Highline's Men's Wrestling 2006-07 Season
"Its taken a while to write the results because they were not even close to what I expected. The highlight of the tournament was when sophmore Brad Padgett finished a strong second to earn his second All-American finish. Brad lost a tight match in the finals to North Idaho's Kyle Sand whom he defeated 2 weeks earlier 11-5. Unfortunately, Brad had an off night, and Sand probably wrestled the match of his life. I don't think anyone in the gym thought Sand was the better wrestler, he just was for that 7 minutes. Brad is in the midst of being recruited by several Division 1 schools and NAIA schools.
Lionel Orji was the only other wrestler to almost make the second day. Lionel was a match away from becoming an All-American, but came up a little short.
Highline will lose 4 fantastic sophmores: Brad Padgett, Justin Studer, Michael Markey, and Lionel Orji. All 3 were eliminated after day 1 of the competition. It was disappointing because I felt Michael, Justin, and possibly Lionel could have been All-Americans. However, what looks good on paper, doesn't necessarily show up in matches. All 4 had great careers at Highline, on and off the mat. Hopefully, they will be picked up and go on to wrestle at a 4 year school. We will return sophmores Zach Nimms and Pano Dreves.
Padgett is Outstanding
2/10/07 "Brad Padgett proved for the second year in a row that he is the Most Outstanding Wrestler in the Region 18 tournament. Brad won his second Regional title, as well as his second Region 18 Most Outstanding Wrestler award as he bested #2 ranked Kyle Sand 11-5 in the finals. It was probably the best match of the tournament, as Brad was finally tested in what could shape up to be a National Title match. In the semi's, Brad destroyed the #3 ranked wrestler in the country 13-1.
Its a pretty amazing tale to watch unfold. Brad is 21-1 with his lone loss coming to a Division 1 wrestler. Every time he steps on to the mat, he seems to do something more impressive then the match before. And come 2 weeks from now, I will predict him to become Highline's second National Champion.
Padgett had some company in the finals as freshman Zach Nimms took on NIC's Evan Mattingly, only to lose by decision. Zach has seen limited competition this year, so to make the finals was a good accomplishment. He is a strong kid, and once he learns more technique he will be a force to reckon with. Nimms could sneak into the All-American round in 2 weeks.
At 149 pounds, Michael Markey qualified for the National Championships for a second by placing a strong 3rd. Michael lost a tight match to NIC's Coby Jones. Jones seemed content to hang out on the edge of the mat. It looked more like a track meet at times with Markey trying to hunt him down. Jones was clearly stalling, and seems to wrestle like that frequently.
The next 3 wrestlers put themselves in an awfully difficult situation. If a wrestler does not qualify in the top 3, they can only qualify for the nationals with a wild card. At 157, Justin Studer stepped into the tournament without being on the mat for the last 2 weeks. We quickly learned that conditioning was going to be a factor. Studer was beating the champion from Pima, but fatigue kicked in and he ended up losing by a mere 2 points. In the wrestlebacks, he drew the #1 seed after he was upset. Studer was out in front 9-1 in round 1. Unfortunately, he was unable to keep the lead and lost. He then battled back by beating his Yakima opponent to earn 5th. Ironically, most coaches agreed that he definitely should get a wild card.
At 165, Pano Dreves lost to NIC's finalist by two points and
finished a strong 4th. He too was nominated for a wild card and a trip to the big dance. Dreves saw limited practice time do to a knee injury.
At 174, Lionel Orji beat Clackamus' starter to finish 4th. He too made the national tournament. Orji was vaguely on the mat the last 2 weeks due to a groin injury.
Rounding out the Thunderbirds, was heavyweight Roy Chambers who finished 4th. Chambers didn't receive a wild card, but did a good job.
With a mere 2 weeks, we will have all 6 qualifiers healthy. The national tournament could be a doozy with #1 Ranked Brad Padgett looking for a national title, and 5 other national qualifiers looking to prove they are amongst the best in the nation as well!
End of Regular Season
The regular season is now over. The next meet is the Region 18 Tournament. Highline will be led by returning All-American Brad Padgatt. Brad was named the Region 18 Most Outstanding Wrestler last year when he destroyed the National Champ 14-7. He is on a collision course to wrestle returning All-American Kyle Sand, who was 4th last year at 197.
