Wolves fifth at own Rainshadow tourney

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After two tough matches against Olympic League foes in the two days leading up to their own annual tournament, it’s a wonder the Wolves had any energy left.

Turns out they had plenty.

Sequim saw eight grapplers place — including two into championship matches — and the team take fifth place out of 13 teams at the 13th Rainshadow Tournament in Sequim Jan. 8-9.

Zach Sisco went 3-1 and finished second in the 130-pound weight class while Dakota Hinton was 2-1, coming in second in the 152-pound weight class.

Kenny Henning had a strong tournament as well for Sequim, going 5-1 — three of those wins by pin — and finishing third at 145 pounds.

The trio helped Sequim with their second-best finish in the last nine years at the tournament.

“With eight kids placing … everyone was doing a little bit,” Sequim coach Len Borchers said.

At 140 pounds, Mustang Riggins won his first two matches to make the semifinals before falling; he finished 3-2 and took fourth place.

Derek Fruin, a Sequim 119-pounder, took fifth overall after going 3-2.

Joe Pizzuto, a transfer from Port Angeles, had an up-and-down tourney, winning four of six matches and placing fifth at 171 pounds. He won three matches by pin.

Clay Charley, Sequim’s 215-pounder, shrugged off an early loss to go 3-3 and finish sixth in the heavyweight division.

Cody Field went 3-3 at 135 pounds, finishing sixth.

Overall, Sequim had 19 grapplers competing, finishing with a 32-36 overall match record and 21 pins.

“The numbers were down,” Borchers said, noting the 13-team tourney usually draws 16 to 20 squads. “But I think the level of competition was still pretty good. Nobody gets a cake walk. Nice to get to get (some of the junior varsity wrestlers) some experience.”

Sisco was perhaps the biggest pleasant surprise for Sequim, pinning top seed Brian McCarty of North Mason 13 seconds into the second round.

“He’s a senior wrestling at home; I think that helped,” Borchers said. “He’s got a couple of killer moves.”

Hinton, younger brother of state grappler Ethan Hinton (now wrestling for Southern Oregon), got a bye in the first round before pinning Port Townsend’s Kody Whipple and Port Angeles’ Montana Collins in order.

“Ethan wrestled very conservative; (Dakota) is much more animated,” Borchers said. “He’s going to be as big or bigger than Ethan.”

The Wolves will need a big effort from their crew when they host North Mason on Nov. 14.
“They’re the best of the 2A part of our league,” Borchers said.

Sequim will do so without the services of heavyweight Thomas Gallagher, whom Borchers said isn’t likely to get to the mat this season. After testing the senior and former state placer for weight, it seems that Gallagher — a prized offensive lineman football recruit — will have a tough time making it under the weight restriction of 285 pounds.

Sequim travels to Port Angeles Jan. 16 for the four-team Battle of the Axe Tournament, taking on P.A., Kingston and Kentridge.

P.T. powers past Sequim
In their second close match in as many nights, Sequim’s grapplers found themselves on the wrong side of a nail-biter, falling to Port Townsend’s Redskins on Jan. 7.

The Wolves earned four pins and a technical fall but couldn’t upset a strong P.T. squad.

Hinton pinned Redskin 152-pounder Kris Windle in the first round while Sequim’s Joe Pizzuto pinned Jake Saul in 48 seconds at 171 pounds.

The Wolves’ Riggins earned a third-round pin of Nehemiah Killam at 140 pounds while Sequim heavyweight Brian Bearden pinned Mitch Thomas in the second round.

Fruin, the Sequim 119-pounder, earned a technical fall win, topping Dillon Ralls 17-2.

In the tightest match of the evening, Austin Middleton earned a 4-1 win for Sequim, edging Addison Harper at 125 pounds.

Earning pins for Port Townsend were Justin Mead, Ryan Hubbard, Ryan Unbedacht, Melvin Thornton and Nick Saul, plus state qualifier Brett Johnson at 160 pounds.

Roughriders rally, top Sequim
The Port Angeles Roughriders knew exactly how to tip the scales in their favor, winning each weight class 145 pounds or heavier to edge the Wolves 46-36 on Jan. 6.

P.A. earned six pins and a decision by points in topping Sequim in the heaviest weights, while Sequim won each weight class between 112 and 140 pounds.

Kenny Griffith pinned P.A.’s Malachi Mulhair at 112 pounds. Fruin (119 pounds) and Sisco (125) each got first-round pins.

After Winston Babb picked up a forfeit win at 130 pounds, Sequim’s Field pinned P.A. 135-pounder Nick Tweter in the first round.

Riggins, the Wolves’ 140-pounder, pinned Brian Sullivan in the third round.

The Roughriders got pins from Collins (145 pounds), Trevor Lee (160), Brandon Vaught (171), Jacob Dostie (189), Nathan Cristion (215) and Cory Roblan (285).

P.A.’s Adam Raemer topped Hinton, Sequim’s 145-pounder, by a 10-1 count in the match of the evening.

Reach Michael Dashiell at

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