There must be something in the water up on Hillside. The South Wolverines continued their dominance of the high school sports landscape Saturday as their wrestling team cruised to an eighth straight Cook Inlet Conference wrestling title.
The Wolverines had wrestlers in nine of the 14 championship matches at South High, including two in which two teammates faced each other. They finished with seven individual champions and blew away all of the other teams with 460 points.
East placed second with 235 points and three individual champions, and West was third with 189 points and one individual champion.
Guiding the Wolverines is Randy Hanson, 27, who took over as head coach this season after four years as an assistant coach.
“We have a really big feeder club that develops kids from 4 years old all the way up to Goldenview Middle School,” he said.
The Concepcion brothers, 112-pound Adam and 119-pound Aedyn, both had strong showings for the Wolverines, with Aedyn winning his fourth straight CIC title and Adam making it to the championship match in his first action in four weeks.
Aedyn, a senior, scored a commanding major decision over West’s Dimitri Larson to run his season record to 40-1. He shared the title of Outstanding Wrestler of the Year with Andrew Green of Service, who took less than a minute to pin his opponent in the 152-pound finals.
Adam, a junior, sprained his ankle and Achilles tendon at the Lancer Smith tournament last month, and once he made it to Saturday’s finals, his coaches decided to sit him so he didn’t risk further injury.
“That’s just two brothers helping each other from 4 years old all the way up through their high school careers,” Hanson said. “They battle every single day. Iron sharpens iron, and they prove that statement true.”
The two have been wrestling since kindergarten and are each other’s drill partners during practice. Adam is looking to avenge his loss in the state tournament championship finals last season and Aedyn is looking to capture his fourth state title in a row.
“Him losing last year was kind of a setback,” Aeydn said, “but I think we’re both capable of making it back this year.”
All of the Wolverines wrestle with an aggressive, relentless style. They are always on the prowl, looking to attack on offense and not waiting for their opponents to make the first move.
“I think we’re the best-conditioned team in the state and we push our kids to score points,” said Hanson. “Whether that’s giving up points in the long run, we push scoring points and having fun being on offense.”
While most coaches cheer their wrestlers or give them step-by-step instructions on how to gain an advantage, Hanson and his staff are stoic and observant when their athletes are wrestling. They let them apply the lessons imparted in practice.
“They give us a game plan before every match,” Aedyn Concepcion said. “What we need to work on and what we need to do better, but they do a good job preparing us for every match in the practice room. Randy puts together a good plan (so) we’re never … in the position where we don’t know what to do.”
Also claiming CIC titles for South were Simon Keffalos (125 pounds), Niko Mayo (135), Theo Cha (140), Riley Harris (145), Brandon DeYarmon (160) and Jackson Moore (285).
The team title is the latest triumph for South, which so far this school year has collected state titles in football, volleyball, swimming and cross country and CIC titles in wrestling, flag football and gymnastics.
South will try to add another state title at the Class 4A state wrestling tournament, which begins Friday at the Alaska Airlines Center. The Wolverines are the defending champions and will send 23 boys to the meet.
Winning the CIC meet was “just a steppingstone towards state next week,” said Hanson. “Our goal was to just get as many kids qualified and prepared for next week.”
No team scores were kept in the girls competition, but East had a meet-high three individual champions and South and Eagle River each had two.
South 460, East 235, West 189, Service 162, Chugiak 125, Eagle River 99, Bartlett 64, Dimond 53.
103 — Benjamin Pope (East) p. Ashton Volkman (East), 3:18.
112 — Caleb O’Hara (East) won by injury default over Adam Concepcion (South).
119 — Aedyn Concepcion (South) m.d. Dimitri Larson (West), 19-8.
125 — Simon Keffalos (South) p. Samuel Chaput (South), 2:27.
130 — Octavius McCleskey (East) d. Chad Hakala (South), 7-2.
135 — Niko Mayo (South) p. Ethan Staples (South), 3:58.
140 — Theo Cha (South) m.d. Tristan Petrykievicz (Chugiak), 17-5.
