Left, Sequim junior Isaiah Cowan wrestles his way back from a 12-7 deficit in the third period to pin Port Townsend’s Wes Blue on Jan. 23. Right, Sequim’s Tevin Oakes, right, goes head to head with Port Townsend’s Ike Banks. Oakes won with a first period pin.

Left, Sequim junior Isaiah Cowan wrestles his way back from a 12-7 deficit in the third period to pin Port Townsend’s Wes Blue on Jan. 23. Right, Sequim’s Tevin Oakes, right, goes head to head with Port Townsend’s Ike Banks. Oakes won with a first period pin.

Wrestling: ‘Grit’ helps Wolves pick up wins in lone home meet

Despite a pair of lopsided losses in their lone home meet of the season, Sequim’s Wolves saw some big highlights in a double-dual against Olympic League foes Olympic and Port Townsend on Jan. 23.

Sequim managed two wins each against Olympic’s Trojans the Redhawks along with several close individual losses, as both Olympic (72-12) and Port Townsend (48-18) easily winning in team scoring over the outnumbered Wolves.

“My team fought hard; I’m very proud of their effort,” Sequim coach Chad Cate said.

“We saw some surprises, in a good way.”

One of the evening’s highlight came from junior Isaiah Cowan, who came back from a 12-7 deficit in the third period to pin Port Townsend’s Wes Blue, a former state tourney qualifier who had two wins at MatClassic in 2019.

Cowan, a first-year wrestler, said he’s had a strong season and been able to compete in the new sport thanks to solid coaching from Cate and Erik Wiker, along with support from teammates.

“Throughout the whole season, the team’s really helped me out,” Cowan said.

Cowan picked up a win earlier in the night, a second period pin against Olympic’s Andrew Baca.

With the postseason looming in early February, Cowan said his goal is to “go as far as I can.”

Cowan’s teammate Trevin Oakes had a solid night as well at 126 pounds, earning a pin in his match against Olympic before powering his way to a first period pin (1:32) against Port Townsend’s Ike Banks.

Cate was impressed with several of his wrestlers who had good showings despite losses, in particular Bodi Sanderson. A 215-pound weight class competitor, Sanderson had a near-pin of Olympic’s Dominic Price before getting pinned himself.

“Bodi was electric; he threw a guy to his back who’s twenty pounds heavier,” Cate said.

Cate said he was also impressed with Sam Fitzgerald, who lost a pair of tough matches in exhibition but showed “incredible grit,” the Sequim coach said.

Sequim (0-6) also got several strong efforts from its girls wrestling contingent, with Petra Bernsten and Aleah Chen picking up non-scoring wins.

The Wolves honored senior Alexi Rampp-Taft at the Jan. 23 match.

“Alex had a tough night (with two losses) but she’s the backbone of this team,” Cate said.

Earlier in the week, Sequim dropped a pair of league matches on the road, falling to both Kingston (42-18) and North Kitsap (72-0) on Jan. 21.

Despite not having a league win on the season, Cowan said the Sequim squad remains upbeat.

“We’re pretty positive; the whole team, boy or girl, is supportive of one another,” he said.

The Wolves compete at Keigan Langhoff Memorial Tournament, their final postseason warm-up tourney, at Klahowya on Feb. 1, before the sub-regional tourney set for Feb. 8 in Belfair.

The West Central District tourney’s 2A tourney is set for Feb. 15, with top grapplers advancing to the MatClassic state tourney in Tacoma Feb. 21-22.

Sequim’s Tevin Oakes, right, goes head to head with Port Townsend’s Ike Banks oN jan. 23. Oakes won with a first period pin. Sequim Gazette photo by Michael Dashiell

Sequim’s Tevin Oakes, right, goes head to head with Port Townsend’s Ike Banks oN jan. 23. Oakes won with a first period pin. Sequim Gazette photo by Michael Dashiell

Sequim’s Petra Bernsten, right, takes on Olympic’s Alessia Arpetti in an exhibition match on Jan. 23 in Sequim. Bernsten won with a second period pin. Sequim Gazette photo by Michael Dashiell

Sequim’s Petra Bernsten, right, takes on Olympic’s Alessia Arpetti in an exhibition match on Jan. 23 in Sequim. Bernsten won with a second period pin. Sequim Gazette photo by Michael Dashiell

Sequim’s Bodi Sanderson, left, and Port Townsend’s Troy McKelvey lock up in a 285-pound weight class match-up on Jan. 23. Sequim Gazette photos by Michael Dashiell

Sequim’s Bodi Sanderson, left, and Port Townsend’s Troy McKelvey lock up in a 285-pound weight class match-up on Jan. 23. Sequim Gazette photos by Michael Dashiell

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