Chili Sabin wrestled through injuries during the past few weeks and earlier in the season to stand on the highest tier for the 3A 182 pound state championship Saturday at the Mat Classic in the Tacoma Dome.
Sabin beat Wyley Stewart from Enumclaw 6-0 using both aggression and technique to dominated from the beginning to the end of the three periods, capping an undefeated season for the senior.
Earlier in the season Sabin sprained his medial collateral ligament and before regionals he seperated three ribs.
Sabin said during regionals because of the rib injury, “I had to change my style. I stuck with front headlocks.”
During the championship match Sabin came out quick and on the attack.
“There weren’t as many scoring opportunities (against Stewart),” Sabin said. “He was more conscious of what was going on.”
Coach Anthony Clarke said he could tell how good Sabin was, “because I can’t beat him anymore.”
Sabin’s father, Jeremy Sabin said, “He started wrestling when he was little. He didn’t win any tournament until the end of his sophomore year, but his work ethic has been the same since day one. He’s never been the top dog, the most athletic or the strongest, but he has always been the hardest worker in the room.”
Clarke said Sabin may look like all aggression on the mat, “but he is very calculating.”
The coach said Sabin’s work ethic has made the difference over the season plagued with injuries.
Jeremy Sabin said, “With any of these kids the minimum you hope is they get what they deserve. When you see what these kids put into this, it is amazing when it comes to fruition.”