“Weighing In”: This is the 10th installment of the 2014-2015 high-school wrestling blog. A look at Liberty’s Conner Small, marquee matchups, top targets, big performances and links to individual and team rankings.
Conner Small is eager to prove he’s worthy of his Division I wrestling scholarship heading into the final stretch of his senior season.
The Liberty High standout is 37-1 with 16 pins, ranked No. 1 in 170 pounds in Class 2A, and a favorite to win regionals Saturday at Lacey’s River Ridge High School.
An offer to wrestle for Arizona State University was a surprise, and one that gave him a huge confidence boost.
“I almost didn’t believe [it] at first, because it was the Olympic coach Zeke Jones who had just got hired there when I talked to them in September,” said Small.
“Plus, a couple of NCAA champions got hired there as assistant coaches. That program is quickly becoming the hottest program to join in the nation. I thought they’d be recruiting national-champion kids.”
Small is no slouch.
He finished third at states last season at 160 pounds and was fifth as a sophomore at 152, both results coming in Class 3A.
His only loss this season is to North Central’s Izaec Quintanilla, a two-time state champ who will wrestle for the University of Wisconsin next season.
Small waited just three days to accept the offer from ASU.
“It’s a world-class facility at a world-class school, and I was ready to take their offer,” he said. “It definitely boosts your confidence, because one of the best programs in the nation wants you.”
Marquee matches upcoming
… Most regional tournaments are set for Saturday, Feb. 14.
• Class 4A-Region 3 — Includes SPSL teams and Greater St. Helen’s League teams and takes place at Kent-Meridian High School.
• Class 4A-Region 2 — KingCo boys teams compete with Narrows League schools at Inglemoor High School.
• Class 4A-Region 1 — WesCo and SPSL teams compete at Snohomish High School. Finals start at 3 p.m.
• Class 3A-Region 4 — KingCo schools travel to Kelso High School. Starts at 10 a.m.
• Class 3A-Region 3 — Includes SPSL teams and takes place at Bonney Lake High School.
• Class 3A-Region 2 — Metro league teams compete at Chief Sealth High School. Starts at 10 a.m.
• Class 3A-Region 1 — Marysville-Pilchuck High hosts WesCo 3A North and South teams, along with Seamount teams Kennedy Catholic and Hazen. Starts at 10 a.m.
• Class 2A-Region 3 — WesCo and Cascade teams compete at Hudson’s Bay High School in Vancouver. Starts at 10 a.m.
• Class 2A-Region 2 — Seamount and KingCo teams compete at River Ridge High School in Lacey. Starts at 9 a.m.
• Girls: KingCo and Metro league teams compete at Bellingham High School.
• Girls: Teams from Seamount League compete at Region 2 meet at Yelm High School.
• The state tournament is set for Feb. 20-21 at the Tacoma Dome with action starting at 10 a.m. each day.
… Kent-Meridian junior Emmanuel Daigbe carries a 28-0 record into regionals on Saturday, Feb. 14 at 182 pounds.
… Federal Way captured the West Central District subregional girls wrestling tournament on Saturday, posting 204 points to outdistance Beamer (158) for the top spot. The Eagles got individual titles from freshman Siomarra Santiestaben (145) and senior Alisia Cendrowski (190).
… Led by three individual titlists, Bellevue boys won top honors narrowly with 214 points in the KingCo 3A subregional boys tournament on Saturday at Skyline High School. Three wrestlers won their weight classes for the Wolverines – freshman Brennan Holmes (106) and seniors Christian Villani (152) and Alec Pander (220). Villani is a two-time defending state champion, winning 132 in 2013 and 145 in 2014.
Mercer Island was second with 226 points and four individual champions – seniors Taylan Yuasa (113), Scott Lee (132), Trevor Gullstad (138) and Evan Condon (195).
… Ferndale boys won the WesCo 3A South/Northwest 3A subregional on Saturday at Edmonds-Woodway High School, turning back the host Warriors 285-278 in the team race.
… Issaquah finished atop the team standings in the KingCo 4A boys subregional tournament on Saturday in its own gymnasium. The Eagles posted 243.5 points to beat out Mount Si (203.5) for the victory.
The Eagles got individual crowns from sophomore William Tickman (106), junior Steven Solusod (113), freshman Gunner Starren (126) and senior Colby Starren (160).
… Lake Stevens boys dominated the WesCo 4A subregional tournament on Saturday at Cavelero Mid High School with 482 points, running away from the competition with a whopping 10 titlists.
… Here a links to the weekend coverage of subregionals:
SPSL 4A North subregional
Metro League subregional
SPSL 3A subregional
High school results page (last weekend’s subregional, district results at top)
2014-15 team & individual rankings
All Classifications page
High school page
Here are three valuable wrestling resources on the web:
Track wrestling link
Searchable database for results
Team and individual rankings, results
WIAA wrestling page
When there’s top performance or noteworthy event in high-school wrestling, please feel to send it to firstname.lastname@example.org and to the attention of Matt Massey.