Alder Creek wrestling crowns 11 champs in Tulelake tourney
The Alder Creek Middle School wrestling team took first place in a tournament at Tulelake (Calif.) this past weekend. The Cougars had 17 finalists and 31 medalist altogether, with 11 champions and six runner-up finishes in the tournament, which featured programs from Northern California and Oregon.
Finalists included Alex Davis (second), Sam Mohun (second), Mitchell Harrity (second), Thor Retzlaff (first), Stein Retzlaff (first), Justin Carter (second), Brooks Hudson (first), Tyler Curtis (first), Alex Malo (first), Javier Virrey (first), Julian Thomas (first), Carlos Ramirez (first), and Blake Crosby (first).
Alex Davis had reached his 20th win of the season by beating a Fall River wrestler 8-2. Carlos Ramirez also reached 20 wins, 18 of which were by pin. Ramirez pinned an opponent in 6 seconds to tie the school record.
Stein Retzlaff achieved 19 wins and has only lost to one wrestler. Brooks Hudson remains undefeated since starting the season 5-6. Julian Thomas has reached 19 wins and won four different tournaments.
Sam Mohun has a record of 16-10 and has 69 takedowns, which is 13 more than the previous record. Thor Retzlaff has been in the finals in every tournament but one.
Steven Diaz received his second fourth-place medal.
“Diaz has been working very hard at practice and never quits,” said Alder Creek head coach Danny Curtis. “He continues to improve every day.”
Javier Virrey lost his first match of the season to a wrestler who was 10 pounds heavier. Virrey’s record is 26-1.
Mitchell Harrity placed second and continues to baffle his coach with his aggressive takedowns.
Scotty Lebel placed third and has a record of 16-12. Blake Crosby, a sixth-grader, challenged an eighth-grader and lost by just a few points. His record is now 13-2. Zakk Ray placed fourth and continues to improve.
Steven Baker placed third in what seemed to be the toughest weight class in the tournament.
“Steven is a fighter and will not give up,” Curtis said. “He will push himself until he has nothing left to push.”
Julian Aguirre and Cory Neill both placed fourth in similar weight classes. Spencer Pearson and Gregory Engler each placed third.
“Spencer is a scrapper, which means he never stops wrestling and never gives in,” Curtis said. “Gregory is a power wrestler; he has very powerful hips and uses them to his advantage.”
Tyler Curtis challenged himself and wrestled two weight classes and won them both. Justin Carter took second and has a record of 11-6. Nick Arnone placed fourth and has a record of 9-7.
The three girls on the team, Amanda Novick, Trini Trowe and Sara Lade, each placed at the tournament. Novick, a returning wrestler from last year, placed third, as did Lade. Trowe placed fourth. Each will be competing in an all-girls California State Championship on April 12. Novick took fifth in the tournament last year.
Alder Creek Middle School will host the Mountain Man Classic tournament, which will feature teams from California, Nevada and Oregon, on Saturday. Team trophies the shape of mountains will be awarded. Fans are welcome. There will be a snack bar and barbecue with T-shirts on sale for $10. Wrestling starts at 9 a.m. and will not stop until champions are crowned at roughly 3 p.m.