Glacier Peak’s Gil Mossburg and Moses Lake’s Dayton Regan wrestle during the 4A boys 150-pound championship match during Mat Classic XXXV on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, at the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Glacier Peak’s Gil Mossburg and Moses Lake’s Dayton Regan wrestle during the 4A boys 150-pound championship match during Mat Classic XXXV on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, at the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Five Snohomish County boys win titles at Mat Classic XXXV

Redemption was the theme as three seniors won championships after falling in finals a year ago. Two others repeated as state-title winners.

TACOMA — The theme of Mat Classic XXXV for Snohomish County boys wrestlers?

Redemption.

Three area boys who lost in championship matches last year returned to claim titles, highlighting the local contingent at the high school state championships Saturday at the Tacoma Dome.

Glacier Peak’s Gil Mossburg (4A 150 pounds), Arlington’s Dustin Baxter (3A 165 pounds) and Lake Stevens’ Koen Mattern (4A 215 pounds), all seniors competing in their final Mat Classic, shook off the disappointment of falling at the final hurdle last season to claim their first state championships.

Two other locals won championships as Glacier Peak junior Connor Aney (4A 285 pounds) and Arlington sophomore Tre Haines (3A 157 pounds) each won their second state titles.

Perhaps the most emotional of the redemption stories was Mossburg’s. Smiling throughout the match against Moses Lake’s Dayton Regan — a tactic he added this year, both to aid his own mindset and try to get a mental edge on his opponent — Mossburg, who finished second at 145 pounds last year, used a five-point takedown in the third period to turn a slim 5-3 advantage into a 10-3 lead that held the rest of the way.

Afterward Mossburg gave his dad, Glacier Peak coach Bryan Mossburg, an enormous bear hug in celebration.

“This feels amazing,” Gil Mossburg said. “Other styles is something, but here at the Dome in front of everyone and under the lights it feels really good. Going from third (as a sophomore), to second — second hurt — to first meant I capped it off right. (Coming so close previously) fuels you and makes you work even harder because you don’t want to be there again.”

“I’m just very proud of him,” Bryan Mossburg said. “I couldn’t be happier for him. I know how hard he’s worked. I always wanted it to be his thing, it’s hard being a coach’s kid, and he handled everything. I feel like he truly deserved it and earned it.”

Glacier Peak’s Gil Mossburg hugs his mom after winning the 4A boys 150-pound championship match during Mat Classic XXXV on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, at the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Glacier Peak’s Gil Mossburg hugs his mom after winning the 4A boys 150-pound championship match during Mat Classic XXXV on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, at the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Mossburg was joined at the top of the podium by teammate Aney. This was Aney’s third straight championship match at 285, as he lost two years ago and won last year. Both the previous matches were barn burners decided at the last moment, so this year’s 5-2 victory over Emerald Ridge’s Jesse Mains was the equivalent of a blowout, as Aney’s superior size was too much for Mains to deal with.

”I’m not the last match in the Dome right now!” Aney marveled, noting how he was the last one wrestling at each of the last two Mat Classics. “It kind of feels good to get off my feet and go rest.

“It’s just so surreal,” Aney added about becoming a two-time champ. “I wasn’t expecting to come this far when I started. I got a text from my grandma the other day saying she wants one, so it feels really good right now.”

Glacier Peak’s Connor Aney and Emerald Ridge’s Jesse Mains wrestle during the 4A boys 285-pound championship match during Mat Classic XXXV on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, at the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Glacier Peak’s Connor Aney and Emerald Ridge’s Jesse Mains wrestle during the 4A boys 285-pound championship match during Mat Classic XXXV on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, at the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Arlington had back-to-back champions as Haines and Baxter won consecutive matches on the 3A mat.

First, Haines overcame a torn meniscus in his knee — he suffered it in practice, forcing him to forfeit his championship matches at the district and region tournaments — to beat Oak Harbor’s Percie Hatfield 16-9 in a match where he traded escapes for takedowns. The title joins the one he won at 138 pounds last year as a freshman.

”It was pretty challenging, especially in the earlier rounds when my knee was cold,” Haines said about wrestling with the torn meniscus. “But once I warmed up I felt it a little bit, but not too much.

“I do (see myself as the rare four-time state champion),” Haines added. “That’s the plan. But just one year at a time.”

Arlington’s Tre Haines and Oak Harbor’s Percie Hatfield wrestle during the 3A boys 157-pound championship match during Mat Classic XXXV on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, at the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Arlington’s Tre Haines and Oak Harbor’s Percie Hatfield wrestle during the 3A boys 157-pound championship match during Mat Classic XXXV on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, at the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Then Baxter followed up with one of the matches of the tournament as he outlasted University’s Samuel Thomas 3-2 in four overtimes to earn his redemption. First, Baxter twice avoided near takedowns in the third period to get the match to overtime. Then after three scoreless OTs, he managed an escape in sudden victory in the fourth extra period to claim the title.

