By Jon Saperstein Herald Writer
TACOMA — If you asked anyone outside of Wesco at Mat Classic XXIV about Meadowdale’s Morgan Smith, virtually no one would have recognized the Maverick junior.
Fast forward to Mat Classic XXV and Smith stood atop the podium alone as the 160-pound champion for Class 3A.
Coach Brian Boardman and Smith talked about all the work the senior put in leading up to Saturday, and thanks to a 4-2 decision over Oak Harbor’s Josh Crebbin, it paid off.
“He works so hard,” Boardman said. “He puts all the time in necessary. All of these kids out here deserve wonderful things and everyone works hard, but for us watching him bloom from a kid — nobody knew him. He deserves it because of how much effort he put into it.”
For someone who had never placed at the tournament Smith was calm in the final, taking a 4-0 lead in the first period against Crebbin, whom he had defeated twice earlier in the year.
“I felt like I was in control,” Smith said. “It was great that I got that near fall and takedown in the first period.”
For Smith though, this match wasn’t won under the lights of the Tacoma Dome. It was won during the offseason after he lost both matches at state in 2012.
“You learn from your losses and that’s what I did this time last year,” Smith said. “I learned from losing. I knew that I would have to work harder if I would be a state champ. I think that was the deciding factor. Hard work and determination.
“Hard works means coming to practice everyday with the mindset to better yourself. Being in school you have to keep your grades up. … You’ve got to take everything seriously. Wrestling isn’t just a mindset it is a lifestyle. You have to commit yourself.”
Smith lost just two matches all year and credited teammate Ciaran Ball, who placed fourth in the 195-pound class, with preparing him for the win.
“Iron sharpens iron,” he said
GP’s Elledge wins again
The other area 3A champion was Glacier Peak’s Sean Elledge, who won a tough 6-5 decision in the title match in the 182-pound class. The final was much more difficult than his 8-0 victory in 2012 championship match, and had many back and forth lead changes. That made Saturday’s victory that much more satisfying.
“Definitely better the second time for sure because I’ve been there and I’ve been working my butt off to get back to the top,” Elledge said. “It feels good to get two.”
Elledge wrestled his final high school match Saturday and moves on to Central Washington — where he will play football in the fall — but not before leaving his mark at Glacier Peak.
“I want to be remembered at Glacier Peak somehow,” Elledge said of the honor of being the only Grizzly to win more than one title. “So that’s a big thing for me to be a two-time state champion.”
Diaz injured in title match
Marysville Getchell heavyweight Alfredo Diaz finished second in his weight class, losing to Decatur’s Kyle Gleed. The senior went from not being able to make weight as a freshman to the favorite this weekend. He was ahead 3-2 during the second period of the title match before went it all went awry.
“He was working his match,” Marysville Getchell Todd Freeman coach said. “(Gleed) is super tough on his feet, so we had him where we wanted him on the mat, but a little scramble and things go sideways with heavyweights. There’s a lot of meat moving around out there.”
During a reversal Gleed kicked Diaz in the head and the referees stopped the match. After trainers checked, they ruled a concussion and Gleed won by injury default.
Stanwood’s 106-pounder West Weinert finished second, as did Shorewood’s Matthew Floresca at 126.
At Tacoma Dome
Team scores: 1. University 142.5, 10. Oak Harbor 57, 12. Glacier Peak 53, 13. Marysville Pilchuck 48, 15. Stanwood 47, 18. Meadowdale 38, 21. Marysville Getchell 33, 24. Shorewood 27, 27. Everett 20, 49. Mountlake Terrace 1.
Championship matches: 106—1. Homer Romero (Sunnyside) dec. 2. West Weinert (Stanwood) 6-4 OT; 126—1. Josh Newberg (Kelso) dec. 2. Matthew Floresca (Shorewood) 3-0; 145—1. John Hoover (Mt. Spokane) dec. 2. Killian Page (Marysville Pilchuck) 5-0; 160—1. Morgan Smith (Meadowdale) dec. 2. Joshua Crebbin (Oak Harbor) 4-2; 182—1. Sean Elledge (Glacier Peak) dec. 2. Chili Sabin (Bonney Lake) 6-5; 285—1. Kyle Gleed (Decatur) inj. def. 2. Alfredo Diaz (Marysville Getchell).
Semifinals: 106—Weinert dec. Kwest Obsorn (University) 8-3; 126—Floresca dec. Colton Tracy (Bonney Lake) 2-1, Newberg maj. dec. John Kim (Glacier Peak) 12-1; 145—Page dec. Dylan Schmidt (Shadle Park) 8-6, Hoover dec. Jessie Lopez (Everett) 4-3; 152—Izaec Quntanilla (North Central) tech. fall Zach Schut (Stanwood) 16-1; 160—Crebbin pinned Bryson Pierce (North Central) 3:41, Smith) pinned Mario Gonzalez (Prairie) 5:19; 170—Austin Stannard (University) pinned Courtney Shavers (Oak Harbor) 1:16; 182—Elledge pinned Daniel Avalos (Sunnyside) 1:57; 285—Diaz pinned Mosese Fifita (Glacier Peak) 3:46.
Consolation rounds: 113—Benjamin Dixon (Mountain View) dec. Billy Almachar (Marysville Getchell) 12-8, 7. Almachar dec. 8. Trysten Dawson (Decatur) 8-6; 126—Jerad Paul (Enumclaw) pinned Kim 2:11, 5. Tyke Reid dec. 6. Kim 7-6; 132—Isaiah Diggs (Decatur) dec. Cody Fakkema (Oak Harbor) 3-2, Rieley Smith (University) pinned Jahleel Vester (OH) 3:45, 7. Fakkema dec. 8. Vester 5-1; 145—Lopez dec. Matt Yuste (Bonney Lake) 2-1, 3. Lopez inj. def. 4. Schmidt; 152—Conner Small (Liberty) dec. Dalton Gilman (Stanwood) 7-4, Justin Mitchell (Enumclaw) maj. dec. Logan Coleman (Glacier Peak) 14-0, Mitchell dec. Schut 8-3, 5. Small dec. 6. Schut 6-3, 7. Gilman dec. 8. Coleman 14-13; 160—Drew Hatch (Maryville Pilchuck) inj. def. Mason McDaniel (Juanita), Hatch inj. def. Pierce, 3. Ryan Anderson (Enumclaw) dec. 4. Hatch 5-2; 170—Shavers dec. Max Ramos (Sunnyside) 12-11, 3. Nick Karis (Decatur) pinned Shavers 0:51; 195—Ciaran Ball (Meadowdale) dec. Tanner Risk (Timberline) 4-3, Ball pinned Jake Grantham (North Thurston) 4:28, 3. Rowland Gaydosh (Decatur) dec. 4. Ball 6-1; 220—Dwayne Robinson (Rogers) dec. Carlos Vilchis (Stanwood) 6-1, Austin Carmin (Sunnyside) pinned Ignat Gabov (Marysville Pilchuck), 7. Vilchis pinned 8. Gabov 2:30; 285—Fifita dec. Heber Martinez (North Central) 5-2, 3. Tate Orndorff (University) dec. 4. Fifita 8-1.