Warriors kick off wrestling season with Bethel Scramble
Almost 300 student athletes from Western Alaska ranging from grades 4 through 12 traveled to Bethel to wrestle over 800 matches.
It was a “whole lotta wrestling,” according to Bethel Regional High School Athletic Director and Head Wrestling Coach Darren Lieb, but he wasn’t surprised by the level of competition.
“Those boys from Koliganek, they showed up with a lot of good stuff. They were not only strong kids, but they had a lot of good technique, good body movements. So I would have to say Koliganek boys, they didn't surprise me. I knew they were good. They've had, you know, some state champions in the past,” Lieb said.
There is experience on both the boys and girls Warrior teams.
“Seniors, you know, got about a dozen this year. We've had them in our club season when they're coming up in their youth, the younger ranks, so it's gonna be fun to see them. See what they can do with their last season here. So behind them, we have a pretty good amount of freshmen, sophomores, juniors coming up,” Lieb said.
As far as team captains, Lieb said that he will decide which younger wrestlers will accompany returning leaders Paul Dyment and Isabel Lieb. Both of them took first place in the tournament.
“I got first at the Bethel Scrambler at 135. Our team is pretty good for our lighter weights, but they'll get there,” Dyment said.
Dyment is a 17-year-old senior who quickly transitioned his focus to wrestling after placing among the top 50 runners in Division II at the state cross-country championship on Oct. 7.
“It's a little harder because cross-country is a different shape than being in wrestling shape. I think it did pretty good for just starting just recently. I'm still getting there, though. I'll get there,” Dyment said.
Last year at the state tournament Dyment placed second, so he’s looking forward to competing in his final season. “My goal is to always win one more state championship,” he said.
Isabel is also in her last season. She is back and determined to defend her state championship title at 138 lbs. “I'm definitely looking forward to competing against Daisy Hannevold again, the girl I wrestled in the state finals last year. Just watch out. I'm coming after that state title again,” she said.
Isabel not only took first place in this tournament, she was also awarded the Outstanding Wrestler Award. She spent the offseason weight training so she was excited to compete.
Sophomore Jacob Carmichael took first place in the 215-pound weight class. The 15-year-old has been wrestling for the past seven years and he quickly pinned all four opponents he faced. “My goal for this year is to become a state champion at 215,” he said.
Since it was a scramble, there were no team scores and wrestlers were paired up based on weight and ability.
The Warriors’ next competition is scheduled for Oct. 20 and 21 at Lathrop High School in Fairbanks, AK.