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EHS wrestling claims second state title in two years; Somera two-time state champ
With two wrestlers in the finals Saturday night, Enumclaw High had already bagged its fourth state 3A wrestling title in five years.
The Hornets, who finished second in 2010, posted 126 points for its 2012 crown. Yelm, the team that snatched it away that year, was second with 104 and South Puget Sound League nemesis Bonney Lake was third with 85.
"As a wrestling team that represents our community, we are humbled and proud and love bringing it home to our community and families," coach Lee Reichert said. "That's what it's all about. It's not just us. It's a community."
Lucas Somera became the Hornets' third two-time state champion after pinning Deondre Sparks of Pasco for the 138-pound crown. The junior joins the elite company of former Hornets Sam Bauer and Jason Gray, both 2008 and 2009 title winners.
But, it was not an easy road for Somera, who took Sparks to the mat twice during the match but was deemed out of bounds both times.
Sparks, on the other hand, had picked up a quick three points.
"I try not to let it get to me," Somera said of trailing. "Just wrestle through it."
That changed when Somera spied an opening, scooped Sparks up in his arms and stuck him to the mat, posting a 3-minute, 13-second pin and the victory.
"He was pushing, so I threw him," Somera said. He said he had prepared, watching earlier matches, and getting ready mentally. "I put my trust in the lord and knew he'd bring me through it and helping me at making my goals."
Somera said the victory was sweetened by the path there.
"There's been a lot of adversity," Somera said, noting his midseason knee injury. "Then I was third in the region and that put me in the toughest side of the bracket."
That side of the bracket looked easy for Somera who posted a major decision and two pins on his way to the title.
The road to the finals was equally as easy for junior Tyke Reid, who waltzed through the 120-pound bracket with a 31-second pin, a 7-2 decision and another fall. All that, just to face Bonney Lake nemesis Andrew Cunnigham, again. Each of their battles this season has been a nail-biter with Reid taking their regional title matchup.
Saturday night it was Cunningham's turn, as he jumped to a quick 2-0 lead and then won the match 4-1 despite stitches over his eye and a dark mask to protect them.
With its team depth, the Hornets would have been in contention for the title even without two in the championship round.
"It took the whole team," Reichert said. "Not just the two we had in the finals."
"We lost two matches on the day," Reichert said before the final matches began. "It was an unbelievable regrouping."
Reichert said the guys came off the mat after those tough losses, saying, "I'm not done coach. I'll come back."
Justin Mitchell, TJ Cormier and Colten Malek each finished third.
After dropping his opening 152-pound match of the tournament, Mitchell had to fight his way through the consolation bracket, winning five straight for his third-place medal. The junior bested Adrian Orndorff of University 4-2 in overtime for third.
Cormier, also a junior, suffered an 8-4 semifinal loss to the eventual champion, but bounced back eventually pinning Joe Stoutt of Eastside Catholic in 1:39 for his third-place medal.
Malek lost a quarterfinal match, but rallied and eventually ran up a 9-1 major decision over his 220-pound opponent Jack Michels of Lake Washington for his third-place finish.
Also at 220 pounds, Hornet senior Chris Williams finished seventh. He pinned Darius Taylor-Jones of Bremerton in 1:46 for his spot on the podium.
The Hornets also took Jayden Fend, Ryan Anderson and Garrett Grau to the tournament.
"We have the nucleus to be good, to be back," Reichert said of the potential for a three-peat and five out of six.
Somera's on board with that thinking.
"It makes you work harder," he said, looking forward to next season and his individual chances to be a three-time champion. "It puts more pressure on me, but I like to counteract it with hard work and perserverence."