After two days and hundreds of matches, the Floyd Dryden Middle School wrestling team emerged as winners of the 2020 Southeast Alaska Middle School Wrestling Championship over the weekend.
Floyd Dryden ended the tournament with a total of 303.5 points, while Ketchikan’s Schoenbar Middle School came in second with 230.5.
Such a wide margin is a big deal, according to Dryden’s head coach Ken Brown.
“We smoked them,” Brown said. “We stuck nine kids in the final (rounds), and we had five champs.”
In addition to winning the tournament, Floyd Dryden also hosted the event with over 200 wrestlers and their families from all over Southeast Alaska. Visiting kids and parents stayed at the school with local families and community groups provided food and other forms of support.
Brown gave credit to his assistant coach Chris Heidemann who organized the event. Heidemann spent months working on it, which in the end he said, “it was great. Everything went really well.”
While Brown sang the praises of his own wrestlers, he gave credit to many of the visiting schools as well.
“I was really impressed with Sitka, they had some really good wrestlers,” Brown said. “Ketchikan had more wrestlers in the tournament and a lot of their kids really improved from the last time.”
Several Dryden wrestlers ending up placing first in their weight class, but even the students that didn’t place contributed to the team’s performance, Brown said.
But several of his students went above and beyond, Brown said.
“Justus Darbonne, he was amazing in this tournament,” Brown said.
Darbonne placed first in his weight class, as did Haydon Aube and Cameron Brown, whose performances in the tournament were also noted by Brown.
“It was amazing, it was really amazing, the kids benefited from this,” Brown said. “Incredible weekend and it was a lot of fun, really proud of the kids.”