Before the 3A state finals Saturday at the Tacoma Dome, the 3-foot high, first-place team trophy was carted past Enumclaw High coach Lee Reichert.
“That’s ours and we need to get it back,” said the Hall of Fame inductee, who led EHS to state team titles in 2008 and 2009 and missed last year’s crown by less than six points.
The Hornets got it back, but it didn’t come without a fight and individual championships from Lucas Somera, Josh Musick and Kario Wallin.
Entering the finals, EHS led Spokane’s University by 12 points. University had five in the finals, Enumclaw three, so the math was in the Titans’ favor.
The Hornets had other plans and it started with Somera.
Trailing 2-1 in the 135-pound final, the sophomore turned a second-round tussle with Yelm’s James Bradley into a pin, the title and six more points for EHS. It was Somera’s third straight pin of the tournament. He placed sixth in 2010. Saturday, he became the youngest Hornet in school history to win a state crown.
“I knew I had to keep wrestling, keep moving,” he said. “It’s (a pin) definitely in the back of my mind. I wasn’t looking for the big move, but it was definitely there.”
Musick, who finished the season with a perfect 40-0 record, also found himself trailing early, something the 2010 state runner-up doesn’t have much experience with and he was starting to have flashbacks of last year. It wasn’t until a month ago that he could bring himself to watch the 2010 video.
“It happened so early I thought I had plenty of time to catch up,” he said.
It took the senior six minutes to win the 152-pound title with a 6-2 decision over Liberty’s Hamilton Noel.
His win gave the Hornets the breathing space they needed for the team title. Wallin’s pin at 160 pounds sealed the deal. The Hornets eventually won 145.5 to 129.5.
Wallin, a senior and also a runner-up last year, built a 10-2 lead before sticking Everett’s Connor Boyce in 3 minutes, 39 seconds.
“I thought of it as a regular match,” Wallin said. “It got my adrenaline going. I didn’t let it get into my head.
“Lucas’ match was huge. I thought I’ve got to go in there and relax otherwise I can’t seal the deal. I was thinking do the best I can, win or lose, do the best I can.”
“We were untouchable tonight,” Reichert said. “The kids came in and it took all of them to do it. In the finals these kids put a stamp on it.
“A lot of teams didn’t think we could do it. We did it,” Reichert said.
It was the second time the Hornets have posted three champions. The last time was their first title in 2008 when Joey Pierotti, Jason Gray and Sam Bauer won.
It was the Hornets’ third title in four years and Reichert’s sixth as a head coach. He also earned three titles during an earlier stop at Kentwood.
It’s a team title for a reason, as every Hornet won a match and eight of the nine placed.
Last year’s champion, senior Hunter File, finished third at 130 pounds.
“Hunter was a key to us coming back and winning this,” Reichert said. “A lot of kids can’t handle that (a late loss) emotionally. It’s a huge commitment to our team. He told me he wasn’t going away.”
Tyke Reid, a sophomore, fourth place at 112 pounds. Travis Reano, a junior, finished fifth at 125 pounds. Colton Malek, a junior, finished sixth at 189 pounds. Marcus Nicholes, a senior, finished seventh at 140 pounds.
T.J. Cormier, who won one match, points to the future of the program.
“He was a C-team guy a year ago and he wins a match at state to help us,” Reichert said.