Sidney Eagle Invitational 3rd Place Finish (22 teams) Tri State 5th Place Finish (68 teams) Doc Buchanan Invitational 18th (99 teams)
State Champions 2014 State Champions 2013 State Champions 2011 State Champions 2009 State Champions 2008 State Champions 2007 State Champions 2004 State Champions 2001 State Champions 2000 State Champions 1990
Returning State Champions: 2x Michael Soler and Cody Vigoren Returning State Placers: Alex Rodorigo, Jake Douglas and Tyler Headland Returning State Participants: Trysten Perales, Garrett Gershmel and Mason Beaver Returning State Alternate: Ty Stacy
TACOMA — To a man, the Lake Stevens wrestling team said over and over again during the weekend at Mat Classic XXVII that earning a third consecutive Class 4A team title overshadowed any individual goals or accomplishments.After falling behind Moses Lake after the afternoon session on Friday, the Vikings scratched and clawed their way back into contention for the crown, taking the Chiefs down to the wire before coming up just short.The individual exploits of the Vikings — and the knowledge that they did everything they could to push the Chiefs — will have to sustain the perennial 4A power until they make their next run at the title next season.Junior 132-pounder Michael Soler, the very embodiment of a tournament winner, won his third state championship in as many years on Saturday night, defeating Pasco's Timmy Martinez 5-4 in an epic clash that captivated the Tacoma Dome crowd.He now follows Josh Heinzer as the latest Lake Stevens wrestler to win three titles, and will make his run at four titles and the accompanying immortality as a senior with his customary cool and grace.Senior Cody Vigoren completed his destruction of the 195-pound bracket with a first-period pin of Tahoma's Adam Hokenson on Saturday night.It was his fourth pinfall in as many matches this tourney, and his eighth consecutive pin at Mat Classic. The Wyoming-bound Vigoren has won back-to-back state titles without ever needing the full six minutes to eliminate his opponents.But both wrestlers were emotional after Moses Lake's Hudson Mauseth clinched the team title for the Chiefs with a 7-4 decision over Union's Michael Snediker.“It's very bittersweet,” Vigoren said. “There's no feeling like having so many guys work so hard for each other. It's tough knowing that I'll never be on a team with these guys again. They're the best teammates anyone could ever ask for.”The Vikings trailed Moses Lake 107-103 heading into the finals, but even with four finalists compared to Moses Lake's three, Lake Stevens still couldn't make up the difference.Senior Alex Rodorigo lost to Yelm's Darren Harris in the 126-pound final, and 138-pounder Jake Douglas lost a 1-0 match to Central Valley's Blake Beard at 138.“We wrestled really well, and did everything we could possibly do to push Moses Lake, but they were just better than us, a little deeper,” Lake Stevens coach Brent Barnes said. “But it was fun for everyone to have a race that close.”Soler did his part with his win over Martinez, taking him down early and nearly pinning him with a cradle in the first period before, in his estimation, getting turned from underneath for the first time this season.He took a 5-2 lead into the second period and rode Martinez out before allowing two back points in the third period for the final margin. Still, Soler was a cool customer after the win.“I wasn't worried except for when he caught me in that nasty tilt he has,” he said. “It's by far the biggest win of my career because he's one of the best kids I've ever wrestled.”Martinez, a senior, was denied a third straight championship by Soler.Soler benefited from a gamble by Martinez and Pasco coach Jay Covington in the third period that didn't pay off.Martinez , trailing 5-4, could have elected to cut Soler and cede the one-point escape in hopes of taking him down to tie the match, but elected to try and turn him a second time.“I was a little surprised,” Barnes said of Martinez's strategy. “I thought Michael getting the quick takedown really set the tone for the match, and maybe they didn't want it to happen again.”As always, Soler managed to get the job done.“Michael is just amazing,” Barnes said. “He's just the consummate competitor and he has ice in his veins. If you look at him physically he's not the most imposing guy, but he more than makes up for it with savvy and technique. He's just a flat-out winner.”Vigoren, by contrast, was all power and aggression throughout the weekend.“I was just on a mission,” he said.But even his four pinfalls came with the considerations of his team in the back of his mind.“My team needed pins to earn extra team points, and I tried to do whatever I could for the team.”
February 21, 2015
Vikings’ Michael Soler golden a third time | 4A wrestling
Originally published February 21, 2015 at 10:01 pm
Updated February 21, 2015 at 10:44 pm
Junior 132-pounder wins his third straight state title. Cody Vigoren also a champ for Vikings at 4A wrestling finals....
TACOMA — The sense of satisfaction matched the size of Michael Soler’s smile.
Both were immense after Soler survived the toughest weight class in the 4A state wrestling tournament Saturday at the Tacoma Dome to claim his third straight championship.
