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12/5/2012 3:40:00 PM Email this articlePrint this article 
Photo submitted by Aaron Bessonette
Sophomore Saxton Sykes (right) has his arm raised by the referee after winning a hard fought wrestling match in overtime at the Omak Invitational on Dec. 1. Sykes took third place for the 182 weight class.
Cashmere wrestlers begin season at Omak Invite
Kacie Thrift
Staff Writer

The Bulldogs varsity wrestling team had their first tournament of the season on Dec. 1 at Omak High School in the Omak Invitational, while the junior varsity team went to compete in a tournament at Ellensburg.

Cashmere Head Wrestling Coach Aaron Bessonette said he sent the junior varsity to Ellensburg because he thought it was important to get the younger boys some evenly matched competition and hopefully build up their confidence.

Nine Cashmere wrestlers headed to Omak last Saturday to open up their 2012-2013 season. Three of the boys were able to bring home medals from the tournament.

Junior Jacob James, who placed in the State Tournament last season, started of the season getting second place in the 152 weight class. James lost 4-2 to Trudeaux from Omak in the finals.

Junior Ethan Visser also placed second in the tournament. He wrestled in the 132 weight class. Visser lost 6-4 to Stedtfeld of Tonasket in the finals.

"Jacob [James] and Ethan [Visser] both wrestled well as expected," Bessonette said. "But they both lost very close matches in the finals. Both matches were fun to watch as all four wrestlers are State veterans."

Bessonette said the best performance of the day came from sophomore Saxton Sykes who placed third in his weight class (182).

"Saxton [Sykes] optimized the meaning of mental toughness and heart within on one of the most dramatic matches of the day," Bessonette said.

Sykes fought through four rounds of overtime and managed to get an escape in sudden death to bring home the bronze.

"Saxton [Sykes] wasn't the most polished wrestler in his weight class, but without a doubt he was one of the best conditioned and most determined," Bessonette said. "Saxton is one of the hardest workers on this team and it was good for the rest of our kids to witness first hand that hard work does pay off."

Junior Brock Steele placed fourth in the 160 weight class and teammate Tanner Spikes placed fourth in the 170 weight class.

"Overall, I think we wrestled well for our first outing of the year. We definitely witnessed some good things from our wrestlers, but more importantly we also identified some areas that we need to get better at," Bessonette said.

This upcoming weekend the Bulldogs wrestling team will be competing in the Ephrata Invitational. Schools the boys will be competing against are Eastmont, Grandview, Medical Lake, Moses Lake, Pullman, Tonasket, and Ephrata. Bessonette said some of the wrestlers will be dropping down a weight class and he plans on taking a more complete varsity lineup.

Kacie Thrift may be reached at 782-3781 or reporter@cashmerevalleyrecord.com.



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