.