The Edmonds-Woodway wrestling team came into Tuesday’s meet against Lynnwood in danger of seeing its streak of three consecutive league championships come to an end.
After losing three of the first five matches and forfeiting two others, the Warriors’ streak appeared even more in jeopardy. Edmonds-Woodway trailed 29-9 and the Royals were closing in on a league championship.
The Warriors never lost another match.
Edmonds-Woodway wrestlers ripped off seven straight victories, one of which came by forfeit, to pull off the come-from behind 40-29 win.
“Lynnwood’s been wrestling really good this year and we still wanted a piece of the league title,” Edmonds-Woodway head coach Brian Alfi said. “We had to come through tonight.”
After not winning a league match a year ago and finishing 1-10 overall, the Royals completely turned things around this season, coming into the meet with a record of 3-0 in league and 7-1 overall.
The scoreboard made things look bleak for the Warriors midway through the meet, but Alfi knew he had strong wrestlers coming down the stretch. Many of the Warriors top wrestlers were in the lower weightclasses, while Lynnwood was stronger in the heavier divisions. The match started at 152 pounds and worked up through the heavyweights before jumping back down to 106 and working up to 145.
“I think they have a couple of state placers in their upper weights, so we knew they were going to get some points on us,” Alfi said. “We’re pretty deep with our program numbers, so we thought we’d just have to win the lighter weights.”
The Warriors also won the majority of the swing matches, or matches without a clear-cut favorite.
Sophomore Ebrima Fatty provided one of those victories at 106 pounds with a major decision over Lynnwood’s Oscar Trombertt. With a 9-2 lead late in the match, Fatty conceded a one-point escape to Trombertt to give himself enough time to get a two-point takedown and a major decision which is worth four points, rather than a regular decision which is worth three.
“We knew it was going to come down to the wire with these guys,” Alfi said. “At 106 we knew we had four more swing matches as we were looking ahead. One point matters a lot. So if we’re up by seven we want to give the wrestler the one-point escape so we can get the two-point takedown.”
Junior 138-pounder Jonah Cortezzo pinned Lynnwood’s Rob Kluth in 3:41 to clinch a victory for the Warriors.
“He’s really worked himself in freestyle, club, summer and everything,” Alfi said. “He’s done everything we’ve asked him to.”
The Warriors victory gives themselves a chance to earn at least a share for the league title depending on the outcome in their final match of the season, but it didn’t come easy.
“That’s hardworking program,” Alfi said of Lynnwood. “Hardworking people in this sport are going to get success, so it’s not really any surprise that they are having the rewards that they are having this season. They deserve everything that they’ve got.
“If we wrestle this match again tomorrow, I don’t know if we come out on top. I think the teams are that close. We just wrestled really well tonight.”
Aaron Lommers covers prep sports for The Herald. Follow him on Twitter @aaronlommers and contact him at email@example.com.
At Edmonds Woodway H.S.
106—Ebrima Fatty (E-W) maj. dec. Oscar Trombertt 11-3; 113—Sidat Kanyi (E-W) won by forfeit; 120—Gabe Baltazar (E-W) pinned Caleb Lubag 2:36; 126—Nathan Nash (E-W) def. Enrique Guerrero 4-1; 132—Jackson Fair (E-W) def. Nate Paulson 9-2; 138—Jonah Cortezzo (E-W) pinned Rob Kluth 3:41; 145—Hiram Martin (E-W) def. Matthew Calkins 10-9; 152—Nathan Vulliet (E-W) tech. fall Cody Stocker 19-4; 160—Reald Markokoj (L) tech. fall Justin Gunn 16-1; 170—Hunter Lord (L) pinned Jonah Perez 2:55; 182— Spencer Schultz (E-W) maj. dec. Cole Anstice 9-1; 195—Mahdi Shahhosseini (L) won by forfeit; 220—Michael Vasquez (L) won by forfeit; 285—E. Juong (L) pinned Cole Akers 1:15. Records—Lynnwood 3-1 league, 8-2 overall. Edmonds Woodway 3-1, 5-2.