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Highline Community College Athletics - Men's Wrestling 2009-20 Season

Highline Men's Wrestling 2009-10 Season

NJCAA Nationals  (Feb. 26/27, 2010)
Nationals 2/26-2/27
            The past weekend we wrapped up the end of our wrestling season in Des Moines, Iowa.  Unfortunately, we didn’t have the fairy tale ending we had hoped for, however, we did produce 4 All-Americans, and 3 of them became 2 x All-Americans.
            At 125, Justin Purves had a rocky season, however, he wrestled extremely tough at nationals.  He became a 2 x All-American.  He finished 7th, with his lone losses coming to the National Champion Joe Colone in the quarterfinals, and lost to Kyle McCrite (NIC) who finished 3rd to advance through the consolation rounds.
            At 133, Aaron Smith was forced to battle through some neck injuries that were causing stingers down his arm.  Smith advanced to the semi-finals, but was turned away by Omi Accosta.  Aaron lost in the consolation finals to Tim Thurston of Iowa Lakes.  However, Aaron did become a 2 x All-American.
            Jason Gray started the tournament seeded #2.  However, he was upset in the quarterfinals by David Dejesus 3-0.  Then, the next day he drew Tanner Kampmen ( Iowa Central), whom Jason had pinned a month earlier, however, this time Kampmen turned the tables.  Jason did become an All-American.
            Marshall Giovannini was ranked #1 all season.  However, once again he was robbed in the semifinals.  In the first period, he shot a double, stood up with the kid, and then set him down and coming dangerously close to scoring near fall pts.  Ironically, the kid cried out and the referee would not award the takedown or near fall.  At the very least it was a takedown.  This match in particular was highly scrutinized, because so many people saw it.  Personally, it made me want to puke.  Marshall ended up losing 5-4.  In his next match, he drew Tarrence Williams of Clackamas, who defeated Marshall in the Region Championships.  Marshall used a series of single leg take downs to defeat Tarrence 9-4.  Giovannini was defeated in the match for third, but did become a 2 x All-American.
            At 197, Daren Faber may have had one of the worst draws yet.  He drew Carl Frohnside from Iowa Central who was ranked #2 during year, and who had pinned him 3 weeks earlier.  Faber wrestled a brilliant match, until the last  5 seconds.  Faber was winning with 5 seconds left by 1 point, and then shot in and was taken down.  In his next draw, he drew the defending national champ at 184 from a year ago and lost.  Faber had a great tournament, but a very difficult year.  Darren will come back next season, and definitely challenge for a national title
          David Lopez lost his first 2 matches at heavyweight.  Overall, the team wrestled well.  We put
together a great team and we had an excellent season.  We had multiple kids that were ranked1st all year, they just came up short on the last tournament.  However, they represented Highline extremely well.  We also posted 12 wrestlers to the All-Academic Team.  This requires the wrestler to complete a 3.0 or higher.  We were very proud of how the kids competed all year, and the fact that they will be moving on to 4 year schools.
 from Coach Scott Norton March 10, 2010

NJCAA Region XVIII Championships  (Feb 13, 2010)
First Place Team - North Idaho (94.5 points)
Second Place Team - Clackamas (75 points)
Third Place Team - Highline (66.5)
Fourth Place Team - Southwestern Oregon (60 points)
Fifth Place Team - Yakima (34 points)

125 lbs 
1st - Kyle McCrite (NIC)
2nd - Justin Purves (HCC)
3rd - John Reese (CCC)

157 lbs  
1st - Terrance Williams (CCC)
2nd - Marshal Giovaninni (HCC)
3rd - Jesse Chunn (SWOC)

197 lbs
1st - Kameron Jackson (NIC)
2nd - Darren Faber (HCC)
3rd - Tim Hester (SWOC)

133 lbs 
1st - Aaron Smith (HCC)
2nd - Ryan Arrand (SWOC)
3rd - Mitch Giberson (CCC)