Justin Studer (157)will be a force, but will have to overcome some tough competition in opponents from Clackamus, SWOOC, NIC, and quite possibly Pima.
Michael Markey(149) could quite possibly be in the toughest weight class of the tournament. He has a returning All-American from NIC in Colby Jones, a national qualifier from Lassen, and a Clackamus wrestler who has beaten everyone in the conference. This will be one weight the will definitely have a wild card.
I also have high hopes for 141 pounder Anthoni Heffernan. He will have tough opponents from NIC, Yakima, and possibly Pima. Heffernan has a tremendous gas tank, however, he will need to try to wrestle mistake free to beat these opponents and move on.
We also have possible national qualifiers in 165 Pano Dreves, 174 Lionel Orji, and 197 Zach Nimms. All 3 will need to have strong performances in order to advance to the national tournament. We have averaged 7-8 national qualifiers over the last 3 years.
1/20/07 Clackamus Open
"The Clackamus Open posted an interesting challenge to our wrestling team. After showing the poorest performance of the year, the team had to figure out a way to right the ship. The good news was that the Thunderbirds had Brad Padgatt back on the mat. Anytime that happens, the team seems to wrestle tougher. Brad continued his dominance by making the finals. However, due to a back injury I opted to sit him out and forfeit in the finals. The goal is always the national tournament, and I will always try to keep my wrestlers healthy until that time comes.
After voicing his opinion to the team, Justin Studer showed the determination and grit it takes as he made the semi-finals. Studer finished in the top 6 as did teamate Michael Markey. Justin wrestled extremely solid all weekend. He is an intricate part of our team, and is definitely one of the leaders.
One of the highlights was seeing Zach Corbett take to the mat. He realed off 2 victories in impressive fashion before losing, and bowing out of the tournament due to a knee injury.
Our team was in a pretty bad funk on Friday. We had to beat the toughest opponent of the year, OURSELVES. I didn't feel that the other teams were better then us, but we have to execute and stay focused for 7 minutes. I felt like our team wrestled better Saturday. However, I think our team needs to get sharper from top to bottom going into the Regional tournament. No one has an automatic ticket to the nationals, and we won't accomplish our team goals if all of our wrestlers don't perform up to their capability. Come Feb. 10 everyone on our team is 0-0. Our wrestlers are going to have to prove that they deserve to be at the national tournament!
The last meet of the year will be Thurs. Jan. 25th as we take on Clackamus at 5, and Yakima at 7:00PM.
Highline vs.Pacific 1/19
The Thunderbirds were forced to give up 3 forfeits due to injury and grades. However, they still had the talent to win. Unfortunately, sluggish starts and lack of focus was the big difference in the meet. Steven Velazquez got the team going with a 4-0 victory at 125. Highline then forfeited at 133. The big swing of the meet was when Anthoni Heffernan was dominating Trevor Arsenault 6-1. He attempted a leg ride and got too high, the end result was pinning himself. That match alone was a 12 point swing. At 149, a sluggish Michael Markey dropped a decision to Nathan Shay 8-4. This was another match that on paper we should have won. However, that's why they wrestle. Justin Studer then beat Tyson Rivas 17-0. Pano Dreves was then defeated by Justin Barden 15-5. Highline then had to forfeit at 174, due to our wrestler not having his grades posted. At 184, Brad Padgatt continued his assault in the 184 lb. weight class beating Jake Reynolds 18-3. Once again we were forced to forfeit at 197, as Zach Nims was out with an injury. Nims has seen very limited time this season due to injuries. Roy Chambers picked up the win at heavyweight. Overall, it was a disappointing performance. The wrestlers who won did great, ironically, the guys we counted didn't come through, and that's always disappointing!
This weekend we took 6 wrestlers to the Menlo Invitational. Highline was led by sophmore Michael Markey at 149lbs. He decisioned former Highline wrestler Jason Mendez in the finals. Returning All-American Brad Padgatt ran into a stumbling block as he lost his first match of the year in the semi-finals to a Division 1 wrestler from Stanford. Padgatt finished 3rd. Highline also brought in reinforcements at 157 in Justin Studer. Justin finished the day 4-1 and finished 3rd. Freshman Anthoni Heffernan continued to impress people by finishing a strong 3rd, and going 4-1. Pano Dreves went 1-2, while Riley Cornett finished 0-2. Overall, we finished with a first place and three 3rd places. We moved Michael Markey down to 149, and added Justin Studer at 157 in the hopes that this will help us with a stronger finish at the Nationals in February. The next meet will be at Highline on Thurs. Jan. 11 against North Idaho at 7:00 P.M!