The Lake Stevens junior edged Pasco’s Timmy Martinez, a two-time champ in his own right, in the 132-pound final, 5-4, after beating a two-time silver medalist in the semifinals.
“I went out there knowing I earned it,” said Soler, who now has the chance to join the elite club of four-time champions next season. “Me and my teammates, we worked so hard this year. I just had no doubt I was going to be able to pull it out.”
Senior teammate Cody Vigoren successfully defended his title at 195, but the Vikings came up short in their bid to win a third consecutive team championship and 10th overall. Moses Lake’s early lead proved too much to overcome and the Chiefs came out on top, 117-113. It’s their 18th title, but first since 2002.
Moses Lake, which was second to Lake Stevens last year, produced a pair of champs in Trey Long (113) and Hudson Mauseth (160).
The Vikings had two second-place finishers in Alex Rodorigo (126) and Jake Douglas (138). Douglas took a tough 1-0 loss to Blake Beard, who became Central Valley of Spokane’s first three-time state champion. Rodorigo became another pin victim of Yelm’s Darren Harris, who became a three-time champ.
Lake Stevens coach Brent Barnes had no complaints.
“Our kids came in and competed hard and didn’t back down and fought to the bitter end,” he said.
Vigoren pinned Tahoma’s Adam Hokenson in the final and was emotional afterward, not about his victory, or the team’s loss, but because he’ll miss the guys in the wrestling room.
“I have the best teammates ever,” he said
February 14, 2015
Lake Stevens Fans celebrating another Victory
February 14, 2015
Lake Stevens dominates at regionals, advances 11 wrestlers to state
Cody Vigoren was one of four Lake Stevens champions on the day, including Michael Soler (132), who seeks to become a three-time state champion next weekend. Alex Rodorigo (126) and Jake Douglas (138) also took home titles.
SNOHOMISH — Cody Vigoren isn’t looking over his shoulder. But he knows the target is there.
As a returning state wrestling champion, Vigoren realizes he gets everyone’s best shot.
“I can’t take anything for granted,” the senior said. “You’ve got to expect the unexpected.”
Still, it was business as usual for Vigoren and the Lake Stevens team at the Class 4A Region I tournament at Snohomish High School on Saturday. He stormed to the 195-pound title with a trio of first-round pins and the third-ranked Vikings won the team crown with 219.5 points, well ahead of second-place Curtis (154.5). They will take 11 wrestlers to state.
“That’s about what I expected,” Lake Stevens coach Brent Barnes said as the Vikings take aim at a third straight state championship. “There really were no big surprises either way….The great thing is we have a shot. We put ourselves in position to take a run at it.”
Vigoren was one of four Lake Stevens champions on the day, including Michael Soler (132), who seeks to become a three-time state champion next weekend. Alex Rodorigo (126) and Jake Douglas (138) also took home titles.
Two other Vikings finished second and Mason Beaver lost in the semifinals to Mariner’s Nazara Vasilchenko. Beaver beat Visalchenko in the subregional semis a week earlier.
Vasilchenko, who missed most of the season with an injury, lost in the finals to Jon Bridgman of Curtis.
Rogers of Puyallup also crowned four champions. In all, SPSL South wrestlers won nine titles,
Vigoren (31-4) hasn’t lost to an in-state opponent since his sophomore year, when he placed fourth at state. Also a standout catcher, he once envisioned a professional baseball career. But he said his passion for wrestling grew that 10th-grade season and he began devoting extra time on the mat.
“I still love baseball, but I saw more results in wrestling,” said Vigoren, a 3.9 GPA student who has a wrestling scholarship to Wyoming.
Barnes figures his best is yet to come.
“He’s got a high ceiling,” he said. “I don’t think he’s even scratched the surface yet.”
Soler proved to be the best in state at 106 as a freshman and 113 last year. After growing nearly four inches to 5-8, and adding necessary weight, he’s taken the jump to 132 this season — which might be the toughest 4A weight class. It includes Timmy Martinez of Pasco, also a two-time returning champion, and Cam Sorenson of University, who placed second in 3A the last two years.
“I’m OK with it,” Soler said. “It’s where I’m best. I’m not going to try to avoid anyone.”
SNOHOMISH — Though it won the ultimate prize — the team championship at last year’s 4A state meet — the Lake Stevens wrestling team fell short in the regional tournament, finishing second to Yelm.After a convincing win at this year’s regional tournament on Saturday, the Vikings will have an opportunity to bring home both titles this year.Lake Stevens finished first with 219.5 points, 65 points better than Curtis which finished second with 154.5.“It’s always fun to win a tournament, otherwise we wouldn’t keep score at them,” Lake Stevens head coach Brent Barnes said. “It’s cool. It’s an extension of state. It’s an accomplishment for the kids to be proud of and definitely a stepping stone to next week for bigger things.”Winning regionals after failing to do so a year ago was celebrated by the Vikings, but they have their sights set on another state championship next Saturday, which would be their third in a row.