165 lbs 
1st - Jake McCoy (SWOC)
2nd - Jesse Nielson (NIC)
3rd - Derek Mestrovich (CCC)

1st - Roger McCovey (NIC)
2nd - Kyle Stults (YVCC)
3rd - Rudy Schaffroth (CCC)

141 lbs 
1st - Anthony Weerheim (CCC)
2nd - Jake Stanley (SWOC)
3rd - Anthony Owens (YVCC)

174 lbs 
1st - Stevie Vasquez (NIC)
2nd - Jake Morris (CCC)
3rd - Anibal Vasques (SWOC)

Five "Wild Card" selections voted on by the head coach's who will advance to Nationals as well:
Kenny Sanders (125) Yakima
McKray Jones (149) North Idaho
Joey Pieroti (157) North Idaho
Caleb Kociemba (197) Clackamas
David Lopez (285) Highline

149 lbs 
1st - Jason Gray (HCC)
2nd - Trent Stevenson (SWOC)
3rd - Jack Calvert (YVCC)

184 lbs 
1st - Celic Bell (NIC)
2nd - Brandon Jackson (CCC)
3rd - Benji Martin (YVCC)  

The Region 18 "Coach of the Year" award winner is Scott Norton from Highline College.

 The Region 18 2010 Wrestling Championship Tournament - "Outstanding Wrestling" award
winner is Tarrence Williams (157 pounds) from Clackamas College.

Wyoming Duals
 (Jan. 29/30)
#4Northwest Wyoming vs. #7Highline
    Justin Purves hung on for a decision over Philip Grout  8-2.  In a battle of All-Americans, Aaron Smith knocked off Saul Guerro 13-8, who did nothing but back up the entire match.  It was a very frustrating match to watch.  Highline forfeited at 141, due to Sam Ottow being lost for the year for a kidney problem.  #1 ranked Jason Gray d. Bobby Robins 5-1.  Marshall Giovannini beat Brenton Briston 3-2.  Tyler Story won a tight match over Zach Oppenheimer 4-3.  However, that would be all the wins Highline could muster.  Northwest Wyoming took over on the strength of their upperweights.  However, the Thunderbirds had an excellent showing against them.
#1Iowa Central vs. #7Highline
    Things didn’t go so well against Iowa Central who have won the Nationals the last 4 straight years.  Highline was only able to come away with 2 wins.  However, one of them came when #1 ranked Jason Gray pinned #2 ranked Tanner Kampman.  Jason scored early with a pair of takedowns, and then threw him to his back for the fall in the 2nd round.  The other victory came as Marshall Giovannini continued his winning ways over Bendon Parker from Iowa Central 4-2.
                                                                                        From Coach Scott Norton Feb. 10, 2010

The Men's Wrestling Team finished 1-2, losing 39-9 to Iowa Central Community College (results) and 26-15 to Northwest College (results), and winning its meet against Western Wyoming College 29-15 (results).  Successful Highline wrestlers included Jason Gray  and Marshall Giovaninni, who both went 3-0 in their individual matches, Sam Ottow winning his only match (1-0), Jason Purves (2-1), and Aaron Smith (1-1). 

Highline Community College - 29   Western Wyoming College - 15
125 Justin  Purves Wheat, Michael W DEC 5 - 3
133 Sam  Ottow Bassett, Jacob W MD 15 - 2
149 Jason Gray Petersen, Hayden W DEC 10 - 6
157 Marshall Giovaninni Dollar, Rodney W MD 13 - 4
165 Tyler  Story Hammond, Jerod L DEC 3 - 6
174 Tate Collins Evans, Cole L DEC 3 - 7
184 Theo Mcclain-Burrell Forfeit W NOMATCH  
197 Darren Faber Forfeit W NOMATCH  
285 Victor Ognoskie Farnsworth, Rusty W DEC 6 - 3

