Homer Alaska - Sports

Story last updated at 1:42 PM on Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Mariners take 3rd at Luke Spruill tourney with 7 wrestlers

By Angelina Skowronski
For the Homer News

It was a weekend of forfeits for the Mariner mat men, bringing them both disappointment and fulfilment. Despite the few uncontrollable setbacks, the boys ended the forfeiture rollercoaster in excellent form by taking third place in Kenai.

The weekend unfortunately began on the low end as the much anticipated Friday's Senior Night was canceled due to transportation issues with the Cordova team getting to Homer.

"Alaska is an extreme state so we are always mentally prepared for the worst," said Head Coach Chris Perk of the Friday night cancellation.

The Mariners were able to release their frustrations on Saturday at the Luke Spruill Memorial Tournament in Kenai against Nikiski, Seward, Voznesenka, Cook Inlet Academy, Skyview and Soldotna.

The tournament is dedicated to Luke Spruill, a two-time wrestling state champion from Kenai Central, who died in a Bristol Bay fishing accident in 2004 at the age of 27.

The Mariners started the tourney on fire with a 42-30 victory over Skyview. The mat men won all six matches against Skyview with a little help from a forfeit. Skyview sent a few of their varsity wrestlers north for the Palmer tournament and therefore had to forfeit a few matches.

"I think it is the first time I have ever had a team win every match, that was amazing," said Perk.

Senior DJ Marsengill looked solid at 132 pounds pinning Shane Blumentritt, an opponent he beat 11-9 two weeks prior in Homer. Sophomore Pedro Ochoa at 145 pounds beat Kelbie Miller, giving Ochoa the edge for seeding at Regionals.

The Mariners battled SoHi in their second round and lost 60-24. There were 42 points in forfeits on the Homer-side due to a few absent wrestlers.

No. 6-ranked wrestler, junior Joe Resetarits at 195 pounds, missed the bus. Junior Drew Raymond at 220 pounds quit the team last week after pinning the No. 5 ranked wrestler from Unalaska. And illness took the participation of at least three other Homer wrestlers.

The remaining wrestlers held on strong. Sophomore Harley Wells at 138 pounds pinned Eli Damon in 21 seconds, and junior Mark McGregor at 160 pounds pinned Kade Foust.

Homer was put against Nikiski in the final round, a team who was one up on the Mariners from the last tournament. This weekend the Mariners won 36-24 by taking advantage of the Bulldogs' forfeits since they, too, sent wrestlers due to the Palmer meet.

McGregor led the team with a pin against No. 4-ranked Floyd Armstrong at 152 pounds. Giving his opponents some good competition, sophomore Calvin Johnson at 106 pounds went 4-0 for the weekend.

The Mariner mat men will digest their Thanksgiving dinners with a rematch against the Bulldogs on Saturday at 4 p.m. for a second try at Senior Night. This will replace the cancelled Cordova match.