The Vikings qualified 11 wrestlers for next weekend’s Mat Classic, one more than they had a year ago. Of the 11 qualifiers, six made it to the regional final with four of them winning the championship. "We wrestled pretty well,” Barnes said. “We went out and competed at every weight and that’s all you can ask for. It’s honestly about what I thought it would be. We got 11 through (to state) and I thought we would be between 10 and 12, so it’s about what I expected.”
The first two Lake Stevens wrestlers that made the final lost, sophomore Nathan Scilley at 106 pounds and senior Tyler Headland at 120 pounds. The next four finalists all won including a string of three straight at 126, 132 and 138 pounds. Senior Alex Rodorigo was the Vikings first champion, with a 7-1 win over Spanaway Lake’s Angel Coria at 126 pounds.“I thought he wrestled really well today,” Barnes said of Rodorigo. “He was solid and he was good on his feet and that’s something he’s really worked on over the season. He was injured for quite a while, so he’s starting to get his base back beneath him. He was pretty dominant. He looked good.”
Junior Michael Soler won again for the Vikings at 132 pounds with a pin over Curtis’ Baylee Tran in three minutes, 38 seconds. Soler will look to become a three-time state champion next Saturday, but it will be a challenge. Soler won state at 106 pounds as a freshman and 113 as a sophomore. In order to three-peat, Soler will have to do it making a bigger jump all the way up to 132.“It’s going to be tough, but it always is, even last year when he moved up to 113,” Barnes said. “The one thing about Michael — and he’s just like his brother (Eric) — is you never want to count him out. They find ways. They’re smart and they’re very technical. We’ll put together a pretty good gameplan for him and hopefully he can make another run at the title.”
Junior Jake Douglas was the third straight Vikings to win the championship with a 4-3 win over Graham-Kapowsin’s Corde Ferreira.“That was a great match with the kid from Graham-Kapowsin,” Barnes said. “That’s a state finals kind of match, so that’s a really good test for him before next week.”
Senior Cody Vigoren also won the regional championship at 195 pounds with a pin in 1:15. In three matches, Vigoren spent just three minutes and 40 seconds on the mat, winning all three by pin.
With another loaded lineup headed to Tacoma, can Lake Stevens repeat?“We’re going to take that one day and one match at a time and worry about that when it’s all over on Saturday night,” Barnes said. “We’ve got our work cut out for us. There are some great teams out there and we definitely have to wrestle really well to be able to bring home another title. We’ll have to do some damage, there’s no doubt about it.”
Aaron Lommers covers prep sports for The Herald. Follow him on Twitter at @aaronlommers and contact him at email@example.com.At Snohomish H.S.Team scores: 1. Lake Stevens 219.5, 2. Curtis 154.5, 3. Graham-Kapowsin 133, 4. Bethel 120, 5. Rogers (Puyallup) 109, 6. Snohomish 84, 7. Emerald Ridge 57, 8. Puyallup 54, 9. Mount Vernon 47, 10. Spanaway Lake 42, 11. Jackson 35, 12. Mariner 32, 13. Kamiak 29, 14. Monroe 28, 15. Cascade 14.
February 14, 2015
2015 Wrestlers on their way to State
Champions: 126lbs Alex Rodorigo 132lbs Michael Soler 138lbs Jake Douglas 195lbs Cody Vigoren
106—Jacob Bennett (LS) won by forfeit 113—Gino Loera (LS) pinned Logan Cossairt 5:59 120—Bennett Evangen (LS) won by forfeit 126—Aron Finholt (LS) won by forfeit 132—Michael Leger (MV) dec. Alex Rodorigo 138—Nico Lorea (LS) pinned Lucas Sedero 1:06 145—Tristan Sander (LS) pinned River Greenwood 2:09 152—Ty Stacy (LS) tech fall. Josh Foster 160—Danny Sagioa (LS) pinned Hunter Greenwood 0:35 170—Bhodi Scott (LS) pinned Zach Cleeve 1:30 182—Mason Beaver (LS) won by forfeit 195—Mitchell Firth (LS) won by forfeit 220—Cody Vigoren (LS) pinned Draven Hodgins 1:06 285—Justin Thompson (LS) won by forfeit
January 27, 2015
Lake Stevens 65 Cascade 16
January 23, 2015
Mason Beaver with the fall vs Orting
Lake Stevens sweeps Orting, Yelm in double dual meet
By Michael Martin
Contributing writerJanuary 23, 2015
In high school wrestling, late January traditionally means the end of invitational tournaments, a final chance to get fresh before the three-week postseason run begins. Three traditional powers took an alternative method to state preparation this season.
Orting, Yelm and Lake Stevens convened at Orting High School Friday night for a double dual meet featuring over 20 wrestlers with state tournament experience — including five reigning state champions. All three schools figure to be among the favorites for team championships in their respective classifications when Mat Classic XXVII takes over the Tacoma Dome Feb. 20-21.