Northwest College - 26  Highline Community College - 15
 125 Justin  Purves Grout, Philip W DEC 8 - 2
133 Aaron Smith Guerrero, Saul W DEC 13 - 8
149 Jason Gray Robins, Bobby W DEC 5 - 1
157 Marshall Giovaninni Brenton, Briston W DEC 3 - 1
165 Tyler  Story Oppenheimer, Zach W DEC 4 - 3
174 Tate Collins Petersen, Nick L MD 14 - 0
184 Theo Mcclain-Burrell Baker, Jarrett L FALL 2:29
197 Darren Faber Jones, Makensey L MD 1 - 10
285 Victor Ognoskie Harris, Landon L FALL 6:21

Iowa Central Community College - 39   Highline Community College - 9   
125 Justin  Purves Colon, Joe L FALL 5:30
133 Aaron Smith Garofalo, Michael L DEC 8 - 14
149 Jason Gray Kampen, Tanner W FALL 4:42
157 Marshall Giovaninni Parker, Bendon W DEC 4 - 2
165 Tyler  Story Vega, Juan L DEC 6 - 8
174 Tate Collins Kersten, Kody L FALL :40
184 Theo Mcclain-Burrell Pica, Dominic L FALL :54
197 Darren Faber Foreside, Carl L FALL :40
285 Victor Ognoskie Mandzik, Philip L DEC 4 - 9
Statistics courtesy of the National Wrestling Coaches Association Scorebook Stat Tracker
Highline wins over Yakima Valley Community College 36- 13
(January 26, 2010)   
            Despite having 2 starters out of the line-up we were still able to have a strong showing against Yakima.  The entire meet took 60 min.
            Justin Purves started it out at 125, by pinning Kenny Sanders.  Aaron Smith then received a forfeit at 133, however, we gave 6 pts. back by forfeiting at 141.  Sam Ottow was out with a kidney infection. 
Yakima then attempted to bump the 141 pounder to 149, but Jason Gray pinned Anthony Owens.  Yakima got their first win, as Brad Sweet defeated Spencer Kalebac who was filling in for Marshall Giovannini. 
Tyler Story won at 165 over Adam Thies 2-0.  Yakima won there only other match at 174, as Joel Veloni defeated Theo Burrel 7-3.  Tate Collins then pinned his opponent.  Darren Faber then followed with a tight 6-5 match over Tyler Bullington.  Rounding out the meet, David Lopez pinned Kyle Stults.  The final score was 36-13.  This weekend we will head to Wyoming to take on #1 ranked Iowa Central, and #4 Northwest Wyoming.  We are looking forward to the tough competition.
  from Coach Scott Norton Jan. 28, 2010

125 Justin Purves Sanders, Kenny W FALL  
Aaron Smith Forfeit W NO MATCH  
  Pena, Chris L NO MATCH  
Jason Gray Owens, Anthony W FALL  
Spencer Kabelac Sweet, Brad L MD 0 - 14
Tyler  Story Thies, Adam W DEC 2 - 0
Theo Mcclain-Burrell Veloni, Joel L DEC 3 - 7
Tate Collins Forfeit W FALL  
Darren Faber Bullington, Tyler W DEC 6 - 5
David Lopez Stults, Kyle W FALL  
 Simon Frasier/ Clackamas/ Pacific Dual  (Jan. 23, 2010)
"We had some stellar performances against Clackamas at 133 Aaron Smith, and 149 Jason Gray.  The two looked like two champions on a mission as they put points on the board all 7 min.  They looked phenomenal.  Spencer Kalebac also had a terrific match at 157.  “I think Spencer surprised himself a little bit, he has really come a long way.”  The final score was 19-18 Highline.  Highline was deducted 1 team pt."                                                                                                
 from Coach Scott Norton Jan. 26, 2010

