The Kayhi wrestling team had its first Dodgeball tournament last weekend and racked up a lot of success, raising over $1,500 total. Teams were charged with a $50 participation fee and spectators were charged a $2 entrance fee.
There were over 10 teams that participated including three middle school teams and one all girl team. Blizz Inc. was the team that made it in the record books with their team taking home the inaugural trophy. Assistant coach Greg Karlik is hoping to keep this fundraiser going for as long as possible.
“Rick, Matt, and I saw a similar version occur over in Craig when the middle school team was wrestling there this year,” said Karlik. “We hope to keep this thing going for as long as possible. We may have to tweak some things like smaller things or fine tuning the rules but it turned out to be a great fundraiser that we don’t mind doing every year.”
Blizz Inc.’s co-captains Kody Malouf and Justin Albecker loved the idea of a dodgeball league and would love to do it again next year.
“We loved it all, the intensity, the spotlight introductions, our team name, just all of it,” said Albecker. “We are hoping to do it again next year.”
“I would love to have a bigger audience next time, because this thing, I feel like, should start growing over time and love to become repeat champions with more people this time.” said Malouf.
Twenty Kayhi wrestlers will compete in the state tournament at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage. Weigh-ins begin at 7 a.m. on Friday with matches beginning at 8 a.m. and continuing on Saturday with finals beginning at 6 p.m.
Head coach Rick Collins is confident in his team’s ability to succeed this year and next year.
“I think we have a great team,” Collins said. “The state tournament is a meat grinder, it’s a tough tournament with lots of emotional swings, and ups and downs, but I feel very confident we have a very good team. This team is one of the best ones in school history and it’s a young group. We only have two seniors traveling to state with us so that should make us that much better next year.”
This year is also the first time a girl will travel to the state tournament for wrestling in school history. Freshman Haylee Stewart is wrestling in the 113 weight class in the girls bracket.
“I’m excited to go to state, but I’m also nervous,” Stewart said. “I’ve been pushing myself pretty hard this season so I’m prepared.”
Sophomore Matthew Rodriguez is seeded 1st in state this season and is confident he can win.
“Yeah I’m nervous, but I’m ready. I’ve beat both people that are expected to go to finals with me and I’ve never lost a match at a state tournament in my wrestling career so I’m expecting a good outcome,” Rodriguez said.
The wrestling team won its ninth consecutive region title along with the team sportsmanship award at Mt. Edgecumbe over the weekend. On top of an individual region title, sophomore Brayden Linne was named the Outstanding Wrestler for 4A Southeast Tournament. Haylee Stewart was the first Kayhi wrestler to compete in an All Girls Southeast Wrestling Tournament, she will compete in the All Girls State Tournament.
“Our overall performance was pretty impressive,” said junior Max Collins, who won his third-straight regional title. “We have worked hard all season, so it was nice being able to showcase our abilities at the Region tournament. I’m ready to go to state and compete hard along with my teammates.”
Kayhi had 20 state qualifiers that will compete at the state tournament. Of the 20 state qualifiers, 11 won individual region titles.
Connor McCormick 98
Matthew Rodriguez 106
Vince Tenebro 113
Brayden Linne 120
Sean Tavares 126
Troy Harris 132
Tim Rodriguez 138
Max Collins 145
Grant Collins 152
Brandon Wieber 170
Cameron Harris 182
Kayhi Wrestlers will compete in the Region V tournament in Sitka on Saturday starting at 7:30 a.m. With no tournament last weekend, the team has been practicing for two weeks with no competition.
“I think it’s going to be a close match-up, Juneau has some really talented wrestlers and I think we are in pretty good shape to win a few Region V titles,” said Coach Rick Collins.
Sophomores Matthew Rodriguez (106) and Brayden Linne (120) both hold a record of 19-3, while junior Vince Tenebro (113) holds a record of 13-3. All three are likely to qualify for state again this year.
Junior Max Collins (145, 21-4), a two time region champion, is competing to gain another title.
“I’ve never lost in a region match, so I expect to do very well,” said Max.
Kayhi wrestling has won eight consecutive region titles and is going for the ninth. This weekend’s finalists will compete at the State Tournament held at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage next weekend.
Thanksgiving has troubled wrestlers for endless seasons in Alaska since the beginning of the sport. Wrestling doesn’t just involve the practicing and meets but also involves eating habits, and Thanksgiving sure does a good job of ruining your weight management.
Not only being a dedicated wrestler, but being the coach’s kid I get a lot of pressure during the holidays. In the first few years of high school my dad really focused on what I ate during dinner time. My freshman year at Thanksgiving dinner I remember finishing my small portion of food sooner than everyone else. Watching the rest of the family feast on bottomless amounts of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and more is not the easiest thing to do when you’re starving for 8 weeks of the wrestling season.
Freshly made apple pies from your grandma and thumbprint cookies from your mom are really hard to keep a fork out of, and every year it’s the hardest challenge I am put through. Freshman year I made the biggest mistake of my season and I will never forget it. As soon as it was dessert time I could not take the hunger any longer, so I ate five pieces of pie. Taking one slice at a time I hid in my grandparents garage so my Dad/Coach would not catch me. The day later our team had practice and we had to weigh ourselves. My dad definitely knew what I did to myself. Holidays are a wrestlers nightmare and I for sure learned my lesson of dieting. Looking on the bright side I received a lot of advantages to watching my weight in the future.
Wrestlers used to deal with the obstacle of trying not to overeat at Thanksgiving dinner and Christmas as well, thankfully I never had to experience that much pain. The year before I got to high school the season finally was shifted, instead of it ending in February it now ends in December. This means that I do not have to feel the pain of not eating during Christmas. I cannot thank ASAA enough for ending the season before the feasts start up. Having to avoid one feast instead of two makes the biggest difference. If only people could understand the pain of not eating the great holiday food.
With having three seasons of experience, I feel way more comfortable with not messing up my diet. I can not wait for my brother to make the same mistakes that I have done because of him taunting me with food for years. I visualize coming back from college and eating food in front of him. I deserve some revenge but most importantly I am excited to eat once again. Watching my weight will forever be my nightmare as long as I’m a wrestler.
Wrestling meet @ Wrangell Friday and Saturday
ACDC meet @ Juneau Friday and Saturday
Meet the Kings basketball games Saturday @ 5 p.m.
December SAT @ Kayhi Saturday 8 a.m.
Kayhi Wrestling took 7th place out of 30 at the Lancer Smith Tournament in Palmer. Kayhi had five finalists – sophomore Brayden Linne (120), junior Vince Tenebro (113), junior Justin Albecker (145), junior Paul Allmendinger (126), and junior Joey Karlik (138). Karlik and Albecker took first in their respective JV brackets.
“It feels good to win the tournament up in Wasilla,” Albecker said. “A lot of kids call it the ‘JV Scrub Scramble,’ not gonna lie I had called it that myself. Even though it was a JV tournament as well as a varsity competition, I still feel quite good on how I performed.”