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

Bears matmen aim to drop weight


Haines’ wrestling team returned from its season-opening match in Petersburg last weekend with some bumps, some bruises and a plan.

Cut some weight.

Three out of the four wrestlers who traveled to Petersburg said they would feel better suited to compete at a weight class one step down from their current weight.

Mori Hays, a senior at the 145-pound weight class, began the tournament well, but had to sit out his final two matches due to a shoulder injury.

“I was satisfied with how I did and it was great to be back wrestling. Unfortunately, I injured my shoulder. But before that, I went 2-1, and they were all good matches. I wrestled at 145 for this tournament because it had 24 people at 145 pounds and only 11 at 138 pounds, but I’d like to get back down to 138 in the future.”

Ketch Jacobson, a senior who last year wrestled at 138 or 145 pounds but this year is at 152 pounds, found things difficult as he finished 1-4 in his matches.

“It was alright, but I’ll tell you what. Those guys at 152 pounds are pretty tough and strong. I could compete with them on a skill level, but they usually get really mad and just beat me up pretty good. They get mean on me. I think I’d be better off at 145 so I can be lighter and strong, instead of just heavy enough (for the weight class).”

Kamakana Kanahele, a sophomore in the 220-pound class, had a more personal tournament than anyone else on the team. He wrestled his cousin, former Haines high student, Carl Tupou, twice, losing both times.

“It was refreshing to get back out on the mat and do some things I don’t really practice. I could just react. But, my goal…really, is to beat (Tupou) in front of his home crowd (in Juneau). I’ve always looked up to him as a wrestler and if I could beat him… That would be a great goal.”

Kanahele also wants to drop to 195 pounds because there are more wrestlers statewide at that weight class. He said he wants the challenge of dropping the weight while remaining strong.

Karl Gillham, a freshman, saw his first action as a high school wrestler and said he hopes to improve.

Coach Andrew Cardella said the tournament was important to his green squad. “This tournament was great because the intent was to get each wrestler as many matches as possible in as short a time as possible. Our guys also got to see some of the more experienced wrestlers from around the region. So even though it was a bit overwhelming, we now have some benchmarks to work from, and our guys have a better feel for what they have to do if they want to make an impact in the future.”

The team’s next match is this weekend in Juneau.


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