Highline wins over Clackamas 19-18
125 Justin  Purves Reese, John L DEC 2 - 4
133 Aaron Smith Forfeit W MD 12 - 4
141 Sam  Ottow Weerheim, Anthony L DEC 3 - 9
149 Jason Gray Goldsberry, William W MD 20 - 9
157 Spencer Kabelac Williams, Tarrence L DEC 11 - 13
165 Tyler  Story Fistolera, Joseph W DEC 9 - 4
174 Theo Mcclain-Burrell Morris, Jake L FALL 3:58
184 Tate Collins Dumolt, Nick W DEC 8 - 4
197 Darren Faber Kociemba, Caleb L DEC 2 - 7
Highline wins over Simon Fraser 31-19
125 Justin  Purves Lum, JJ W FALL 4:47
133 Aaron Smith Ostapowich, Thomas W TF 19 - 4 ()
141 Sam  Ottow Swain, Daniel L DEC 3 - 7
149 Jason Gray Cappus, Michael W TF 19 - 3 ()
157 Marshall Giovaninni Arcand, Max W FALL 0:52
165 Tyler  Story Virk, Arminder W DEC 6 - 1
174 Tate Collins Dreves, Pano L MD 4 - 12
184 Theo Mcclain-Burrell Hanson, Clete L FALL 1:31
197 Darren Faber Forfeit W NO MATCH  
285 David Lopez Bhullar, Arjan L FALL 5:37
Highline wins over Pacific University 40-0
125 Justin  Purves Binkard, Zach W MD 11 - 1
133 Aaron Smith Wolfe, Andrew W MD 24 - 12
141 Sam  Ottow Honl, Seth W DEC 10 - 7
149 Jason Gray Kramer, Dakota W DEC 11 - 9
157 Marshall Giovaninni Hyland, Ken W MD 17 - 9
165 Tyler  Story Shay, Nathan W DEC 11 - 5
174 Tate Collins Branson, Jordon W MD 14 - 6
184 Theo Mcclain-Burrell Streng, Niklas W DEC 6 - 4
197 Darren Faber Neu, Ronald W FALL 2:35
285 David Lopez Forfeit W NO MATCH  
Clackamas Open Jan. 16, 2010
The Thunderbirds headed south to Portland this past weekend.  The team got off to an excellent start as they put 4 wrestlers in the Semi-Finals in Justin Purves 125, Aaron Smith 133, Jason Gray 149, and Marshall Giovannini 157.  These have been our most consistent wrestlers all year.
Justin was beating his nemesis from SWOOC in Thomas Gowing, when he was in on a leg and tried a poor finish that brought Gowing on top of him, and provided him with 5 pts.
In his next match, Clackamas had forfeited to Purves, and then re-entered their wrestler after they had pulled him out of the tournament.  It was a very weak move on their part. 
Purves then went on to top Kyle McCrite of NIC who had beaten him two days earlier.  He wrestled pretty well.  He just needs to iron out the mistakes.
At 133, Aaron Smith fell to former Oregon State wrestler Eric Stevenson who was extremely good in college, but graduated 3 years ago.  Unfortunately, Aaron was unable to get himself ready for his next match, and lost to Ryan Arrand of SWOOC.  Aaron won 4 matches.
At 149, Jason Gray continued to mow down the competition, as he added 3 more wins to his record.  He is currently 25-4, and undefeated amongst Junior College competition.
The #1 ranked wrestler in the country, Marshall Giovannini only wrestled 2 matches due to the flu.
Tyler Story and David Lopez also won 2 matches each.  Tyler is really wrestling well right now.  He could really surprise some people at the nationals.
Come watch the Thunderbirds wrestle Clackamas, Simon Frasier, and Pacific this Sat. Jan. 23.  Action begins at 3PM  and continues till all the duals are over.
From Coach Scott Norton  January 20, 2010

