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By A.J. JANKOWSKI
Daily News Sports Editor
For the six minutes each of his wrestlers are on the mat, Ketchikan High School head wrestling coach Bill McLaughlin wants his grapplers to "dump the tank," and give 100-percent effort, 100 percent of the time.
After a 45-18 dual-meet win over Wrangell Thursday in the Clarke Cochrane Gymnasium, Kayhi was on "E," but now rides a wave of momentum heading into this weekend’s Bill Weiss Invitational tournament.
"Everybody wrestled hard for six minutes. Even the ones that lost, my guys fought," said McLaughlin, after his Kings scored three pins and three major decisions in the victory. "They dumped the tank, and gave me what they could for six minutes. That’s what we’re looking for."
Some wrestlers didn’t even need the full six minutes, as Jake Stout, Cody Ring and Ben Kacenas each pinned their opponents. Stout’s stick got the Kings rolling, after Kayhi fell behind early with a pair of defeats.
The match of the night came at 113 pounds between the Kings’ Kadin Hallstrom and Alex Cano. Cano jumped out to a 6-1 lead before a reversal from Hallstrom at the end of the second period narrowed the gap to three. Hallstrom chose down to start the third, and Cano turned him for three more points to go up 9-3. However, Cano couldn’t seal the deal, and after averting the pin, Hallstrom fought back with a reversal and near-fall of his own. An escape and another takedown brought Hallstrom to within one, 10-9, and with time winding down, the freshman cut Cano loose in order to try and score another takedown.
The two scrambled amid a frenzy from fans of both sides, but the buzzer sounded before Hallstrom could score again, giving Cano the 11-9 decision.
After the match, McLaughlin couldn’t say enough about his rookie.
"He’s got the heart of a lion," said McLaughlin of Hallstrom. "I told him after the match, ‘If every kid on my team had your heart and determination, I’d never lose a dang dual meet.’ That’s what this sport takes; the refusal to quit."
Kacenas pinned Asia Prus in the second period at 120 pounds, and Isaac Lontz — who didn’t wrestle last week in Thorne Bay — opened up his 2012-13 campaign with a 7-1 decision over Roger Miller.
At 138 and 145 pounds, respectively, seniors Logan Collins and Joe Chadwell each lost hard-fought decisions. Collins scored two takedowns on the edge of the mat and led Kurt Dingwall — one of the Wolves’ top grapplers — 7-1 heading into the third.
Starting the third period down, Dingwall quickly escaped, and scored a takedown and back points to cut the score to 7-6. With 40 seconds remaining, Dingwall cut Chadwell loose, and immediately scored a takedown and more near-fall points, winning 11-8.
"(Collins) wrestled good on the edge all night, until seven seconds left in the match," McLaughlin said. "That guy from Wrangell is up there at the top of the state, and Logan can beat him."
Chadwell’s bout with Tanner Thomasson also came down to the wire, with Chadwell trailing 6-5 with 20 seconds remaining. Only needing an escape to force overtime, the senior appeared to break free as the horn blew, but the referee did not award the point, and Thomasson won 6-5.
"My dad used to say ... ‘Don’t put yourself in the position where the ref has to make a decision,’" McLaughlin said. "And, unfortunately, that’s where we were at, and the ref made a decision."
Fellow senior Dalton Spear watched from the sideline as he prepared for his 152-pound match against Austin Stevens. Spear said he thought Chadwell escaped, but after watching two of his classmates fall, he knew it was time to step up.
"After Joe’s and Logan’s matches, that got me pumped," Spear said. "I knew I had to win mine."
And win he did. Spear was relentless, scoring two takedowns, a reversal and six back points, cruising to a 12-1 major decision.
"Today, I was just patient," Spear said. "I waited for him to make a mistake, and then just used that to my advantage."
Spear is undefeated so far this year, and McLaughlin said he "couldn’t be happier" with how the season has begun for the 152-pounder.
