As the regular season winds toward an end, the Yelm Tornados boys wrestling team continued what Coach Gaylord Strand described as postseason preparation at the Bearcat Invitational on Saturday.
Out of the nine schools that attended, the Tornados placed second overall and saw their young talent continue to develop.
W.F. West High School in Chehalis, the host of the tournament, took first place as a team to win the Bearcat Invitational. Yelm placed second, followed by Sumner, Enumclaw, Sedro-Wooley, Mount Si, Central Kitsap, Burlington-Edison and Skyview.
Yelm brought 13 wrestlers to the tournament and 10 of them placed. Senior William Carreto, 182, was the only Tornado to win his finals match. Strand said Carreto pinned his opponent in the third round after a battle between the two.
“Willy had a couple good kids to match up against, but he wasn’t really tested in this tournament,” Strand said.
Sophomore Tate Oberhansley, 113, finished in second place in his weight class, the same finish he had in 2022.
Freshman Wesley Thompson continued to display his strong progression, finishing in second place in his 120-pound weight class. Freshman Jonah Smith, 285, saw a seventh place finish. Both of the young Tornados have put together strong freshmen campaigns that Strand sees as building blocks going forward.
Senior Andrew Davis, 126, finished in fourth place, and sophomore Caleb Holman, 160, finished in fourth as well. Senior Roman Gray, 220, also finished in fourth place.
Sophomore Genesis Finch, 195, finished in second place for his weight class. Strand called this a pleasant surprise and said Finch had a strong showing at the Bearcat Invitational.
Nik Dejiacomo, 170, and Braxton Atkin, 132, each wrestled in the tournament but did not place. Roman Rosenberg, 152, was an extra.
In the 145-pound weight class, two Tornados battled to decide third and fourth place. Sophomore Lake Harris pinned Dan Snyder in what was the highest scoring wrestling match in the history of the Tornados.
Before the pin, Strand said the score was 103-102, due to choreographed switches, reversals and takedowns.
“After taking seventh last year at state, Lake got off to a slow start this season,” Strand said. “But he’s tuning up and I think he’ll be ready for state.”
The Tornados last regular season duel of the year will be on Thursday, Jan. 26, against River Ridge. The contest will also mark senior night for the boys and girls wrestling teams. The South Sound Conference match begins at 6 p.m.