Despite a tournament-high four individual champions, the Lake Stevens High School Wrestling team placed second to Tahoma at the 37th annual Matman Classic tournament on Saturday, January 18, at Central Kitsap High School.
The Matman Classic is one of the toughest tournaments in Washington, featuring the three top-ranked 4A teams along with several of the top-ranked 3A and 2A teams. It offered a small preview of the 4A state tournament, showing that Tahoma, Lake Stevens, and Moses Lake – who placed third despite several wrestlers missing from their lineup - will likely all contend for the state team title next month.
At 120 pounds, Lake Stevens junior Alex Rodorigo, who dropped from 126 pounds for the tournament, wrestled Tahoma freshman Nick Whitehead in the finals, winning by a score of 2-0.
At 126 pounds, sophomore Jake Douglas avenged an earlier loss by defeating Tahoma's Cruz Velazquez in the semifinals 2-1, and went on to win the tournament by winning 5-0 over Mt. Spokane's Kiegen Schauer, a state runner-up in 3A.
The 132-pound final featured two two-time state champions, Noah Cuzzetto of Lake Stevens and Fred Green of Orting. Shortly into the first period, Cuzzetto took Green down and turned him to his back, taking a 6-0 lead. Cuzzetto extended that lead over the next two periods, eventually winning 11-2.
At 195 pounds, Lake Stevens junior Cody Vigoren had only two points scored against him the whole tournament and won his finals match 9-1. Vigoren has only one loss this season, losing in the Tri-State finals to a state champion and Greco national champion from Hermiston, Oregon.
In a match between two top-ranked wrestlers, returning state champion Michael Soler, who dropped from 120 pounds to 113 for the tournament, placed second to Moses Lake's Fernando Leyva.
The Vikings now begin preparing for the post-season, which begins with the district tournament at Snohomish High School on Jan. 31.