Well we finally got the monkey off our back with a 30-16 victory over Burnaby Mountain. We had solid performances from Anthoni Heffernan, Michael Markey, Lionel Orji, Brad Padgatt, and Roy Chambers. The results are as follows:
125 Aso Palani(SFU)md. over Steven Velazquez(H) 17-5
133 Alec Turera (SFU) d. Chris Mathers (H) 9-6
141 Anthoni Heffernan(H) fall over Raj Rau(SFU)
149 Mitchell Gangwish(H) forfeit over (SFU)
157 Michael Markey(H) fall over Smith Virk(SFU)
165 Dave Kruwcyzk(SFU) d. Pano Dreves(H) 7-6 overtime.
174 Lionel Orji(H) d. Paul Murphy(SFU) 6-2.
184 Brad Padgatt(H) fall over Dustin Fisher(SFU)
197 Paul Macdonald(SFU) forfeit
HWT. Roy Chambers(H) fall over Chris Turner(SFU)
"SWOOC vs. HIGHLINE 12/8"
This afternoon's match looked promising. However, that is primarily from a coach's standpoint. Unfortunately, you actually have to go out there and wrestle. The best performance of the night came from Steven Velazquez who earned his first collegiate win at 125lbs. Anthoni Heffernan got revenge over an earlier loss to SWOOC's Michael in the 141 pound class. From about 157 lbs.to Heavyweight , SWOOC dominated Highline. The only saving grace was undefeated Brad Padgatt who notched another fall. "Tonight we weren't focused, and were not executing, that was the main difference between the two teams. Dual meet wise we are struggling!!!
125 Velasquez (H) d. 8-5 over Gardner (SW)
133 Williams (SW fall over Mathers (H)
141 Heffernan(H) d. 8-7 Michael (SW)
149 Gangwish (H) by forefeit
157 Bualloch(SW) d. 16-7 Markey(H)
165 Pagnotta(SW) d. 7-3 Dreves(H)
174 Leifleit(SW)d 10-1 Orji(H)
184 Padgatt(H) fall over. Pedraza(SW)
197 Lujan(SW) d.6-4 Nims(H)
HWT. Wunder (SW) fall over. Chambers(H)
11/19 Best of the West Tournament
We just got back from one of the most difficult tournaments in the Northwest for Junior Colleges, The Best of the West Open. This year there were Division 1 teams such as Oregon, Oregon State, and Boise State. It also brought NAIA powers in Great Falls Montana, Southern Oregon, and Menlo. Rounding out the tournament were all the Region 18 Junior Colleges and Sierra College.
Leading the way, was returning All-American Brad Padgett. He really is no longer a junior college wrestler, he is so advanced that he is easily a Division 1 wrestler. He proved it by winning the tournament. He beat Mike Casperson 6-3 from Boise State in the finals. In the semi's he destroyed Alex Calvi from Great Falls.
Brad had some company on the winning side this weekend, as Michael Markey and Lionel Orji both made the quarterfinals before being defeated. Michael probably finished in the top 8, while Lionel placed in the final 6. He was beaten in the closing seconds to get in for 3rd and 4th. Highline also received strong showings from Kenny Kubec who went 4-2, and Anthoni Heffernan who went 3-2.
This weekend we were out in front of Southwestern Oregon going into the final two matches 22-15. I figured our score might hold up. However, I knew we would need some key performances at 197 and HWT. Unfortunately, a few seconds of mental lapses cost us the meet. Zach Nims was suffering from some back problems, yet, he had still put himself in a position to win. However, in the final 3 seconds he gave up a take-down that cost him the decision, and ended up losing the match 5-4. Even with that loss, we were still up by 4 points. Unfortunately, Roy Chambers got too high on a leg ride and didn't belly out. The result was costly as he was pinned :47 seconds into the second round. Though these two wrestlers wore the brunt of the loss, if the rest of our team had done their job it wouldn't have come down to these two wrestlers.
