Meadowdale wrestler records 8-second pin

Meadowdale senior Liam Ball, wrestling up at 195 from his usual 182-pound slot, pinned Shorecrest’s Raymond Ricketts-Smith in eight seconds Thursday during the Mavericks’ 57-17 win over the Scots in Wesco 3A South action.

Ball, the top-ranked wrestler in 3A and third in all classifications at 182 according to WashingtonWrestlingReport.com, took Ricketts-Smith down immediately after the opening whistle and got him to his back shortly thereafter, according to Meadowdale coach Brian Boardman.

Boardman, who will be retiring this season after the completion of his 18th season at Meadowdale, said a brief perusal of the team’s record books yielded a few other eight-second pinfalls, but none quicker.

Ball finished sixth at the prestigious Tri-State Tournament Dec. 15-16 at North Idaho College in Coeur d’Alene, but might have fared better had he not been wrestling with antibiotic-resistant pneumonia, of which Boardman said he’s still battling the remnants.

“Liam is the kind of kid where giving up or admitting defeat is just not an option,” Boardman said. “He found out it was pneumonia on the drive over there, but still won his first three matches on the first day. The second day, his body was just wiped out, but he still finished sixth. He’s just a very driven kid that would rather lose his right arm than quit.”

Ball finished seventh at 182 at Mat Classic last season, but decided he could get a bit stronger.

“He spent the summer lifting weights and focusing on being a complete athlete,” Boardman said. “He addressed what he felt his limitations were. He’s more of a punishing type of wrestler that doesn’t let up. He’s got good moves and now he’s got good power to go with them.”

Boardman, who has been in charge of the Meadowdale program since the rebuilt high school was opened in 1998, said it’s just time for someone else to take the helm.

“I’m hoping one of my assistants steps in,” he said. “Josh Knowles has been with me for 15 years and is more than qualified, and Daniel Takeuchi is one of my former wrestlers and has been with me for eight years. We’ll see.”

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