Dominating the upper weights in both duals, Lake Stevens swept Orting (37-30) and Yelm (42-24). The Tornadoes and Cardinals tied at 31 in their dual, but Orting won due to tiebreaking criteria.
The stiffest individual competition came at 132 pounds with three 2014 state champs in action — Orting’s Ben Gore, Yelm’s Darren Harris and Lake Stevens’ Michael Soler.
Two-time champs Harris and Soler squared off first. Harris led 4-1 in the third round before a Soler escape brought both wrestlers to their feet with 45 seconds left. Soler gained control of Harris’ leg late in the match, but Harris was able to deny Soler points en route to a 4-2 win.
Harris earned a sweep of the three-way challenge with a 7-2 win over Gore. Leading 2-0 and starting on top in the second round, Harris dominated the middle frame, putting Gore on the verge of being pinned in a cradle position for the final half of the round for a three-point near fall.
Earlier, Gore dropped a 5-4 decision to Soler. Exchanging takedowns and escapes, Soler and Gore found themselves even at 3-all after the first two rounds. Starting the final round on the bottom, Soler scored a reversal 15 seconds into the final period and was able to hold after a Gore escape with 12 seconds left, for a 5-4 decision.
Lake Stevens’ Cody Vigoren, the 2014 4A state champ at 195 pounds, was efficient in his two wins — both first-round pins in under a minute.
Orting’s three-time state champion Fred Green started his evening with a 8-0 shutout of Lake Stevens’ Tristan Perales and closed it with a first-round pin of Yelm’s Tanner Page.
Lake Stevens 42, Yelm 24
106- Harrison (Y) p. Bennett, 3:16 113-Scilley (LS) d. J. Page, 10-8, OT 120 - Headland (LS) d. Munoz, 10-3 126 - Rodorigo (LS) p. Benson , 2:40 132 - Harris (Y) d. Soler, 4-2 138 - Douglas (LS) d. Rash, 8-5 145 -Perales (LS) d. T. Page, 15-13, OT 152 -Hallman (Y) d. Lawrence, 7-6 160 -Rodeman (Y) p. Sagiao (LS), 5:32 170 - Campbell (Y) p. Scott (LS), 1:06 182 -Beaver (LS) p. Allred, 3;41 195 - Pearson (LS) forfeit 220 - Vigoren (LS) p. Littlefield, :50 285 - Hutchinson (LS) forfeit
Lake Stevens 37, Orting 30
106 - Cruz (O) d. Bennett, 18-1 113 -Cenkush (O) d. Scilley, 17-0 120 - Headland (LS) p. Larez, 1:33 126 - Rodorigo (LS) d. Utterback, 6-0 132 - Soler (LS) d. Gore, 5-4 138 - Douglas (LS) d. Dunn, 15-2 145 - Green (O) d. Perales, 8-0 152 - Rodarte (O) d. Stacy, 9-1 160 - Sagiao (LS) d. Spader, 5-0 170 - Scott (LS) p. Reed 3:31 182 -Beaver (LS) p. Jacobson, 3:40 195 - Lochridge (O) p. Pearson, 1:16 220 - Vigoren (LS) p. Marill, :52 285 - Mullins (O) p. Hutchinson, :56
Lake Stevens pins Sedro-Woolley in powerhouse matchup
By Brian Adamowsky, Herald Writer
LAKE STEVENS — With two weeks remaining until district weekend and four weeks to go until Mat Classic, Lake Stevens and Sedro-Woolley, contenders for the Class 4A and Class 2A team titles, respectively, are looking for as many quality matches as possible while also recuperating and fine-tuning weak points.Both teams got what they came for as the Vikings defeated the visiting Cubs 44-30 on Thursday night in a raucous Lake Stevens gym.Lake Stevens (11-4) welcomed co-captain Alex Rodorigo back to the mat after the senior missed a month with a sprained pectoral and sprained rotator cuff.The 126-pounder's second-period pin of Sedro-Woolley's Dawson Biddix began a run of four consecutive pinfalls by Viking stalwarts Michael Soler, Jake Douglas and Trysten Perales that effectively put the match out of reach for the Cubs, especially with defending state champion Cody Vigoren looming in the final bout of the evening.“It was like riding a bike,” Rodorigo said of his first match back, adding that the home crowd gave him a boost and helped to negate any mat rust.“I felt really good,” he said. “I was fired up, and I got more fired up when I got the pin, which we needed.”Sedro-Woolley led 15-4 when Rodorigo took the mat, thanks to two early pins and an unlikely decision victory by Cubs 120-pounder Adam Adkinson, who entered the match ranked second in Class 2A by Washington Wrestling Report.Adkinson opened up a 4-1 lead on Lake Stevens' Garrett Gershmel after two periods, but Gershmel caught Adkinson in a cradle early in the third period.Gershmel had it cinched in for over half of the third period, but Adkinson somehow managed to avoid the pinfall. Instead, Gershmel received three near-fall points and the match was tied at four.Adkinson jumped completely out of the fire in the waning seconds, securing a reversal to win the match 6-4.