"Dalton, his technique, his mat awareness and his match control — every piece is coming together for him," the coach said. "I hope we’re not peaking early, but I don’t think he is. He’s having fun out there, and ... that’s great."
Freshman Nate Fousel dropped a 7-1 decision to Devon Miller to open the dual, and Kohl Hallmann’s 182-pound bout ended in the second period when the junior was pinned by Jeffrey Rooney.
"Little mistakes will cost you," McLaughlin said. "Some guys waited a little too long to get done what they needed to get done. This is a very unforgiving sport."
But at 195, Stout got the Kings on the board, pinning Tommy Wilson of Yakutat in 40 seconds. After a Wrangell forfeit at 220 pounds, Ring gave Kayhi a lead it never relinquished, getting Dennis Dayton on his back with 53 seconds left in the first period.
Freshman Trevor Wutzke followed Ring’s pin by earning a major decision, 14-2, over Curtis Wimberly. The Kayhi newcomer remains undefeated on the season, and likely would have notched a pin, had the buzzer not sounded to end the first and second periods. No matter, as Wutzke scored a takedown, two reversals, and six near-fall points en route to the victory.
The dual ended at 160 pounds with a bout featuring two wrestlers very familiar with each other: Kayhi’s Craig DeBoer and Wrangell’s Jordan Veelle.
DeBoer admitted after the match he took his previous success against Veelle for granted heading into Thursday’s bout.
"Since I had beaten him before, I wasn’t really ready for the match," the senior said. "That’s something I need to work on, because once I started wrestling him (Thursday), I was just like, ‘Oh man, I’ve got to get my head in the game.’"
If DeBoer wasn’t prepared Thursday, it didn’t show. The senior scored six takedowns and earned a 17-8 major decision, giving him momentum heading into this weekend’s tournament.
"Winning against him boosts my self-esteem, and will give me good momentum," DeBoer said. "I’m going to do my best, and I think I’ll be fairly busy, because there’s a lot of good guys (at 160)."
DeBoer said he’s anxious to get back in the circle with Thorne Bay’s Anthony Minnillo, who was the Southeast champ at 160 for 1A-3A last season. The two battled last weekend in Thorne Bay, and Minnillo earned a 3-1 decision.
"He’s No. 1 in the state. Rankings don’t mean much, but he’s good," DeBoer said. "I want to come back and beat him in the finals (Saturday)."
DeBoer wants Minnillo. His coach, however, wants him to take it one match at a time.
"You’ve got to stay grounded. You’ve got to get to Minnillo," McLaughlin said. "You start looking down that bracket, and you might not get to that guy. You’ve got to take it one guy at a time."
The Bill Weiss Invitational tournament begins Friday at 4 p.m. in the Clarke Cochrane Gymnasium. Wrestling continues Saturday starting at 9 a.m., with finals taking place under the spotlight at 7 p.m.
Ketchikan 45, Wrangell 18
170 pounds: Devon Miller (Wrangell) dec. Nate Fousel (Ketchikan), 7-1
182: Jeffrey Rooney (W) pin Kohl Hallmann (K)
195: Jake Stout (K) pin Tommy Wilson (Yakutat)
220: Caleb Ford (K) by forfeit
Heavyweight: Cody Ring (K) pin Dennis Dayton (Y)
98: Trevor Wutzke (K) maj. dec. Curtis Wimberly (W), 14-2
113: Alex Cano (W) dec. Kadin Hallstrom (K), 11-9
120: Ben Kacenas (K) pin Asia Prus (W)
126: Keenan Spencer (K) by forfeit
132: Isaac Lontz (K) dec. Roger Miller (W), 7-1
138: Kurt Dingwall (W) dec. Logan Collins (K), 11-8
145: Tanner Thomasson (W) dec. Joe Chadwell (K), 6-5
152: Dalton Spear (K) maj. dec. Austin Stevens (W), 13-1
160: Craig DeBoer (K) maj. dec. Jordan Veelle (W), 17-8