North Idaho vs. Highline Jan. 13, 2010
Tonight the #6 Thunderbirds took on 3rd ranked North Idaho at Highline.  Returning All-American Justin Purves was defeated by Kyle McCrite  11-5.  That was definitely a match we needed.  I was a bit surprised we came out on the short end of the stick there.
Quickly turning the tide was #2 ranked Aaron Smith of Highline, as he posted a major decision 19-9 over PJ Reich.
Freshman Sam Ottow slammed the door on Nick Harris who had defeated him earlier in the year.  Midway through the first period, Sam put the legs on and turned Nick in a force half for the fall.
Next up was #1 ranked Jason Gray who defeated Macray Jones by a major decision 10-2.  It was actually an exhibition match because Macray missed weight.
Immediately following, was Highline’s other #1 ranked wrestler in Marshall Giovannini who defeated nemesis Joey Pierotti 7-4.  Marshall had a pair of takedowns, while Pierotti was unable to muster an offensive point.
Tyler Story took to the mat at 165.  He took on Jesse Nielson who had beaten him decisively earlier in the year.  Story came up short in the last round and fell 4-2, however, the match was extremely close.
At 174, Theo-Burrel was decisioned by Steve Vasquez 15-2.  Meanwhile, Tate Collins was defeated by Celic Bell 18-7.
We forfeited at 197, as Daren Faber continues to recover from surgery.
The most exciting match of the meet was at Heavyweight as David Lopez took on 3rd ranked Roger McCovey.  In a sea-saw battle, both teams were standing on the sidelines.  It was tied in the final minute, but McCovey secured a late takedown with 4 seconds left. 
The final score of the meet was NIC 23, Highline 19.  I was very pleased with how our kids competed.  They gave me maximum effort through all weights, and we are improving, and that is what is most important.   We will wrestle in the Clackamas Open this Sat.
Justin Purves 5 , Kyle McCrite 11
Aaron Smith 19 md. 9
Sam Ottow fall over Nick Harris 2:29 rnd. 1
Jason Gray 10 md. Macray Jones 2 Exhibition Highline gets forfeit
Marshall Giovannini 7 d. Joey Pierotti 4
Tyler story 2 ,  Jesse Nielsen 4
Theo Burrell 2, Steve Velasquez  15
Tate Collins 7, Celic Bell 18
FF,    Kamren Jackson
David Lopez 4, Roger McCovey 2          
From Coach Scott Norton  December 6, 2009 

SWOOC  Jan. 10, 2010
Highline lost its match with Southwestern Oregon 19-18.  According to the Oregon South Coast newspaper The World, both teams forfeited one match in the dual and they split the other eight matches, each winning four decisions. The difference came at 184 pounds, where Hank Turner earned a 12-4 major decision over Tate Collins. The four points for Turner's win were just enough to give the Lakers the victory.
From Coach Scott Norton:
This past Sunday was our first meet since the break.  Unfortunately, our team looked  very lethargic, and wrestled pretty poorly.
Justin Purves fell to Thomas Gowing 10-6. 
Aaron Smith posted a solid 11-5 decision over Ryan Arrand.

At 141lbs, Sam Ottow found himself down by 6 pts. going into the 3 period.  Sam  reeled off a series of takedowns but came  up short 12-14 in a loss to Jacob Stanley.   Jason Gray, the number 1 ranked wrestler in the country, dominated highly touted Trent Stevenson 7-1.
Marshall Giovannini then won a close decision over Jesse Chun 5-3.
Nathan West received a forfeit at  165

Tyler Story, wrestling up a weight at 174, lost to Anibal Vasquez 7-3, as he was     caught in a head-lock.  We lost Casey park, our normal starter, due to a season ending shoulder injury.
Tate Collins lost to Hank Turner at 184 by a major decision 12-4.
 Highline was then forced to forfeit at 197, due to Daren Faber coming back from a surgery in mid- December. 
Last was Hwt. David Lopez who wrestled his first match of the year, won decisively, after being out the first half with a knee injury.
Southwestern Oregon Dec.11, 2009
     The 6th ranked Thunderbirds took to the mat at high noon and defeated Southwestern Oregon, 28-15.
     All-American Justin Purves was upset 4-2 by Thomas Gowing, even though Purves shot 8 times and Gowing was content to hang out in a front headlock.  Number 1 ranked, Aaron Smith added a major decision over Ryan Arand 13-5.  Meanwhile, Sam Otto pinned Matt Pride at 141.  Jason Gray ranked #2 in the nation at 149, had to come back with a fall after he was caught in a double arm bar.  Marshall Giovaninni also won 13-1 major decision over Jesse Chun.  Tate Collins also posted a victory over Matt Parson’s 8-3.  The top performance went to Daren Faber 197, who posted a technical fall 17-2 over Washington stand out Tim Hester.  Highline will return to the mats 1/9/10 Sat. at 12:00 PM.

