The Seward Phoenix Log - News of the Eastern Kenai Peninsula since 1966

By Tommy Wells
Seward Phoenix LOG 

'Hawks qualify 4 for state tournament


December 15, 2016

Cole Norcross went into the Kachemak Conference Wrestling Championships this past weekend with a simple approach: Live to wrestle another day.

Needing only to finish in the top four in the 120-pound weight classification at the tournament, Norcross took care of business. And, in so doing, he helped spur the Seward Seahawks to a sixth-place finish in the overall team standings.

More importantly, he was among four SHS grapplers – joining Simon Estes, Jaden VanDyke and Isaiah Bivins - to etch their names into the upcoming Class 1-2-3A state wrestling tournament field. The state tournament is scheduled for this weekend at the Alaska Airlines Center in Anchorage.

Owner of a 31-17 record this season, Norcross kicked off the conference tournament on a high note. In his first-round matchup, he eased his way to a victory over Redington’s Jordan Morganflash. After suffering a tough 15-2 loss to Cordova’s August Jewell in the semifinals, the SHS standout regained form. He earned a spot in the third-place match by defeating Nikiski’s Caleb Weeks in the consolation semifinals.

In the third-place match, Norcross scratched out a thrilling 12-10 victory over Homer’s Ian Stovall in overtime.

Like Norcross, Estes punched his ticket to Anchorage with a third-place effort in the 132-pound classification. He went 3-1 in the tournament, including a win over Houston’s Damien Jessup in the third-place matchup.

Estes, who receive a bye in the first round, began his march to the state meet with a commanding 17-2 romp over Houston’s Derek Jokay in his first bout. After a loss to Homer’s Mose Hayes in his ensuing round, he rallied to notch wins over Redington’s Colton Jones and Jessup in the next two matches.

Estes enters the state tournament at 22-16 for the year.

VanDyke and Bivins earned berths in the state tournament by taking fourth in their respective divisions. Van Dyke, 16-30 for the year, wrestled his way to a 2-2 record in the 138-pound standings. Bivins, now 22-17 for the year, went 2-2 in the 113-pound bracket.

SHS teammate Gabriel Wood added to Seward’s success in the 113-pound class with a sixth-place finish.

Eli Davis and Soren Fejes just missed qualifying for the state tournament. Davis went 2-2 in the 182-pound classification and placed fifth overall. He defeated Houston’s Justin Gericke in the fifth-place match.

Fejes netted fifth in the 195-pound standings with an 11-7 victory over Grace Christian’s Jackson Tanner.

Cyrus Petty also notched a win the 195-pound division. He finished at 1-2 overall.

Nick Woodard closed out his 2016 season at .500. Now 18-18 for the year, he went 1-3 in the tournament, including a 3-0 loss to Redington’s Ollie Severance in the fifth-place contest in the 170-pound class.

Seward had three other wrestlers almost qualify for the girls’ state tournament. Kriziel Sarmiento, Nele Hohenstein and Naomi Ifflander all finished second in their weight brackets.

Only the top finisher in each of the girls’ divisions advanced to state. There was still a chance one of the SHS girls could advance to state as the ASAA gives At-Large berths to various wrestlers throughout the state ti fill out the brackets for the Class 1-2-3A Girls state tournament.

Other SHS grapplers representing the Seahawks at the tournament included Chris Kingsland and Reid Broughton.


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