The 2022 college wrestling national championships are over … but the great...
Rob Sherrill’s Feb. 7 High School Notebook
Pounds, Skieens repeat in Alaska
Seniors John Pounds (132) and Rilen Skieens (160) of Anchorage Robert W. Service won their second state titles in the Alaska Class 4A state tournament.
Pounds (38-5), who won at 126 last year, opened with two decisions and a major decision, then pinned Gage Wright of North Pole in 1:34 in the championship match. Skieens (36-1), also up a weight from his title run at 152 a year ago, opened with three pins and finished it up with a 7-1 decision over Luke Heun of Palmer, fifth in state a year ago.
Defending team champion Service, however, finished just third, scoring 175.5 points. Anchorage South won its first team title, outscoring Wasilla, 226-222.5. Wasilla had edged the Wolverines in the dual final two months earlier, 32-29.
Each team had four finalists and three champions, with South holding an 11-10 edge in place-winners, including a 5-2 margin in third–place contestants.
South also claimed the meet’s Outstanding Wrestler award, with sophomore Gavin Alvarado, the 113-pound champion, voted the honor. Fourth in the state meet at 106 a year ago, Alvarado (37-2) beat defending champion Andrew Caballa of Kodiak, 11-6, in the final. He had advanced to the finals with two pins and a 15-1 major decision. Alvarado’s freshman teammate, Greg Shack (98), was the only wrestler to complete an unbeaten season, finishing 40-0.
Sophomore Sawyer Root (182) of Palmer Colony pinned his way to a title with four falls in 17:31.
Christian Brothers repeats in Tennessee
Memphis Christian Brothers, now a national power as well as a state elite, turned back Nashville Father Ryan, 42-23, to win its second consecutive Division II dual state title. The Purple Wave’s victory was almost identical to last year’s final, when they also beat the Irish by 19 points, 41-22.
Christian Brothers advanced to the finals with victories over Nashville Montgomery Bell Academy, 45-25 and Chattanooga Baylor, 39-24. Trailing 8-6 after four matches, the Wave got a major decision from Luke Parrish (145) and a pin from two-time state champion Kaleb Baker (152) to take a 16-8 lead they never lost. Father Ryan rallied within 22-18 before upper weights Corbin McOlgan (195), Jeremy Brandon (220) and Jake Armstrong (285) put the meet away with a technical fall and two pins.
Cleveland lowered the boom on Lebanon Wilson Central, making its first appearance in a state final, 78-4, to win the 3A Division I title. The first nine Blue Raiders recorded pins — six in the first period — for a 54-0 lead before Wilson Central got on the board with a major decision at 220. Cleveland then finished the rout with four more pins. Greeneville rallied past Pigeon Forge, 34-32, in the A-AA Division I final as junior Jon Boatman, a state runner-up last year, scored a pin in the final match at 113 pounds. The Greene Devils won their three state tournament matches by combined 18 points.