There will be blood.
Three consecutive bouts were halted to clean up blood -- two Panthers and one Grizzly -- as Snohomish went on to beat crosstown Glacier Peak 41-21 in the first nonleague wrestling meet between the two teams Thursday night at Snohomish High School.
"It's part of the sport, it really is," Snohomish head coach Rob Zabel said. "It's the closest thing we let kids get to MMA. It doesn't faze the kids. We probably see more in practice. And I'm sure (Glacier Peak) does too."
While Snohomish and Glacier Peak had wrestled against each other previously in tournaments, this was the first head-to-head meet between the two schools. It was evident early on that it was going to be a battle.
The blood began spilling in the 152-pound bout when Glacier Peak's Logan Coleman halted play with blood coming from above his right eye. He had it wrapped and taped for the final minute of the third period where he was able to tie the score and force overtime.
In the extra time, Snohomish's Jacob Proffit was awarded the game-winning point on a technical violation by Coleman, giving Proffit a 4-3 decision and helping put the Panthers up 11-3 in the fourth match of the night.
Next time it was the Snohomish wrestler who needed to be patched up. The Panthers' Tanner Perry began to bleed from his mouth in the 160-pound match, before being tended to. The Grizzlies' Jacob Elledge won the bout with a 7-4 decision.
Zabel said that when you have two good wrestling programs go at it, a little bloodshed isn't all that surprising.
"It's two schools that wrestle a physical style," Zabel said. "I wasn't surprised by the amount of blood."
Finally, Snohomish's Kodiak Landis (170-pounds) contributed a little blood to the cause when he injured his nose while wrestling Tyler Sabin. Landis used paper towels to plug his nose while he continued to wrestle, eventually pulling out a close 4-3 decision that Zabel singled out as one of the key moments of the meet.
"Kodiak Landis had a big match for us," Zabel said. "He stepped up big. He's really grown as a wrestler and I couldn't be more proud of him."
With the win, Landis gave his team a 14-6 advantage as Snohomish tried to distance itself from Glacier Peak. At 182-pounds, Justin Kearney fought off Griffin Thomas to earn another close decision, 2-0, that helped the Panthers pad their lead.
"When coaches talk before the meets, there are what you call 'swing matches,'" Zabel said. "Kodiak was one. Justin Kearney was another. Those guys stepped up and really helped us there."
Glacier Peak's Sean Elledge pinned Peder Morrill at 195-pounds and Mosese Fifita won the heavyweight bout with a 4-2 decision to keep the Grizzlies close. But back-to-back pins by Snohomish's Joel Williamson (106-pounds) and Wyatt Butler (113-pounds) sealed the victory for the Panthers.
"This was going to be a tough match," Zabel said. "This was a really good high school wrestling match. Not a lot of pins."
Zabel knew it was going to be a hard-fought battle, but he had faith in his team after a difficult schedule so far this season. Snohomish (8-1 overall) began the season with a loss to defending 4A state champion Tahoma, but has since followed it up with eight straight wins including one against Sedro-Woolley -- which placed sixth in 3A last season.
Glacier Peak (5-1) -- which lost its first meet of the season -- finished 12th at the 3A tournament in 2012. And, right around the corner for Snohomish, is perennial wrestling powerhouse Lake Stevens (fifth last year in 4A).
"We try to find these tough matches," Zabel said. "That way when we're in these tough matches, our kids have that experience. Our kids expect to be in big matches."
At Snohomish H.S.
132–Ethan Barr (GP) dec. Keaton Mills, 10-4; 138–Greg Eagle (S) dec. Michael Matwichuk, 14-2; 145–Joseph Proffit (S) dec. Daniel Bastian, 11-2; 152–Jacob Proffit (S) dec. Logan Coleman, 4-3; 160–Jacob Elledge (GP) dec. Tanner Perry, 7-4; 170–Kodiak Landis (S) dec. Tyler Sabin, 4-3; 182–Justin Kearney (S) dec. Griffin Thomas, 2-0; 195–Sean Elledge (GP) pinned Peder Morrill, 3:29; 220–Tristan Baus (S) pinned Marcus Becerra, 2:15; 285–Mosese Fifita (GP) dec. Alex Fairhurst, 4-2; 106–Joel Williamson (S) pinned Samir Mahmoud, 3:44; 113–Wyatt Butler (S) pinned Mats Haneburg, 4:52; 120–Conner Snow won by forfeit; 126–John Kim (GP) pinned Noah Bomar, 3:33. Records–Glacier Peak 5-1 overall. Snohomish 8-1.
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