Mariner wrestlers kick off season with Fall Festival, Olympic medalist
Only two weeks into the wrestling season and the Homer Mariners held the second annual Alaska Wrestling Fall Festival. This two-day meet held the Takedown Tournament, as well as a day clinic by USA’s Olympic Bronze Medalist Coleman Scott. Schools traveled from as far as Koztebue and nearly 100 wrestlers took part in last week’s festival. Brackets were made for second graders up to high school seniors.
Dick Perez was the only Mariner to win both of his matches in his bracket. Captain and state qualifier Calvin Johnson won two matches as did juniors Harley Wells and Pedro Ochoa. Co-captain Chase Crauthers placed third in his bracket for Homer.
Friday’s tournament showed shorter rounds than in a normal wrestling match. And since this is a takedown tournament, it doesn’t include some of the usual rules on the mat.
“It’s kind of a modified match,” said Homer Head Coach Chris Perk. “And it works out well because we’re early in the season and that way we can focus on takedowns, and you get less injuries with the takedowns.”
Saturday’s clinic hosted at Homer High School featured Coleman Scott, recent Olympic medalist, four-time All-American and 2008 NCAA Champion for the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Scott, who had never been to Alaska before, just came back from hosting a clinic in Maui.
“Coach Glassey runs this camp up here every year and he asked me to come up and do this. I’m honored to be up here, first time I’ve been to Alaska. I felt like I wanted to go up here and check it out,” said Scott, who travels the country hosting clinics when he isn’t competing.
Coach Steve Glassey owns and directs the Camp of Champions Wrestling School, the largest wresting camp in the western United States. Look for his camp to be back next year.
The Mariners are on the road this Friday as they travel to Skyview High. Wrestling starts at 4:30 p.m. against Skyview, Voznesenka, Seldovia, Nikiski and Seward.
Norm Anderson is a freelance writer who lives in Homer.
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