After a year off, the Cadet Classic wrestling tournament returns to Eisenhower on Saturday. As usual, it will be a busy show.
That’s the plan, according to athletic director Paul Stephens, who answered calls after this week’s announcement that a spike in COVID-19 cases was linked to several wrestling tournaments in high schools in the west.
“We’re going ahead with our normal schedule, but definitely reminding coaches to test their kids before they come,” Stephens said. “We are not planning any limitations for the public, only to emphasize the importance of masking.”
Some Westside tournaments this weekend and later this month have already been canceled or postponed. State health officials are meeting with the WIAA to determine if additional COVID-19 guidelines are needed for such close contact sports. This is a reason to be nervous, especially since some of the cases have included the omicron variant.
The only team from the west scheduled to compete in Saturday’s 16-team tournament is Peninsula.
While defending champion Sunnyside is not in the mix for the seventh edition, the rest of CBBN are with Eisenhower, Davis, West Valley, Moses Lake, Wenatchee and Eastmont.
Selah, East Valley and Grandview will be joined by Ephrata from the CWAC, and SCAC West will bring their firepower with Toppenish, Wapato, Zillah and Naches Valley.
Toppenish won all but one weight class at the season opener Davis Invitational, then won his own Wild West Showdown Duals last week, beating Graham-Kapowsin 75-6, Selah 57-20 and Orting 48- 24.
The first round matches will start at 10 a.m. and the finals at 4 p.m.
Native pair in bowl
For two stars of Toppenish’s 11-1 football team, the season did not end in the state playoffs.
Senior linemen Rocco Clark and Kanim Sampson, both members of the Yakama tribe, were selected from 300 applicants to compete in the third annual Indigenous Bowl on December 5 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, home of the Minnesota Vikings.
open to high school students of Amerindian origin who have not yet enrolled full-time in university.
Clark and Sampson both received SCAC West first team honors in the fall season as the Wildcats averaged 33 points per game and won the program’s first playoff game since 1991. Clark, one of the state’s top wrestlers at 220 pounds, was the veteran Toppenish center and Sampson played the left tackle.
Terrace the rooms
Arnie Tyler, who spent many years coaching Eisenhower’s throws in a long and successful career, will be inducted into the Washington State Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame on January 21 in Tacoma. Tyler was inducted into the Whitworth University Hall of Fame in 2009, having coached the men’s and women’s programs from 1976 to 1991 with three NAIA National Champions.
• The Washington Interscholastic Basketball Coaches Association has announced its inductees in 2022 for its July banquets. The Eastside ceremony, in which Eli Juarez of Davis and Dean Wagenaar of Sunnyside Christian were inducted earlier this year, will be held in Spokane on July 19 and will include Ray Ricks (Northwest Christian) and Rick Sloan (Central Valley) ) as head coaches. West Valley-Spokane athletic director Jamie Nilles (Pepple Service Award) and Levi Heyen of Cashmere (Pat Fitterer positive coaching Award) will also be honored.
At the July 21 ceremony in Westside, John Callaghan (South Kitsap), Mike Kelly (Seattle Prep), Jason Kerr (O’Dea), Mark Schelbert (Fife) and Rick Skeen (King’s) will be named head coaches.
The CBBN fall distinctions
The NECA / IBEW Fall Awards for CBBN have been announced and football has swept the boys away.
The winners are Carly Mattson (football) and Ricardo Acevedo (football) from Davis, Hannah Hilton (cross country) and Tieg Gilman (football) from Eisenhower, Alaina Morgan (volleyball) and Logan Rodriguez (football) from Sunnyside, and Mackenzie Kitt (football) and Ben Trammell (football) from West Valley.
The National Association of Electrical Contractors and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers sponsor the program to recognize students “who demonstrate superior balance in study, athleticism and community engagement.”
Salazar receives a weekly prize
Sunnyside’s Evelin Salazar senior received the WIAA Girls 4A Athlete of the Week award after helping the Grizzlies win the title at the 40-team Everett Girls Invitational last Saturday.
Salazar was 4-0 in the 170-pound range with a 6-5 victory in the final as Sunnyside racked up 161.5 points including five in the championship final.
Junior Alexxus Ramos was also a winner for Sunnyside, crossing 115 medium with four straight pins. Ramos, who added another win in Wednesday’s duel against Davis to bring his record to 8-0, is ranked No. 1 in 115 on the Washington Wrestling Report’s early-season state rankings.
From the touchline
With an attendance of 20, Davis enlisted the services of former boys’ coach Eric Rotondo to take over the Pirates’ girls’ wrestling program. Davis also hired Matt Norling to replace Joe Frazier as the boys’ golf coach.
• Goldendale’s Aaron Cochran, who led the Timberwolves to the EWAC West football title and the program’s first official appearance in 10 years, will be the assistant coach of the East team at the Earl Barden Classic in East Valley on June 25. Wiley Allred of Royal will be the head coach of the East while Jeff Weible of North Kitsap will coach the West.
• After CBBN and EWAC West opened the basketball championship last week, CWAC and SCAC West kick off on Friday. The interesting pair of cover lifters will be the daughters of Wapato (3-0) who will host Toppenish (3-1).
• Prosser’s Halle Wright really knows what to do on the foul line – to score. The Idaho State signatory and CWAC top scorer made 34 of 41 free throws in just three games.