Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

Glacier Bears junior places first in Juneau wrestling tournament


October 26, 2017

Glacier Bears wrestler Kamakana Kanahele took first place at a tournament in Juneau last weekend. He was undefeated in three matches in the 195-pound weight class.

In the third round of the final match the high school junior was about to be pinned, but in the last moments of the round he fought back.

Sophomore Ulric Lehman, Kanahele’s teammate and cousin, watched the match and said Kanahele got out from under his opponent and pinned him with only seconds remaining in the round.

“It was certainly a moment to behold,” Lehman said.

Coach Ben Bard says that he believes that the work Kanahele has put in has paid off. Kanahele trained before the season and Bard said it contributed to his success.

“He’s been listening a whole lot more when I’m coaching him. The biggest thing was that he dropped down to 195 (weight division). (It’s) definitely easy to do something there. I don’t think I’ve been so proud.” Bard said. “I see great things coming from him in the 195 (class).”

Kanahele said he was focused on take-down moves going into the final match.

“I just focused on the little things we worked on,” Kanahele said. “If you walk out of a match and you know you wrestled your hardest, win or lose, you walk away a champion.”

Teams from Mount Edgecumbe, Sitka, Wrangell, Juneau-Douglas, Thunder Mountain, and Ketchikan also wrestled in the tournament.

Freshman Wesley Verhamme finished with three wins and one loss in the 220 weight class, earning third place.

The Bears will head to Ketchikan on Oct. 26.


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