By JEFF BRADY
The Skagway High wrestling team has been gearing up for regionals with some big matches this month.
In Juneau last weekend, the two seniors on the team each posted two wins. Coming off a pair of injuries and wrestling competitively for the first time in over a month, Josh Cotton posted a 2-1 record, and Tom Kirko was 2-2 in just his second meet of the season.
Junior Tylor Forester also notched two wins, and Jacob Cotton, Thomas Etue and Devin Fairbanks each posted one win. The team was charged up by freshman Fairbanks win, a sound 7-2 victory over a tough opponent in his first outing, said coach Duppy Ticaro.
At 55 and 189 pounds, hes pretty tough, Ticaro said. It was great for the whole team to see that (win). It was a morale booster.
Although the Panther wrestlers fell in later rounds to foes from much bigger schools like Wasilla, Palmer and Juneau, the coach said he was pretty impressed with how they performed.
It was a step up from their previous tournament.
Ticaro took five wrestlers to Ketchikan earlier this month. All five earned one win each, but the overall record was 5-17.
The highlight was watching John Doland win his first competitive match.
It was his first match and he won it with a pin in the first period, Ticaro said. That was a morale building win for a freshman and increased our confidence.
Forester, Etue, Jacob Cotton and Kirko also posted one win each.
After the meet, the team got together and decided to skip a trip to Wrangell the following week to better prepare for last weekends matches in Juneau.
It was important for the team to decide that and train for Juneau meet, Ticaro said. They met and made that decision on their own.
Ticaro said the wrestlers made a lot of progress, and the goal now is to land some in the top five in their weight classes at the 1A-2A-3A region meet in Sitka Dec. 7-8.
It just depends on how bad they want it, Ticaro said. Its very possible. I expect the seniors to do pretty good.
Hitting the Big Winner
The SHS volleyball team prevailed in a tight series of home matches over 2A rival Hoonah Nov. 7-9. The Panthers won the first night, 3 games to 2, then the next night the Braves came back and won over Skagway in five games. In Fridays rubber match (pictured above with Ali Doland hitting a big shot), the Panthers won in just four games: 26-24, 25-11, 25-27, and 25-21. The team heads to regionals in Kake Nov. 30-Dec. 1, hoping for at least a second place finish and a berth in the state tourney the following week. - Jeff Brady