”It was the last match of my high school career and went into overtime, so I feel pretty amazing right now,” said Baxter, who lost in overtime in the 152-pound final last year. “When I lost last year I told myself I have one more year to do it, so I just worked hard in the mat room and went to the weight room and lifted a lot.”

Arlington’s Dustin Baxter and University’s Samuel Thomas wrestle during the 3A boys 165-pound championship match during Mat Classic XXXV on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, at the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Arlington’s Dustin Baxter and University’s Samuel Thomas wrestle during the 3A boys 165-pound championship match during Mat Classic XXXV on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, at the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Arlington’s third finalist, freshman Dayton Fitzgibbon, lost a heartbreaker in the 144-pound final, falling 2-0 in overtime to Auburn’s Bryce Rowland in a match where neither wrestler was able to score a single point during the opening six minutes.

The final redemption story belonged to Mattern, who didn’t go into overtime, but only because of a great escape. He and Mount Si’s Frank Kissick engaged in a back-and-forth affair that could have gone either way. Mattern led 7-5 with time ticking down in the third period when Kissick got a takedown with 15 seconds remaining to tie it. However, there was just enough time for Mattern to get an escape before the final whistle, giving him an 8-7 victory.

“I was almost crying midmatch because of how happy I felt with time ticking down,” Mattern said.

“At first I thought he was going to try to cut me and get another takedown,” Mattern added about the last-second sequence. “But I got out and immediately went full defense mode and locked in.”

Mattern led Lake Stevens to the top finish among local boys teams, as the Vikings placed fourth in the 4A standings.

Lake Stevens’ Koen Mattern and Mt. Si’s Frank Kissick wrestle during the 4A boys 215-pound championship match during Mat Classic XXXV on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, at the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Lake Stevens’ Koen Mattern and Mt. Si’s Frank Kissick wrestle during the 4A boys 215-pound championship match during Mat Classic XXXV on Saturday, Feb. 17, 2024, at the Tacoma Dome in Tacoma. (Annie Barker / The Herald)

Two Darrington wrestlers earn second

Darrington had two runners-up in the 1B/2B boys tournament, freshman Creed Wright at 113 pounds and sophomore Kade West at 285.

Wright, facing Ilwaco’s Xavier Smith, fell behind 4-1 before being pinned 1 minute, 8 seconds into the third period.

West had a nail-biter against Forks’ Sloan Tumanua. Tumanua led 5-3 with time winding down in the third period when West got what he thought was the tying takedown and slowed his momentum. However, no takedown was awarded, and Tumanua was victorious.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Sports

The Herald's Athlete of the Week poll.
Vote for The Herald’s Prep Athlete of the Week for April 8-14

The Athlete of the Week nominees for April 8-14. Voting closes at… Continue reading

X
Prep roundup for Monday, April 15

Prep roundup for Monday, April 15: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Chicago Cubs shortstop Dansby Swanson, top, forces out the Seattle Mariners’ Jorge Polanco (7) at second base and makes the throw to first for the double play against Mariners’ Ty France to end the eighth inning of Sunday’s game in Seattle. (AP Photo/Lindsey Wasson)
Hitting woes plague Mariners again in series loss to Cubs

Seattle ended the weekend 6-10, and the offense has been the main culprit.

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith may have been a Pro Bowler, but should Seattle consider prioritizing a quarterback in the NFL draft? (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)
Should Seahawks prioritize quarterback in draft?

A challenger to Geno Smith is something worth considering for Seattle.

Snohomish's Morgan Gibson returns the ball in her match against Stanwood's Ryann Reep on Friday, April 12, 2024 in Snohomish, Washington. Gibson lost the first set 4-6 but rallied back to win 6-2 in the second and 6-0 in the third. The Panthers bested the Spartans 5-2. (Taras McCurdie / The Herald)
Snohomish girls tennis bests Stanwood, 5-2

Panthers sweep singles, Spartans win first and second doubles

X
Prep roundup for Saturday, April 13

Prep roundup for Saturday, April 13: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

X
Prep roundup for Friday, April 12

Prep roundup for Friday, April 12: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Lake Stevens’ Jesse Lewis takes the handoff as the anchor in the 4x400 during a meet Thursday, April 11, 2024, in Lake Stevens, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Lake Stevens track and field retains Pilchuck Cup

Vikings’ David Brown, Jada Sarrys and Arlington’s Dallas Miller were standouts.

X
Prep roundup for Thursday, April 11

Prep roundup for Thursday, April 11: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

The Shorecrest High School boys soccer team plays keep away in the final minutes of a 5-0 victory over Mountlake Terrace on Wednesday at Edmonds Stadium. (Evan Wiederspohn / The Herald)
Shorecrest boys soccer shuts down Mountlake Terrace

Eddie Carli performs hat trick, Wyatt Kimball adds two scores as Scots get out of funk in 5-0 win.

X
Prep roundup for Wednesday, April 10

Prep roundup for Wednesday, April 10: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

X
Prep roundup for Tuesday, April 9

Prep roundup for Tuesday, April 9: (Note for coaches/scorekeepers: To report results… Continue reading

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.