 Highline Southwestern Oregon      
125 Purves, Justin Thomas Gowing Loss Decision 2 - 4
133 Smith, Aaron Ryan Arand Win Major Decision 13 - 5
141 Ottow, Sam Matt Pride Win Fall 4:21
149 Gray, Jason Trent Stevenson Win Fall 5:21
157 Giovaninni, Marshall Jesse Chunn Win Major Decision 13 - 1
165 West, Nate Jacob McCoy Loss Fall 4:25
174 Story, Tyler Jake Rice Loss  Decision 2 - 3
184 Collins, Tate Matt Parsons Win Decision 8 - 3
197 Faber, Darren Tim Hester Win Technical Fall 17 - 2  
285 Ognoskie, Victor Brandon Moseley Loss Decision 6 - 4
From Coach Scott Norton  December 11, 2009

Clackamas/Pacific Dec. 5, 2009
     The 6th ranked Thunderbirds were without 2 of their best wrestlers this past weekend.  Marshall Giovaninni 157 and Aaron Smith 133 were unable to compete due to the flu, and they were severely missed. 
     In the first meet, their absence was barely missed.  Highline was all over Pacific as they dominated them 36-6.  This was the second meet in which Highline didn’t lose a match.  The box scores are as follows:
125-Justin Purves (HCC) maj. dec. John Cushman (PAC), 11-2 (4-0 HCC)
133-Andrew Wolfe (PAC) win by forfeit (6-4 PAC)
141-Sam Ottow (HCC) dec. Seth Honl (PAC), 10-5 (7-6 HCC)
149-Jason Gray (HCC) maj. dec. Kody Kramer (PAC), 21-9 (11-6 HCC)
157-Spencer Kabelac (HCC) dec. Ken Hyland (PAC), 10-3 (14-6 HCC)
165-Tyler Story (HCC) dec. Nathan Shay (PAC), 12-6 (17-6 HCC)
174-Casey Park (HCC) dec. Jordan Branson (PAC), 6-4 (21-6 HCC)
184-Tate Collins (HCC) dec. Nik Streng (PAC), 12-4 (25-6 HCC)
197-Daren Faber(HCC) win by fall over Ron Neu (PAC), 0:38 (31-6 HCC)
285-Viktor Ognoskie (HCC) win by fall over Chris McLinden (PAC), 0:40 (37-6 HCC)
Highline was provided with a pair of pins from Viktor Ognoskie and Daren Faber.
     The Thunderbirds got rolling fast against Clackamas, as All-American Justin Purves came out with a big fall.  Highline also received victories from Jason Gray 149, Spencer Kabelac 157, and Viktor Ognoskie Hwt.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough.  Clackamas shut the door when Casey Park was pinned at 174, as well as Tate Collins at 184.  The final score was 28-18.
25- #7 Justin Purves (H) fall Levi Root (CCC) 0:32
133- John Reese (CCC) winner forfeit
141- #4 Anthony Weerheim (CCC) dec Sam Ottow (H) 11-5
149- #2 Jason Gray (H) dec #10 Billy Goldsberry (CCC) 9-6
157- Spencer Kabelac (H) dec Joe Fistolera (CCC) 8-5
165- #7 Derek Mestrovich (CCC) maj dec Tyler Story 14-4
174- Jake Morris (CCC) fall Casey Park (H) 4:04
184- #6 Brandon Jackson (CCC) fall Tate Collins (H) 6:13
197- #5 Ryland Geiger (CCC) dec Daren Faber(H) 13-6
285- Viktor Ognoskie (H) winner forfeit
Highline will wrestle Southwestern Oregon Friday, December 11th at 12:00 at Highline.
From Coach Scott Norton  December 6, 2009

