Warriors kick of wrestling season with dominating effort

by Tommy Wells

The Bethel Regional High School Warriors found the best way to open the 2019 wrestling season. They did it with a dominating win in front of their home fans in the WarriorDome. Bethel won eight weight classifications and breezed past 22 other teams to claim the top spot at the season-opening Bethel Scramble.

As a team, Bethel had 15 wrestlers place in the top three in their respective divisions, including Hayden Lieb, who was selected the top wrestler in the upper weight classifications, and Landon Smith who was named the top grappler in the 103-145-pound weight classes.

Lieb, who was tabbed the Most Outstanding Wrestler in the 152-285-pound divisions, dominated through the tournament. He went 5-0 in the 189-pound classification, winning all five matches by either a fall or a technical fall. The BRHS senior capped his outing by defeating Dillingham’s Colten Hink at the 1:38 mark of the contest.

Simon Snow also turned in a solid showing in the 189-pound division. He finished third overall with a 3-1 mark. Snow nailed down third-place honors by wrestling his way to a victory over Dillingham’s Reece Bennis in the bronze-medal match.

Like Lieb, Smith was untouchable in the 112-pound weight class. He rolled to a convincing 5-0 mark with a series of impressive victories. He edged out Scammon Bay’s Cassius Sundown in the 112-pound title match.

Eddie Jimmy was seventh overall for BRHS in the 112-pound standings after posting a win over Pilot Station’s Wilbert Fancyboy.

Axel Madson and Klaydon Charlie added to the Warriors’ gold medal count by winning their respective classes. Madson went 5-0 in the 103-pound division. He finished off his appearance with a win over New Stuyahok’s Craig Wonhola in the finals. Charlie won the 125-pound title with a victory over Dillingham’s Noah Sage in the title match.

Nelson Evans and Terrell Jimmy turned in superb efforts in the 140-pound ranks by wrestling their way to a first- and second-place finish. Evans went 4-0 in the bracket, including a win over his teammate in the finals.

Jarvis Evans picked the Warriors’ other gold by winning the 152-pound title. Evans pounded out a 5-0 record in the meet, including an 18-3 win over Adrian Kopanuk of Scammon Bay in the championship match.

Evans’ win highlighted a dominating effort by Bethel in the 152-pound ranks. In addition to Evans’ gold, BRHS also picked up a fourth-place showing from Cyrus Anaruk, a fifth-place mark from Jordan Leinberger, a sixth-place finish by Hayden Morris and a ninth-place effort from Luke Snow. In all, Bethel had five of the top 10 spots in the division.

Charles Smith added a third-place finish in the 135-pound class, while teammate Jaymes Martin placed fourth in the 130-pound standings. Jamin Crow and Peter Bill were fifth and 11th, respectively, in the 145-pound standings.

In the girls’ division, Rebecca Samuelson and Jaron Mute flexed plenty of muscle en route to winning their respective brackets. Samuelson posted a perfect 4-0 mark in the 145-pound bracket. She capped her outing with a win over Chevak’s Haley Ulroan in the 145-pound finals.

Mute edged out teammate Fiona Phelan in the finals of the 130-pound ranks.

Dellarae Charlie and Cadence Cedars both starred in the 112-pound division for the Lady Warriors. Charlie finished second overall, while Cedars was fourth.

Lindsey Beans-Polk also netted a second-place mark. She went 4-1 in the 135-pound division. Her only loss came in an 11-7 nail-biter to Newhalen’s Aileen Lester in the championship match.

Katherin Small was eighth in the 135 standings.

Anya Chase, Marissa Black and Kayla Dela Cruz also did well for the BRHS girls. Chase was fifth in the 160-pound ranks, while Black was sixth in the 145-pound standings. Dela Cruz was seventh in the 119-pound standings.

The Bethel wrestlers will return to action this weekend when they travel to Fairbanks to participate in the Interior Duals. The meet will be held at Lathrop High School on Friday and Saturday.