Verhamme takes first at regional wrestling tournament
May 6, 2021
Senior Wesley Verhamme placed first for the heavyweight class in the Region V wrestling tournament in Ketchikan on April 23. Verhamme was the only Haines athlete to qualify for state. The team was honored with the Sportsmanship Award.
“I’m really thankful I got to compete,” said Verhamme. “It was one of my biggest stresses at the beginning of the year, not knowing if it was going to happen. I’m thankful that ASAA and our school board allowed us to do this.”
Verhamme is now a two-time region champion. He also won the state tournament last year and will defend his state title May 21 and 22. Testing and masking will be required at the state tournament.
Ketchikan held the Bill Weiss Memorial tournament the day after regionals. Verhamme placed first for the heavyweight class. Freshmen Jackson Long and Douglas Adams competed in the 171-189-pound weight class. Long placed second and Adams placed fourth.
Haines wrestlers are required to get tested for COVID-19 every Monday. For the tournament, all wrestlers were required to get tested before and after competing. The Haines school also required the wrestlers to get tested in the Juneau airport before returning to Haines on the Fjordland.
On April 27, the Ketchikan Borough School District announced five Ketchikan individuals related to the tournament tested positive, and one individual who attended the prom tested positive. Ketchikan residents are continuing to test positive.
The Ketchikan High School was closed April 28 and classes were held virtually. The school reopened, then closed for 24 hours on May 4 due to two positive cases in the building. All activities and practices are cancelled as of this week and students are learning remotely.
The Haines wrestlers were required to quarantine the week of April 28. They were not able to come back to school until receiving a negative COVID-19 test. None of the wrestlers tested positive and all are back at school.