Highline vs. Yakima 12/1/09
            The 6th ranked Thunderbirds flexed their muscles as they dominated Yakima 47-0.  “It was impressive because we won all 10 matches, and posted 5 falls.”  Highline received falls from: Sam Ottow 141, Jason Gray 149 ranked #2 nationally, Tyler Story 165, Casey Park 174, and Daren Faber 197.  Justin Purves ranked #7 in the nation, had a good performance as he defeated Kenny Powers at 125.  Meanwhile, #1 ranked Aaron Smith defeated George Mendez 9-5.  Rounding out the victories were: #2 ranked Marshall Giovaninni 157, Tate Collins 184 who had a very strong showing, and lastly, Viktor Ognoskie sealed the meet with a victory.  Highline will be home again on Dec. 11, wrestling begins at 12:00 PM.  Come see one of the top teams in the Nation.

Cal-State Fullerton Open 11/21/09
       The Thunderbirds headed to sunny California to take place in the toughest tournament they will see this year.  The tournament boasted five Pac-10 teams (Division 1), a slew of D-2 and D-3 schools, and lastly just about every junior college in California.
        Highline however, was the last junior college in the tournament, and our team went deep into it.  We had 4 kids in the quarter-finals; Aaron Smith 133, Jason Gray 149, Marshall Giovaninni 157, and Tyler Story 165.  Right off the bat, the starters posted 12 straight wins, and no losses.  It was impressive, and the best team performance I have ever seen since being at Highline.
       National-Runner Up, Marshall Giovaninni (157 lbs.) led the way.  He made it all the way to the semi-finals before falling to Tyler Chang.  Marshall was then forced to withdraw due to an injury.  Marshall will always elevate his game to meet the competition level.  However, in this meet he wrestled the best he has all year, with the exception of the last match.
     Sam Ottow had an excellent showing as well at 141 lbs.  Sam won his first 2 matches in the championship, and then made it deep into the tournament. 
     All-American Aaron Smith 133, knocked off 3 straight division 1 wrestlers in the championship, but then lost to eventual champion Todd Wilcox.  Aaron injured his leg early in the match, and he never really recovered from it.   Aaron is clearly capable of wrestling at the division 1 level.  He is one of the most exciting wrestlers I have ever coached.
      All-American Justin Purves at 125 lbs. won his first 2 matches in the championship.  However, wrestling back in the consolation he made a mistake executing an inside trip, that cost him the match.  He still looked solid, and is getting better each match he wrestles.
      Jason Gray has lived up to the billing at 149 lbs.  He lost a tight match in the quarter finals to Matt Lopez of Cal-State Fullerton 13-10.   Jason had done a phenomenal job this season; we just need to get him better on his mat wrestling.  
      Tyler Story also did a great job.  He made it to the quarterfinals, but fell to Steven Towne.  Tyler had a very solid tournament at 165 lbs.
       Tate Collins was 2-2 at 184 pounds, as was  heavyweight Viktor Ognoskie.  Overall, our team had a great showing.  If we can build on this momentum throughout the year, things should get exciting at nationals.
The constant question we were asked throughout the tournament was …”Are you guys division 2?  And where is Highline?”  For teams to be asking if we are division 2, that’s a great compliment.  We have easily the best team I have ever coached at Highline.  It’s been a fantastic start to the year, and I couldn’t be more proud of the way our kids competed this weekend.  Had it been the national tournament, we would have been in the top 3.  It’s an encouraging sign.  The Thunderbirds will be in action at home on Dec. 1.
From Coach Scott Norton  Nov. 24, 2009

Best of the West 
November 13/14  
After coming off the previous weekend, the flu bug spread the Thunderbirds, along with a few injuries.  Therefore, Highline mainly sent their second string guys.  Freshman standout Jason Gray led all-comers by placing a strong 3rd.  Meanwhile, Spencer Kalebac placed 4th, and Theo McClean placed 6th.  Highline will head towards sunny weather next weekend as they will compete in the Cal-Fullerston Open.