145 — Riley Harris (South) d. Hayden Whitt (Service), 9-6.
152 — Andrew Green (Service) p. Haysen Madrid (East), 0:49.
160 — Brandon DeYarmon (South) d. Zachary Priebe (Service), 10-3.
171 — Andrew Hamilton (Eagle River) p. Joshua Zong (Service), 1:26.
189 — Daniel Niebles (Chugiak) d. Daniel Mokom (East), 4-2.
215 — Kelton Mock (West) d. Ikaika Vaivai (East), 4-3.
285 — Jackson Moore (South) d. Kymani VaiVai (East), 10-5.
103 — Ole Watson (Dimond) d. Elijiah Patzke (South), 5-1.
112 — Dylan Shaw (South) d. John Lavarias (West), 8-7.
119 — Blake Foster (South) d. over Isaac Pang (West), 1-0.
125 — Jevin Lim (Service) p. Cosmo Crowley (West), 3:26.
130 — Carl Malagodi (West) p. Ryunosuke Tsukada (Service), 3:31.
135 — Gabriel Wisdom (Eagle River) d. Thaddeus Williams (West), 3-2.
140 — Beau Daily (South) won by injury default over Steven Saephan (Bartlett).
145 — Calvin Daugherty (Chugiak) won by injury default over Quincy Heartwell (South).
152 — Jedi Patzke (South) d. GRANT JONES (Chugiak), 7-1.
160 — Julio Paulino (East) d. James Salter (Eagle River), 2-1.
171 — James Shivers (South) p. Jarod Hakala (South), 1:59.
189 — Kaimen Cutway (Service) p. Colton Copelin (West), 1:52.
215 — Mason Wurst (South) d. James Woody (West), 6-1.
285 — Aiden Davis (South) p. Elijah Savea (Bartlett), 0:59.
103 — Jacob Marvin (Dimond) p. Ian Novotny (Eagle River), 2:37.
112 — Kristoff Beagley (West) d. Elyle Francisco (East), 3-2 (tiebreaker).
119 — Colter Hansen (Bartlett) won by injury default over Kameron Potter (Eagle River).
125 — Samuel Carpenter (East) p. Avery White (Eagle River), 4:00.
130 — Joshua Lewandowski (Eagle River) d. over Andres Hernandez (West), 4-3.
135 — Elliot Jindra (West) m.d. Bendiks Eisenbeiss (Bartlett), 10-2.
140 — Jalen Frederick (Eagle River) p. Jeffrey Thomas (Dimond), 2:53.
145 — Colton Bobo (Chugiak) p. Joseph Gerard (Dimond), 1:17.
152 — Robert Misa (West) s.v. Danierl Brooks (Chugiak),13-9.
160 — Dylan Silook-Apatiki (Bartlett) p. Bryce Sena (Dimond), 3:49.
171 — Tyrell Andrew-Parrett (East) won by forfeit over Amosa Sou (East).
189 — Joseph Paulson (South) p. Finau Taufa (Service), 3:46.
215 — Loke Iese (South) won by injury default over Robby Green (Service).
285 — Israel Garcia (West) received a bye.
(No team scores were kept)
103 — Jamiezon Garcia (East) m.d. AJ Pennington (Eagle River), 16-7.
112 — Ashley Andrews (Eagle River) d. Carson Adams (West), 10-3.
119 — Tatiana Green (East) p. Loralan Bibbs (East), 1:34.
125 — Emma Knapp (West) p. Jamie Light (South), 3:24.
130 — Theresa Meatas (East) received a bye.
165 — Nicole Lewis (Chugiak) d. Victoriah Haakenson (South), 7-0.
145 — Madison Ellis (South) p. Jakira Starks, 0:34.
160 — Brandee Lockett (Service) p. Jessica Martinez (Service), 2:00.
189 — Jayleen Sekona (South) p. Isabel Ulofoshio (Bartlett), 0:41.
235 — Jacquelune DeMers (Eagle River) received a bye.