EDMONDS — Though the first match of the season usually presents uncertainty for high school wrestling coaches, uncertainty turned to joy for Edmonds-Woodway’s Brian Alfi on Thursday night.
Despite not knowing quite what to expect, Alfi saw his wrestlers take command early and go on to post a decisive 47-21 season-opening victory over visiting Everett. The Warriors won nine of 14 individual matches, including six with pins.
“I’m pretty ecstatic,” Alfi said. “Everett has some fantastic wrestlers and they’re going to be right there at the end (of the season). They’ve got a lot of great kids and they’re going to place high at state.”
As for the Warriors, he went on, “being at home always helps. I know we got some early momentum and the kids fed off each other, and in a dual meet sometimes that’s all you need. … The kids wrestled awesome, and it was fun to watch.”
The match began at 285 pounds, and Edmonds-Woodway got a boost right away when Generous Yeh, wrestling up from 220 pounds, got a second-period pin against Everett’s Jordan Hatem. The Warriors then sent out three freshmen in a row and came away with a pin and two losses that were nearly pins, but instead were major decisions.
Edmonds-Woodway’s second pin came from Xiawang Phipps at 106. He was trailing Everett’s Sean Beck and had been in a near-fall position earlier in the bout, but used a sudden reversal late in the second period to score a pin.
“Xiawang came up with a big pin,” Alfi said. “He wrestled hard, found an opportunity and took it. That was his first high school match and it was real exciting to watch.
“I’m very proud of our younger guys tonight,” he added. “Our three freshmen (Phipps at 106, Ousman Fatty at 113 and Howie Harr at 120) all came to battle. After those (first four matches) I felt like everybody was going to come to wrestle. Those guys really set the tone for us.”
Leading 12-8 through four matches, the Warriors took command with three straight victories, including a pair of pins. Late in the match the Seagulls still had a chance to rally, but Edmonds-Woodway snuffed that hope by winning three of the final four bouts.
Two of the night’s most exciting matches were at 145 and 170. At 145, Edmonds-Woodway’s Salihou Fatty was trailing 4-3 in the late moments, but got a last-second escape to send his bout with Everett’s Riley Bennett to overtime. But in OT Bennett scored a takedown for a 6-4 victory.
At 170, and in a showdown of state meet competitors from a year ago, Edmonds-Woodway’s Anthony Lindamood won a hard-fought 6-2 decision against Everett’s Brett Allred.
“Anthony got him tonight,” Alfi said, “but they’re both great wrestlers.”
In addition to Yeh and Phipps, the Warriors got pins from Jinsung Lee at 128, Cole Hadaller at 138, Jack Tillman at 152, and Robbie Simanton at 220.
Everett’s Christian Balmer had the evening’s quickest pin, defeating Edmonds-Woodway’s Cesar Ramos-Gunn 45 seconds into the bout. It was Everett’s only pin of the night.
At Edmonds-Woodway H.S.
106—Xiawang Phipps (EW) pin Sean Beck :14 2nd;
113—Josh Allred (E) major dec. Ousman Fatty 14-6;
120—Stephon Erosa (E) major dec. Howie Harr 17-3;
126—Jinsung Lee (EW) pin D.J. Ramirez :10 1st;
132—Grayson LeCompte (EW) major dec. Ryan Arboleda 11-3;
138—Cole Hadaller (EW) pin Dayne Tuohimaa :27 1st
145—Riley Bennett (E) dec. Salihou Fatty 6-4 OT;
152—Jack Tillman (EW) pin Hunter Alvarez :39 3rd;
160—Patrick West (E) major dec. Simon Lee 9-1;
170—Anthony Lindamood (EW) dec. Brett Allred 6-2;
182—Abdoulie Jatta (EW) major dec. Jake Leonard 12-4;
195—Christian Balmer (E) pin Cesar Ramos-Gunn 1:15 1st;
220—Robbie Simanton (EW) pin Zaelyn Bell :12 2nd;
285—Generous Yeh (EW) pin Jordan Hatem 1:45 2nd.