Mike Clock Open   November 15  
After two duals in Idaho on Friday night, and 1 day of driving to Forest Grove, Oregon;  The Thunderbirds took to the mats again on Sunday. 
 Highline came away with two champions in 133 lb. Aaron Smith ranked #3 in the country, and 149 lb. Jason Gray.  In addition, Highline was second as a team.  Aaron received a forfeit from Prescott Garner, and defeated 3 opponents to earn his first title at 133lbs.  Meanwhile, Jason Gray knocked off Oregon State D-1 wrestler, and 2 x California State Champion Scott Sakaguchi.
Marshall Giovaninni ranked #2 in the country, fell in the finals to Tommy Hooper of SOCC who is a returning All-American in the NAIA division.  Marshall was sick this weekend but gave a gutsy performance.  Returning All-American Justin Purves suffered an early loss but battled back to place third, and pinned a Junior National Champion.  Justin is currently ranked #4 nationally by Intermat.

At 184, Tate Collins finished 4th with a solid performance.  Meanwhile, Tyler Story placed 5th, as well as HWT. Viktor Oganski.  Darren Faber was forced to injury default in the semi-finals due to a knee injury.
From Scott Norton Nov. 15, 2009

Highline Defeats Cerritoes Community College 27-16
Highline began the year with an extremely challenging weekend.  They defeated Cerritoes C.C. 27-16;  it was anything but an easy match.  Justin Purves got the ball rolling at 125 by defeating Andy Yu by a point.  Sam Ottow received a forfeit at 141.  Then Jason Gray ran out and pinned Jesse Ponce at 149.  Marshall Giovaninni got his first victory of the year by beating Bronson Gerl.  Tyler Story than added another decision at 165.  Casey Park then went out and pinned Andy Jay at 174.  That would be all the victories Highline would come up with, but it was enough to hold out for the win.
From Coach Scott Norton  Nov. 15, 2009

North Idaho over Highline 26-12
The following article is from Left Coast Wrestling
November 7, 2009
North Idaho continued their good start on the 2009 campaign, picking up two wins on the night. They were victorious over Cerritos College and Highline.  Highline fought hard and was able to win 3 of the 10 matches, and fell short in 2 other close matches on the night.  North Idaho picked up bonus points at 174, 184, and Heavyweight. Roger McCovey, the freshman heavyweight out of California continued his excellent start on the young season. Jason Gray of Highline won a close match over Eric Luna in a battle of two talented freshmen. Returning All American Aaron Smith of Highline won by injury default for the Highline squad.
 North Idaho Collge 26, Highline CC 12
125 Kyle McCrite (NIC) DEC Justin Purves (HCC) 6-5
133 Aaron Smith (HCC) MFor  over Tracy Huffman (NIC) 4:30
141 Nick Harris  (NIC) DEC Sam Ottow (Highline CC) 6-5
149 Jason Gray (HCC) DEC Eric Luna(NIC) 2-1
157 Marshall Giovaninni (HCC) DEC JoeyPierotti(NIC)) 4-3
165 Jesse Nielsen (NIC) DEC Tyler Story( HCC) 8-3
174 Kelvin Gastelum (NIC) FALL Casey Park (HCC) 5:15
184: Celic Bell( NIC) MD Tate Collins(HCC) 13-3
197: Kameron Jackson (NIC) DEC Darren Faber (HCC) 11-7
285: McCovey, Roger (NIC) MD Justin Whitney (HCC) 10-2
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