The Mariners took on three Kenai Peninsula opponents last week in Soldotna, Kenai and Skyview. The Mariners went to Kenai Nov. 20 to dual both Kenai and Soldotna.
Due to eligibility check and preparation for regions, the Mariners were down a few wrestlers in matchups where they had been victorious the prior week. The Mariners forfeited seven weight classes for a total of 42 points.
David Woo pinned Kenai Central’s Quincy Fuller while Mark McGregor won by a pin as well, defeating Kyle Hunter of KCHS. Pedro Ochoa won 11-9 in an exciting match against Nolan Christopher that Coach Chris Perk said was the toughest matchup of the night. The Mariners finished as a team with a 63-15 loss against the Kardinals.
The Mariners came on top against the Soldotna Stars with a close 35-30 win. The Stars also gave up points due to lack of wrestlers, which evened out the playing field. Mariners Mark McGregor, Danny Rios and David Woo all won via pinfall while Dakota Alward nearly defeated Soldotna’s Eli Damon with a head and arm hold until it was reversed and used against Alward for a Soldotna victory.
Last weekend, the Mariners also held their final home meet versus the Skyview Panthers. Due to the holidays, the Mariners were short-handed once again, giving up 30 points due to forfeits.
The Panthers took a 54-19 win in what was a much closer output than it appears.
The highlight of the dual may have come between Homer’s Kyle Van Alstine and Jess Boze of Skyview. Van Alstine scored twice early off takedowns but the match was later tied up by Boze and forced into overtime.
Perk said Van Alstine had a chance to finish the match with a double leg takedown, but couldn’t get it in as Boze did a quick spin around for the overtime victory. Senior Mark McGregor tallied his 76th career victory over the weekend with a technical fall over Frank Navarro and is now ranked No. 4 in the state at 170 pounds. Although McGregor looks to drop 10 pounds for the regional and state tournament, he will still pose as top competition. Austin McGregor lost a close match to Grant Valliquette, who he will face again this weekend for a shot at state.
The Kachemak Conference Wrestling Tournament will be held at Grace Christian School in Anchorage this weekend. The top four places will qualify for the Small Schools State Tournament in Nikiski the following week. Homer’s last conference champion came from current Colorado Mesa University wrestler Mitch Wyatt in 2010 when he won for the Mariners.
This year, Homer is hoping to have multiple champions as Calvin Johnson (106), Harley Wells (145), and Mark McGregor (160) will each enter the tournament as No. 1 seeds.