By Norm Anderson
For the Homer News
The Mariner wrestlers were on the road again last weekend competing in the ACS Invitational, the largest wrestling tournament in the state. Homer placed 30th out of the 44 schools.
The Mariners came away with 27 points total, all coming from juniors Calvin Johnson and Pedro Ochoa.
Johnson took fourth place in his new 106-pound weight class and Coach Chris Perk’s aspirations remain high.
“Johnson has a solid chance of placing in the top six this season, his technical match skills look good so far,” said Perk
Perk also noted textbook double leg takedowns and long matches in Johnson’s performance this weekend:
Johnson vs Kenny Savo W 18-2
Johnson vs Darien Davis L (pinned)
Johnson vs Moses Jackson W 6-2
Johnson vs Alex Megalong L (pinned)
Ochoa was faced with a much larger weight class at 152 pounds as almost 45 wrestlers took part. Ochoa came out on a roll, pinning his first two opponents and then scoring a 20-5 technical fall over Seward’s Tannen Berry.
Ochoa was then matched up with a familiar opponent to the Mariners, Issac Deaton. Deaton is the defending state champion from Valdez and defeated Homer’s Harley Wells last week. After lasting 3:33, Ochoa was pinned. He then lost to Thorne Bay’s Luther Jenson 15-5.
“Ochoa is a great counter attack wrestler, but needs to add some leg attacks to his mix before he can beat the higher level wrestlers.” said Perk “We have about a month to accomplish this.”
No other Mariner won a match, but Perk said the other wrestlers did see improvement and came away with more experience.
Homer will now host a weekend of wrestling as Voznesenka, Dillingham, ACS, Nikiski and Homer dual on Friday night at 6 and 7 p.m.
On Saturday, Grace, Skyview and Seldovia also will be in town for the Best Western Bidarka’s Round Robin Rumble from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30pm. The Mariners home meets are limited, so come support
local mat men.