“He's vulnerable from the bottom, being a small guy,” Sedro-Woolley coach Jay Breckenridge said of Adkinson. “We're going to have to make some changes there.”Lake Stevens coach Brent Barnes said Gershmel will learn from the defeat.“I thought we'd give (Adkinson) a good match, and Gershmel is starting to come along,” he said. “We can go back and tweak some things so that next time we can put that match away.”The Cubs went from being ahead 15-4 to behind 38-15 following Danny Sagiao's major decision over Riley Schwartz at 160 pounds, but Sedro-Woolley wasn't officially defeated until third-ranked Quinton Roeppel was only able to secure an overtime decision over Lake Stevens' Mason Beaver at 182. A pin would have kept the Cubs mathematically alive.Roeppel, who was clearly running out of gas in the extra periods, is one of several Sedro-Woolley wrestlers that helped the Cubs football team to a Class 2A state championship in the fall.Unfortunately for Breckenridge, the football season dipped so far into the winter that the Cubs have had a tough time getting their football guys healthy, in shape and down to wrestling weight.“We're still trying to get our lineup straightened out,” he said. “We have two other guys not in the lineup right now and we're just trying to get the team together. It took a long time for us to get our guys certified under the WIAA's new program. We've only wrestled three dual meets and one tournament, and we didn't do anything until after Christmas. But it's OK. We're hungry, and our goal is to be the first team to win football and wrestling titles in the same season. Tonight was good for us.”Lake Stevens will have another very stern test Friday, as the third-ranked Vikings will travel to Orting to wrestle a double dual against the Cardinals, the top-ranked Class 2A team, and Yelm, the No. 4 Class 4A squad.“It's a little bit of tournament simulation to have matches like that back-to-back, and it's a great way to end a period of time where we've been really grinding in the (practice) room,” Barnes said. “We're certainly not taking it easy with qualifiers coming up.”
At Lake Stevens H.S.
106—Jordan Berrey (S-W) pinned Jacob Bennett (LS) 5:56;
113—Nathan Scilley (LS) maj. dec. Eli Chevez (S-W) 11-0;
CLOVIS, Calif. — Lake Stevens placed 18th in a 99-team field at the Doc Buchanan Invitational as the tournament, one of the most prestigious prep wrestling events in the nation, wrapped up on Saturday.
Cody Vigoren claimed fifth place at 195 pounds after losing in a semifinal, Jake Douglas took seventh at 138 and Michael Soler placed eighth at 132 for the Vikings, who are seeking to win their third consecutive Class 4A state championship.
132—Michael Soler (LS) pinned Carlos Alvarez 3:58; Carlos Herrera def. Soler 2-1; Aaron Mora def. Soler 7-2; 138—Jake Douglas (LS) def. Reese Chew 1-0; Laurien Anghelina def. Douglas 8-2; Douglas def. Lorenzo Lewis 1-0; 195—Austin Flores def. Cody Vigoren (LS) 6-3; Adam Prentice def. Vigoren OT; Vigoren won by injury default over Richie Brandt.
Results for Lake Stevens wrestlers on Friday at the Doc Buchanan Invitational. The Vikings were 13th out of a 99-team field in the team standings. The tournament continues Saturday.
120—Devan Turner def. Garrett Gershmel (LS) 10-6; Gershmel pinned Miguel Ulloa 2:45; Gershmel def. Tyler Johnson 9-3; Abbas Khan def. Gershmel 10-6; 132—Michael Soler (LS) earned first-round bye; Soler won by tech fall over Joshua McKnight 15-0; Soler pinned James Giaccia 1:23; Brandon Martino def. Soler 12-5; 138—Jake Douglas (LS) def. Brian Cerda 8-5; Douglas def. Nick Valadez 12-2; Kristian Olivas def. Douglas 7-4; 145—Lane Barnes def. Trysten Perales (LS) 6-4; Perales pinned Jeff Skyrud 2:25; Josh Annis maj. dec. Perales 9-1; 152—Dominic DuCharme maj. def. Malachi Lawrence (LS) 15-5; Conrado Lopez def. Lawrence 7-4; 195—Cody Vigoren (LS) earned first-round bye; Vigoren pinned Tino Maese :31; Vigoren pinned Dan DeLorenzi 1:45.
