If the Bonney Lake wrestling squad’s early season success is any indicator of things to come, the Panthers could be among the elite competitors in the South Puget Sound League 3A during the 2008-09 campaign.
Panther grapplers lifted the lid on their league season Thursday by hosting and annihilating Clover Park 66-16, when the Warriors had to relinquish forfeits in a half dozen weight classes.
The match began at 189 pounds and by the time it got around to the 119-pound bout Bonney Lake already led 24-6. Clover Park had accrued its only points off of a forfeit in the 285 pound event, where the Panthers do not yet possess a heavyweight.
The Warriors forfeited the next four consecutive matches to Sean O’Riley (119 pounds), Pat Bendon (125), Gordi St. Peter (130) and Nick Bendon (135).
Clover Park picked up a rare seven points at 140 pounds when Chris Woods registered a fall at 1 minute, 22 seconds into the second round of the match and was awarded the standard six points for pinning his foe. He was given a seventh point when his Panther foe hurled his headgear into orbit and it hit one of the walls of the Panther den.
Another forfeit by Clover Park followed, then Bonney Lake’s highly-ranked Addison Tracy hardly broke a sweat at 152 pounds as he pinned his foe 21 seconds into the match to make the score 60-13. Panther 160-pound freshman, Evan Dorsey, an import from Nebraska, won his match handily, defeating his challenger with a pin 1:35 seconds into the scuffle and the Warriors claimed a 7-3 decision at 171 pounds to wrap up the evening’s scoring.
Saturday, Bonney Lake hosted the nine-team Panther Invitational and finished second with 185 points. The meet’s guests included Peninsula (the eventual winner with 190 points), Aberdeen (163 points), Kentridge (159 points), Battle Ground (138 points), Gig Harbor, Mercer Island, Mount Tahoma and Mountlake Terrace.
Bonney Lake sparkled in the middle weights, especially the Bendon boys. Pat Bendon (125 pounds) and Nick Bendon (135) had the partisan BLHS crowd going bonkers as each were tourney champions in their weight classes, with Nick Bendon claiming Most Outstanding Lightweight Wrestler accolades as voted by the coaches.
Meanwhile, Bonney Lake’s Josh Peart was the champion at 140 pounds. Peart pinned Peninsula’s John Henry with 18 seconds remaining in that tussle, in what was voted the beast bout of the afternoon.
Not to be outdone, Tracy pinned his challenger, Kentridge’s Jeff Seid, just 19 seconds into the 152-pound championship match to earn most outstanding heavyweight laurels.
The Panthers will be embroiled in their annual rivalry match with the nearby Spartans of Sumner High School at 7 tonight, Wednesday, in the Spartans’ gymnasium.
Reach John Leggett at firstname.lastname@example.org or 360-802-8207.