LEWISTON — The 2023 edition of the Clearwater Classic wrestling tournament showed that it could reach the promise of yesteryear.
A total of 18 teams competed in the two-day tournament that concluded Saturday at Lewiston High School, making it the largest field in nine years.
“Lewiston High School is a great place to host a wrestling tournament,” Clearwater Valley wrestling coach Carlos Martinez said. “This is a great facility and the school, parents and volunteers do a great job. I’m glad to see this tournament on the way back up to where it used to be.”
Weiser claimed the team title with 254 team points. The host Bengals were the top area team, finishing in second with 175.
Here’s what we learned:
Bengal hammers show up
It was no surprise seeing Lewiston’s Joely Slyter, Hoyt Hvass and Robert Storm competing for individual titles. All three hammers for the Bengals pinned their way to first-place finishes.
Hvass pinned Clarkston standout Dawson Bailey in 58 seconds via an inside cradle.
“I think Clarkston came in thinking they had a good run at (Hoyt),” Lewiston coach Colton Maddy said. “I told him to just go out there and put it away early and he did that.”
Slyter finished undefeated in the girls 107-pound weight class, pinning all of her opponents in under four minutes.
Storm used his championship match against St. Maries’ Landon Warren to prepare for this coming weekend’s North Idaho Rumble.
Storm jumped ahead 6-1 at the end of the first period and put Warren away with 45 seconds to go in the second.
“We wanted him to go out there and add some new moves to his toolbox,” Maddy said. “He’s got to go up against a kid from Mountain View that he lost to earlier in the season, and we want to make sure he’s ready.”
Thill with a thrill
Brenden Thill has been a staple in Lewiston’s lineup all season at 195 pounds.
But two weeks ago he moved down to 182 at the Gut Check tournament. In this one, the switch served him well, earning a first-place finish.
Thill pinned his way to the semifinal round before notching an 8-0 major decision against Weiser’s Lucas Goff to send him to the final.
Thill faced Pasco’s Victor Cuellar and never lost control. After a scoreless first period, things began to pick up in the second as Thill notched a standup. Later in the period, he took advantage of a poor shot from Cuellar, resulting in two points.
In the third, Thill flipped Cuellar on his back with 45 seconds left and earned the pin.
“He came in and took care of business,” Maddy said. “He took mat control and really slowed guys down with his hand ties. If winning your home tournament as a senior doesn’t shoot your confidence way up, I don’t know what will.”
Bulldogs small but mighty
Grangeville tied for ninth as a team with 93 points, bringing 17 wrestlers. However, the Bulldogs came away with two golds, two silvers and a bronze.
“We did pretty well, but there’s still a lot to work on,” Grangeville coach Callen Jackson said. “The kids are improving every week, which is good to see.”
In the girls 120-126 final, teammates Kadence Beck and Holli Schumacher met in the final, with Beck coming out on top thanks to a first-round pin.
“That was really awesome to see,” Jackson said. “(Holli) has worked really hard to get to where she is, and I hope that keeps going.”
Freshman Kaden Schaff earned Grangeville’s other first-place finish after a tech fall victory against Kennewick’s Jacob Priest at 98 pounds.
“He’s very mature for his age and he’s wrestling really well,” Jackson said. “He’s adjusting really well, and I see a big future for that kid. I’m going to say he has the potential to be a four-time state champion.”
Keyan Boller deserves this
Clearwater Valley had four wrestlers in the championship round, but came away with just one win.
The title came from 138-pounder Keyan Boller. The senior dominated from the opening whistle against Enterprise’s Pearce Schnetzsky, going up 7-1 in the first.
He finished the match after locking in an arm bar with 38 seconds left in the second.
“He’s gained confidence and his technique is on point right now,” Martinez said. “He’s wrestling like one of the best kids in the state, and he’s proving it week in and week out.”
Team scores — 1. Weiser (W) 254; 2. Lewiston (L) 175; 3. Kellogg (K) 165.5; 4. Clearwater Valley (CV) 146.5; 5. Kennewick (KE) 137.5; 6. Pasco (P) 114.5; 7. Clarkston (C) 110; 8. Ridgeline (R) 104; T9 Cheney (CH) 93; T9. Grangeville (G) 93; 11. Enterprise/Wallowa (E) 82; 12. Moscow (M) 66.5; 13. St. Maries (S) 60; 14. Orofino 54; 15. Newport (N) 51; 16. Knappa (KN) 32; 17. Central Valley (CE) 9; 18. Lapwai 0.
98 — Schaff (G) tech fall Jacob Priest (KE) 19-2; 106 — Abraham Noriega (KE) dec. Chase Scribner (K) 11-5; 113 — Preston Kremer (N) maj dec. Charlie Nevarez (W); 120 — Corbin Roe (KN) pinned Ricky Haralson (K) 4:26; 126 — Hoyt Hvass (L) pinned Dawson Bailey (C) 0:58; 132 — Joe Showalter (CH) pinned Jaeger Hall (K) 3:58; 138 — Keyan Boller (CV) pinned Pearce Schnetzky (E) 3:23; 145 — Tyson Ramsey (R) dec Stockton Young (W) 13-8; 152 — Kash Cobb (W) pinned Diego Deaton (M) 1:55; 160 — Jaycee Garcia (K) maj dec. TJ Fetters (G) 15-5; 170 — Maddox Stevens (W) pinned Ramsey Rainio (K) 3:46; 182 — Brenden Thill (L) pinned Victor Cuellar (P) 5:12; 195 — Kaleb Grove (W) pinned Bass Myers (CV) 4:31; 220 — Trenton Hawker (W) maj dec. Porter Whipple (CV) 15-4; 285 — Robert Storm (L) pinned Landon Warren (S) 3:15.
100 — 1. Kiya Roe (K); 2. Sophia McLain (K). 107 — 1. Joely Slyter (L); 2. Alli Betts (C); Mackenzi Fletcher (W). 120 — 1. Kadence Beck (G); 2. Holli Schumacher (G); 3. Audrey Deleon (W). 126 — 1. Jalisca Holmgren (CH); 2. Reese Bauer (K); 3. Eavan Johnson (S). 120-126 — Beck (G) pinned Schumacher 1:49; 132 — Izzy Davis (K) pinned Meg’n Blundell (CV) 2:36; 138-145 — 1. Ailyah Alhilla (W); 2. Alysia Kostecka (CE); 3. Macy Morrow (CV). 165 — 1. Maddie Johnson (S); 2. Emmalyn Boller (CV); 3. Emma Rivera (L). 235 — 1. Isabella Ramirez (KN); 2. Lyrica Peterson-Wag (L).
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