January 7, 2015
Lake Stevens 54 Snohomish 15
January 7, 2015
Lake Stevens 62 Jackson 12
December 30, 2014
152 Malachi Lawrence (LS) pinned Bailey Sanchez 1:00 Lake Stevens 27 Moses Lake 43
106 Jesus Cornejo (ML) won by forfeit 113 Christian Knopp (ML) dec Gino Loera 4-0 120 Trey Long (ML) dec Ty Headland 6-3 126 Cooper McCullough (ML) maj Garrett Gershmel 9-1 132 Michael Soler (LS) dec Hunter Cruz 12-5 138 Jake Douglas (LS) pinned Spencer Vela 2:46 145 Trysten Perales (LS) pinned David Phillips :57 152 Malachi Lawrence (LS) pinned Bailey Sanchez 1:00 160 Joel Torres (ML) dec Danny Sagiao 8-1 170 Hudson Mauseth (ML) pinned Ty Stacy 3:20 182 Easton Castro (ML) pinned Body Scott 1:17 195 Nico Hernandez (ML) pinned Mason Beaver 5:20 220 Cody Vigoren (LS) pinned Dylan Morris 2:42 285 Justin Sainsbury (ML) pinned Dylan Hutchinson 2:56
December 29, 2014
The Top 10 prep sports stories of 2014
By David Krueger and Aaron Lommers, Herald Writers
10. Lake Stevens wrestling continues to be really, really good: Vikings sophomore Michael Soler clinched his second individual state championship in as many years with a late sweep of the leg in his 113-pound match to give Lake Stevens its second consecutive team title on Feb. 22.
Lake Stevens, one of the top wrestling programs in the state, edged Moses Lake 133 to 116½. The Vikings have won the state meet three of the past four seasons.
“(2013), it was awesome because it was my first year winning it,” Soler said. “But this year there was just so much more on the line. The kid beat me earlier in the year. I had that going through my head. I knew the team counted on me. It was amazing.”
LAKE STEVENS — Forty wrestlers fill the stuffy wrestling room at Lake Stevens High on a recent Monday evening, drilling ground technique. Junior Jake Douglas is in the corner catching up on some Spanish, but also checking his phone, when an assistant coach snatches it from him and tells him to get going on his pushups, planks and situps — he’s out with a small injury and can’t wrestle this week.
This scene is an anomaly.
Douglas isn’t the type who needs a push to get to work.
The 138-pound junior is one of Lake Stevens’ standouts — the Vikings have quite a few — but Douglas is a wrestler coach Brent Barnes says is doing all the right things to become top-notch, at the state level and beyond.
Back to that pushing. During the offseason Douglas did a lot of that, literally, after posting not-so-favorable results at Cadet Duals, a tournament held in Daytona Beach, Fla., last June.
He adopted a new style where he utilized head snaps — when a wrestler puts his hands on an opposing wrestler’s neck and snaps him to the ground with force — hand fighting and his strength.
His brother, Brady, was his partner.
“Every time I wrestle with him now, I can hardly move my head the day after,” says Brady, 26, who has 40 pounds on Jake.
“It started with me showing him how to (head snap), and he did not enjoy that at all. After we did that for a couple of days he made me pay for it,” says Brady, who chuckles when he tells this story over the phone.
“Jake is really nice, but most wrestlers don’t do well when they’re being nice. So we worked a lot on his mentality over the summer. I always thought that if he got hit hard or snapped hard that he would snap, but he never got really mad. But at one point after we were practicing the head snapping, he said, ‘I don’t want to do this anymore. How about from now on I snap your head.’ ”
In wrestling, head snapping, hand fighting and controlling the tie-up with pressure are techniques utilized mostly at the collegiate level. Hand fighting is the process of jockeying for a better position by using one’s hands.
Jake started using this style after getting pushed around a lot, and by bigger guys, at that Daytona tournament, one he qualified for after winning the Washington State Freestyle Championships in May. Yes, he was coming off an injury, which limited his training time, and yes, he wrestled up two weight classes at 152 at Duals, but Jake thought he would do better. He lost six of seven matches.
“That tournament really pushed me to get after my training,” says Jake, a kid with floppy brown hair who doesn’t seem to break his smile.
So he wrestled, lifted weights, wrestled some more.
Jake trained with his club team. He trained with high-school teammates Michael Soler and Cody Vigoren, both state champs last season. He trained with Barnes, who led Lake Stevens to back-to-back titles in Class 4A. He trained with his brother. He traveled the country to wrestle at big tournaments, getting in about 60 matches.
“If you want to become great at the sport, you need to put the time in,” says Barnes. “He had a good number of matches over the summer, but it wasn’t just about the number of matches. He had quality matches, big matches. He’s been to so many national tournaments that he’s acquired what it’s taken to be successful at the higher level.”
“These tournaments exposed me to the style I’ve converted to now,” says Jake. More importantly, it helped him see his bigger picture.
“Being at all these tournaments really opened up my eyes. It definitely relieves the nerves going into these smaller tournaments and takes pressure off going after a state title.”
