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Ketchikan rumbles into Bill Weiss tourney: Wrestling finals slated to start on Saturday at 6:30 p.m.
Ketchikan High School junior Charlie Blair takes down Thunder Mountain High School’s Chase Foster during the Bill Weiss Wrestling Tournament round-robin at Clarke Cochrane Gymnasium on Friday. Staff photo by Dustin Safranek

Daily News Sports Editor

There were plenty of matches to share time in the spotlight on Friday, as every wrestler from all 13 high schools in town for the Bill Weiss Wrestling Tournament stepped on the mats in Clarke Cochrane Gymnasium at least two or three times.

Ketchikan High School’s lone home meet of the season kicked off with a round-robin event on Friday night.

The Bill Weiss Wrestling Tournament will break off into a bracket format on Saturday, beginning at 10:30 a.m. Finals are slated to start at 6:30 p.m.

“It was busy,” Ketchikan head coach Rick Collins said. “There was a lot of wrestling. There are a lot of kids here.”

Clarke Cochrane Gymnasium was a full house on Friday, as Sitka, Craig, Kake, Haines, Hydaburg, Metlakatla, Mt. Edgecumbe, Petersburg, Thorne Bay, Thunder Mountain, Wrangell and Glennallen high schools all participated in the tournament’s round-robin.

“Today we ended up with a lot of tough kids wrestling tough kids in pools,” Collins said. “And then we have kids that were more beginning in other pools. And so there’s a lot of evenly matched matches, or a fair number, I should say. And that is good for everybody’s development.”

Saturday’s bracket will be double-elimination.

“There are going to be some great matches tomorrow,” Collins said. “Some weights have three state placers in them from last year, plus kids that narrowly missed out on placing last year. Those are always deep, impressive weight classes, and a lot of fun to watch.”

Ketchikan’s Hayley Gilson rolled through her matches on Friday, pinning a defending state champion in the process.

“(She’s) just looking awesome this year,” Collins said. “She had some great wins.”

And both Degan Linne and Charlie Blair remained undefeated in their weight classes.

Linne wrestles in the 119-pound weight class; Blair is in the 140-pound.

“Degan continued to be dominant,” Collins said. “(And) Charlie had a couple nice wins.”

This week also gave Ketchikan’s younger crop of grapplers an opportunity to get matches under their belt.

“Dominic Garfield wrestled his first match (on Thursday), of his lifetime,” Collins said. “And he’s making some mistakes, like you’d expect. But he’s got a ton of talent. So I was really excited to get him rolling. He’s real talented, good kid.”

Garfield also competes in the 119-pound bracket.

And Liam Moseng also recorded some bouts in the 285-pound weight class.

“(Liam’s) doing really well,” Collins said. “We’re wrestling him up at heavyweight, and he’s burning every weekend. He’s a freshman, and I’m really excited about his future.”

Ketchikan’s Kai Biagi wrestled in the 125-pound weight class. But despite a strong showing, Biagi was unable to come out ahead.

“(He) lost a couple close ones,” Collins said. “He’s got a really deep weight class this weekend, just kind of how it shakes out. Another really deep weight class is the 152-pound. That’s going to be crazy deep. There’s quite a few state placers in there. Some real solid kids.”

Notes: Ketchikan will honor its senior wrestlers before the first finals match at 6:30 p.m.

Ketchikan’s senior class includes: Sully Schulz, Chris Harris, Vinny Trujillo, Caden Thomas, Katlian Blankenship and team manager Riley Bolshakoff.