Brad Padgett continued his tear through the 184 pound division as he glued Allen Lagrange's shoulders to the mat. Brad has really done everything that has been asked of him and more. He listens to the coaches, works hard, and is mentally focused in every match. So far he has pinned 2 of his 3 opponents. Highline has also received some extra help from Pano Dreves who has run his record out to 4-0. We also received victories from Michael Markey, Kenny Kubec, and Riley Cornett.
Next weekend we will travel to the Best of the West Open. This maybe the toughest tournament our wrestlers will be in next to the National tournament. The results of the dual meet are as follows:
125 Ricky Zuniga (SW) pin. Steven Velaszquez (H)
133 Kenny Kubec (H) md. 14-2 over Matt Gardner (SW)
141 Josheph Michael (SW) pin. Anthoni Heffernan (H)
149 Riley Cornett (H) d.6-0 Matt Schmidt (SW)
157 Michael Markey (H) d. 11-8 Joseph Sigler (SW)
165 Pano Dreves (H) d. 4-2 Brandon O'Brian (SW)
174 Darin Frey (SW) d 7-3 Lionel Orji (H)
184 Brad Padgett (H) pin. Allen Lagrange (SW)
197 Jacob Lagun (SW) d, 5-4 Zach Nims (H)
HWT. Melvin Burk (SW) pin. Roy Chambers (H)
Yakima and NIC 11/4/06
What began as a slow start turned into a nightmare. We were upset by Yakima this past weekend when 4 key wrestlers dropped crucial matches. Steven Velasquez was pinned in the opening match. However, Kenny Kubec lost a narrow decision to to Nels Toftdahl 4-2. We got our first win as Anthoni Heffernan scored a major decision over Eddie Bush 12-4. The turning point of the meet, was when National Qualifier and team captain Michael Markey was leading his match when he was pinned, a 9 point swing. Pano Dreves then won 5-2 at 165. Unfortunately, the momentum quickly turned as Lionel Orji was beaten 14-6. Highline quickly got back on track as returning All-American Brad Padgett needed 13 seconds to pin his opponent. Newcomer Zach Nims scored a solid victory, but the door was quickly shut as Roy Chambers was caught on his butt and pinned. Final score 16-29. Highline then wrestled some extra matches against Yakima's second string wrestlers.
125 Steven Velasquez Fr. lost by fall Jose Barajas (Y)
133 Kenny Kubec Fr. lost 4-2 to Nels Toftdahl (Y)
141 Anthony Heffernan Fr. won by major 12-4 Eddie Bush (Y)
149 Riley Cornett Fr. lost by major 11-3 to Ricky Valdez (Y)
157 Michael Markey So. lost by fall to Seth Wooks (Y)
165 Pano Dreves Fr. won 5-2 Sam McNagten (Y)
174 Lionel Orji So. lost by major 14-6 to Jared Smith (Y)
184 Brad Padgett So. won by fall 13 sec. over Dajon Mchale (Y)
197 Zach Nims Fr. won 7-1 Rudy Ochoa (Y)
HWT. Roy Chambers So. pinned Nate Huizar (Y)
In the second meet of the day, we faced National power house
North Idaho. The team compete much better. However,
we were only able to come away with a few wins coming from Brad
Padgett and Pano Dreves. Brad wrestled Spence Butterfield.
From a coaching stand point it looked like Butterfield should
have been called for stalling no less then 4 times. He
literally did nothing. Padgett won a tight match, however,
Butterfield isn't even close to on the same level. It was
frustrating to watch that poor of officiating. Pano used a
power double to take an 8-5 decision. Kenny Kubec also
scored points by accepting a forfeit. The breakdown is as
125 Steve Velasquez was pinned by Steve Sanchez (NIC)
133 Kenny Kubec w. by forfeit
141 Anthoni Heffernan was pinned by Heinrich Barnes (NIC)
149 Riley Cornett lost 9-3 to Colby Jones (NIC)
157 Michael Markey lost 15-10 to Dustin Fowler (NIC)
165 Pano Dreves w. 8-5 over Taylor Dewater (NIC)
174 Lionel Orji lost 8-1 to Kevin Owen (NIC)
184 Brad Padgett w 10-6 over Spence Butterfield (NIC)
197 Zach Nims lost to Evan Mattingly NIC)by major decision.
HWt. Roy Chambers was pinned by Robby Shaw (NIC)