He wants a state championship — Jake took fifth last season at 126 — but he’s eyeing a national title, too.
He thinks he’ll get it with all this pushing he’s doing.
LAKE STEVENS — For as much winning as the Lake Stevens wrestling program has done in coach Brent Barnes' tenure with the Vikings, he insists that he and his staff talk very little about winning and losing in the practice room.“Our overall philosophy is not about winning and losing,” he said. “We don't allow that to get in the way of getting better and enjoying the sport. We're very careful about the vocabulary we use with the kids and try to get them to live in the moment and develop camaraderie.”It certainly has paid dividends in terms of trophies.Lake Stevens won the Class 4A team title at Mat Classic last season for the second consecutive season and has topped the state's largest classification six times since 2005-06 and nine times since 1998-99.The squad that is aiming for a third consecutive team title this season will be headlined by junior Michael Soler, who is looking for a personal three-peat to go along with the team's, and senior Cody Vigoren, also a returning state champion.Soler would become Lake Stevens' first three-time state champion since Josh Heinzer (2008-2010) should he conquer the field at 132 pounds.It will be a sizable jump in weight class for Soler, who competed at 106 pounds as a freshman and 113 last year as a sophomore.“I'm not too worried about it,” said Soler, whose older brother Eric won a pair of state titles for the Vikings. “I wasn't trying to go up in weight, but I grew and spent a lot of time in the weight room this summer. I'll be able to do the same things I would normally do at the higher weight.”Barnes said Soler's insatiable desire to improve and learn the craft of wrestling have served him well in his first two seasons at Lake Stevens.“He's a true student of the sport, and you're not going to find anyone who enjoys the process more than Michael Soler,” Barnes said. “Moving up to 132 will be another challenge for him, but he's been dealing with pressure and expectations his whole life. He's a competitor and a gamer. He knows that you win some and lose some, and he'll have opportunities beyond high school wrestling.”Vigoren, who will wrestle at 195 pounds again this season but may occasionally bump up to 220 if the team needs him to, already has secured his wrestling future, signing with the University of Wyoming for next season. A longtime wrestler and baseball player, Vigoren only recently dedicated himself to the mat year-round.“He's really coming into his own,” Barnes said of Vigoren. “He's so physical, and such a great leader with great character.”Vigoren said that wrestling in such a tradition-rich program as Lake Stevens doesn't add any extra pressure to whatever he already puts on himself, but provides benchmarks for the future.“I don't really look at it as extra pressure but as something to look forward to,” he said.Vigoren would like to work on getting to opponents' legs more this year, and being able to do so will widen his repertoire of moves when he's wrestling on his feet.“I want to be able to take down anyone,” he said.The Vikings finished third over the weekend at the prestigious Sidney Eagle Invitational in Montana, placing behind the hosts and Poway High School of California.Barnes has put together a very competitive schedule for the Vikings that will see them wrestle dual meets against Class 4A powers Moses Lake and Tahoma, as well as out-of-state programs such as Hermiston (Ore.).Lake Stevens also will compete at the Doc Buchanan Invitational in Clovis, Calif. on Jan. 9-10, an event Barnes called one of the top five tournaments in the United States.
Wrestlers with a 3.5 GPA or Above
2013-2014 113lbs Michael Soler (4.0) 126lbs Jake Douglas 132lbs Noah Cuzzetto 160lbs Logan Johnson 195lbs Cody Vigoren (4.0)
2013-2014 Team Awards
March 4, 2014
Outstanding Wrestler Award: Cody Vigoren
Paul Toomey Award: Zach Cunningham
Hardest Worker Award: Michael Soler Jake Douglas
Most Improved Award: Trysten Peralles Inspirational Award: Noah Cuzzetto
Coaches Award: Garrett Gershmel
2014 4A State Champions
Regionals 2nd District Champions League Champions Matman 2nd Place Tri State 3rd Place (of 60) Doc Buchanan 15th (of 96)
Season Record: 9-2 League: 4-0
Mat Classic XXVI State Placers
February 22, 2014
Sophomore Michael Soler (25-5) 113lb State Champion
February 22, 2014
Michael Soler 2x State Champion 2014 113lb Champion 2013 106lb Champion
2x Regional Champion 2x District Champion
Junior Cody Vigoren (31-1) 195lb State Champion
February 22, 2014
Cody Vigoren 2014 195lb State Champion 2013 170lbs 4th
2x Regional Champion 2x District Champion
Senior Noah Cuzzetto (34-4) 132lb 2nd Place finish
February 22, 2014
Noah Cuzzetto 3x State Finalist 2014 132lbs 2nd 2013 113lb State Champion 2012 106lb State Champion
3x Regional Champion 3x District Champion
Junior Alex Rodorigo 120lbs 4th Place finish
February 22, 2014
Alex Rodorigo 1x State Placer 2014 120lbs 4th
Senior Logan Johnson (32-11) 160lbs 4th Place finish
February 22, 2014
Logan Johnson 1x State Placer 2014 160lbs 4th
Sophomore Jake Douglas (29-8) 126lbs 5th Place finish
February 22, 2014
Jake Douglas 2x State Placer 2014 126lbs 5th 2013 120lbs 4th
2x Regional Champion 2x District Champion
Junior Tyler Headland (23-8) 113lbs 7th Place finish
TACOMA — With one sweep of the leg in the final 10 seconds of Saturday's 113-pound 4A state-championship match, Lake Stevens sophomore Michael Soler delivered back-to-back state championships — twice.
