The Cheney High wrestling team continued their season after a 51-27 loss to Clarkston Jan. 14 in their first home dual of the season.
The night started off with Billy Bakke (160 pounds) picking up the first win for Cheney after he defeated Issac Drapper via 11-9 in overtime. Head coach Brad Rasmussen said Bakke recently recovered from an illness.
“It was good to see him get the win, it was good for his confidence,” Rasmussen said. “It was also a good way to get the night going.”
Justin Randolph (170) followed Bakke with a stellar performance, pinning Cody Flodin halfway through the first period. Devon Waterman (180) pinned Steven Sisemore in 60 seconds.
Garrett Pederson (285) won his match via forfeit. In the final match of the night, Cameron Wiseman battled Zach Thivierge before he scored the pin in the second period.
“We had already lost the match and Cameron went out there and battled against a tough opponent. It showed about his character.”
Three days after Clarkston, Cheney traveled to Ellensburg to compete in the Ray Westberg Invitational. With a second wave of sickness afflicting several varsity wrestlers, the Blackhawks were not in full force, finishing 12th out of 15 teams with 80.5 points.
Several wrestlers who did go had success. Michael Ferguson (220) rebounded from his loss to Clarkston’s Justin Beeler to take first place in his division.
After a first-round bye, Ferguson scored a 16-0 technical fall over Chiawana’s Kameron Silvers of Pasco, then pinned Sandpoint’s Tyler Brown in the third period of their match. He defeated Sunnyside’s Issac Palomino via a 6-0 decision to claim the tournament title.
“Ferguson was one of the kids who were sick but he decided to give it a go,” Rasmussen said. “He wrestled better than he has this season. He was dominant throughout the tournament.”
Ferguson wasn’t the only Blackhawk to make it to the podium. Pederson took third in his weight class. After he pinned Sandpoint’s Justin Hobson in the first round, he lost to Chiawana’s Juan Noyota. He had back-to-back pins over Wapato’s Shawn Shiver and Sunnyside’s Silveste Cortez before he beat Chewelah’s Cole Miller via a 6-4 decision in overtime.
Waterman also took third in his weight class. After a 40-second pin over Mason Partlow (school not listed) and a 3-1 decision win over Eisenhower’s Carlos Capetillo, Waterman lost a 3-0 decision to Kittitas’ Andrew Carney, who went on to win the division. In his last match, Waterman pinned Sunnyside’s Gerado Lepez.
Kodi Smith (195) took fifth in his weight division. Bakke and Cameron Wiseman (152) had wins in the tournament but were eliminated in the consolation bracket.
“Devon and Garrett had a great weekend,” Rasmussen said. “All of our kids had moments. It was a tough tournament but our kids showed up and even though the scores don’t reflect that we did well.”
After Cheney faces East Valley Jan. 21 in their second and last home dual, they travel to Medical Lake Jan. 27 to face the Cardinals in a nonconference dual. The next day they travel to Pullman to face the Greyhounds in the final dual of the regular season.
Besides getting kids healthy, Rasmussen and the other coaches will help the team finish the season strong and “find out where the kids” stand for the postseason.
“Our district is a meat grinder and we’re looking for opportunities to help them be successful in the postseason,” Rasmussen said.