October 18, 2012 | Volume 42, No. 42

Thomsen leads wrestlers at first match

Led by what coach Dennis Durr called a “dominating performance” by senior Jimmy Thomsen, the Haines Glacier Bear wrestling team opened its season against Petersburg last weekend.

“It was a good experience for the team, a good tourney to work the early season cobwebs out,” Durr said.

Durr said he was looking forward to the season, which will include Haines hosting the Southeast small-schools championship. The event will bring as many as 10 teams to town at the end of November.

“We’re hoping for a top-three finish in the region as a team, and individually hoping for a few regional champions,” he said.

Thomsen, who last weekend beat John Davis of Sitka, 11-0, to win the 152-pound weight division, is among wrestlers aiming for a regional championship, but his sights are higher yet.

Thomsen was the regional tournament’s “outstanding wrestler” last year, but lost by points in the final round of a match at state competition. He said he wants a state championship this year.

The Bears sent 10 wrestlers to Petersburg and competed in six weight classes ranging from 126 pounds to heavyweight. At least 100 wrestlers from 10 schools competed.

Senior Caullen Taylor, who qualified for state last year and was ranked second at 145 pounds in Petersburg, said he underperformed, finishing 2-2. “I could use some work on my cardio, but it’s the beginning of the season and there is a lot of room for improvement.”

Sophomore Josh Stearns earned his first career win in the heavyweight division and finished third in his weight class with a 1-1 showing. Freshman Zane Durr finished fourth at 126 pounds, a competitive weight class.

Rounding out the squad are seniors Corey Piper and Zach Rossman, juniors Walker Blair and Dalton Tuohy, sophomore Casey St. Clair and freshmen Kai Hays and Tyler Murphy.

Durr said he’d be looking for leadership from the team’s seniors.

Wrestlers compete in Anchorage in two weeks, a meet Durr described as the most important after regionals and state. “(It’s) the biggest tourney for small schools in the state. During this tourney, rankings for the state tourney will be done.”

Other matches include ones in Sitka, Metlakatla and Skagway before coming back home Nov. 30-Dec. 1 for the Region V tourney.

In January, a program for junior high wrestlers will begin to feed the next crop of Glacier Bear grapplers.

Last week, the Bears finished 16-18 overall. Team rankings were not available.

Results included: Heavyweight (220 lbs and up): Stearns 1-1; 160 pounds: St. Clair, 2-2, Hays 1-2; 152 pounds: Thomsen 4-0, Blair 2-2; 145 pounds: Taylor 2-2, Murphy 0-3; 132 pounds: Piper 2-2, Rossman 1-2; 126 pounds: Durr 2-2.