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

Wrestlers prepare for region meet


The Glacier Bears wrestling team finished the regular season last weekend in Wrangell and now turns its sights to the Region V Wrestling Tournament this weekend in Sitka.

Mori Hays, a senior who placed second at the Wrangell tournament with a 3-2 record in the 138-pound division, feels good about his prospects heading into the regional tournament.

“It’s a quick turnaround between matches, but I expect to see some of the same guys I saw in Wrangell and I feel pretty good about my chances,” Hays said. “I lost in overtime to one of those guys, so next time it could go either way.”

Nathan Haas, a freshman in the heavyweight division who finished 0-2, felt good about his performance in Wrangell, but also showed a bit of levity in his comments.

“I did get third place in this tournament. But, I would have to attribute that mostly to there only being three people in my weight class,” he said. “But it’s not like I went out there and gave up. I mean...I lost like a winner, in my opinion. It felt more comfortable being out there, as this was only my second meet of the year, and I am sure I’m improving.”

Ketch Jacobson, a senior in the 145-pound division, went 1-3 in Wrangell but feels good about regionals.

“There will be fewer guys at regionals without the 4A schools we’ve been wrestling, so I feel my chances are pretty strong. There’s a kid from Mt. Edgecumbe who I should have beaten, but didn’t, so if I can beat him then I’m looking good to make it to state,” Jacobson said.

Lastly, Kamakana Kanahele, a sophomore in the 220-pound division, finally got his rematch with his cousin, Carl Tupou of Juneau.

“No, I did not win, but I lasted all three rounds and I did not get pinned. That is a major improvement because it’s usually been a first round pin in 30 seconds, so I think I can get him next year,” he said.

Coach Andrew Cardella said each of the wrestlers headed to regionals has a legitimate shot to make it to the state championships. He is excited that all the hard work they’ve put in over the season is finally being put to the test.

“I feel like everything we’ve done to this point has been practice for this moment, so now it really comes down to the will to compete and I think our guys have as good a chance as anybody,” Cardella said.

To deal with the grueling travel schedule, the team has novel ways of staying fresh on its journeys, such as playing “push-up poker” and doing mini circuit training.

The Region V tournament in Sitka will be Dec. 9-10 and determines who will represent Southeast Alaska at the state wrestling tournament in Anchorage on Dec. 16-17.


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