Not only did Soler's thrilling 6-5 victory over Moses Lake's Fernando Leyva earn him his second-consecutive state championship, he also earned the Vikings back-to-back team championships and their third title in four seasons. The Vikings edged Moses Lake 133 to 116½.
"It was great," Lake Stevens head coach Brent Barnes said. "I know that Michael has felt a lot pressure over the past year being a returning state champion and he's worked really hard. I know that was a big moment for him and it was a big moment for us."
Soler trailed 5-3 in the final period, but rallied with an escape with less than a minute remaining in the match and scored on a two-point takedown with less than five seconds on the clock to clinch the championship.
"We work that in practice all the time," Soler said. "You've got 10 seconds left and you've got to get to a shot. I just thought about it and thought about the team and had to get it."
Lake Stevens had a comfortable lead heading into Saturday's championship matches, but Moses Lake had just earned five points for Trey Long's victory over his teammate Cooper McCullough in the 106-pound final. The Chiefs could have drawn to even closer had Leyva hung on to beat Soler. Instead, the Vikings are champions again.
So far in Soler's brief high-school career, he has lost to just one wrestler from Washington State. It just so happens the loss was to Leyva.
Soler got revenge on Saturday. More importantly, he got his second state championship.
"Last year, it was awesome because it was my first year winning it," Soler said. "But this year there was just so much more on the line. The kid beat me earlier in the year. I had that going through my head. I knew the team counted on me. It was amazing."
The Vikings had three wrestlers in the finals on Saturday, but needed just one victory in those three matches to clinch the team championship. Soler was the first to get the opportunity, but confident the Vikings would get at least one, Barnes and his staff didn't discuss it with Soler.
"All we had to do was win one of those three finals and we knew we were going to get at least one," Barnes said. "We didn't talk about it with Michael. They're smart enough to figure out the scoring themselves, but I didn't want to him to carry that burden."
Viking senior Noah Cuzzetto, who won two state titles while at Edmonds-Woodway, failed in his bid to become a three-time state champion, losing to Union's Junior Godinho 6-2 in overtime. But the Vikings were still able to celebrate one more individual title when 195-pounder Cody Vigoren pinned Lewis and Clark's Andrew Backlund.
"It's just a great way to end the tournament," Barnes said. "We lost a tough one with Noah at 132. That hurts, but Cody capped off a great season."
StateChampions 113lbs Michael Soler 195lbs Cody Vigoren
2nd Place 132lbs Noah Cuzzetto
4th Place 120lbs Alex Rodorigo 160lbs Logan Johnson
5th Place 126lbs Jake Douglas
7th Place Finish 113lbs Tyler Headland 138lbs Zach Cunningham
Day one Photos
Day Two Photos
State Finals Photos
February 21, 2014
Bonus points help Lake Stevens take first-day lead
Six Lake Stevens wrestlers advance to semifinals as the Vikings score 70 points, 14.5 ahead of Tahoma.
By Aaron Lommers, Herald Writer
TACOMA — The Lake Stevens wrestling team is no stranger to winning state championships, that’s why it was a shock to see them come in second at last weekend’s regional championships. Friday though, the Vikings were back to their old tricks. Lake Stevens advanced eight of its 11 wrestlers to the quarterfinals and six of those eight advanced to today’s semifinals.
At the day’s end, the Vikings were in first place with 70 points, 14.5 points ahead of Tahoma and in striking distance of the state championship for what would be a second consecutive season and the third time in four years.
“You never get used to winning state championships,” Lake Stevens head coach Brent Barnes said. “Each year is different and you can’t help but get excited just as much for the next year.”
Michael Soler (113 pounds), Tyler Headland (113), Alex Rodorigo (120), Garrett Gershmel (120), Jake Douglas (126), Noah Cuzzetto (132), Logan Johnson (160) and Cody Vigoren (195) all won their opening-round matches. Soler, Rodorigo, Douglas, Cuzzetto, Johnson and Vigoren went on to win in the quarterfinals.
“We started out the morning with a great round and then we just followed it up (in the) evening,” Barnes said. “You couldn’t ask for more than (having) six guys in the semis, that’s great. We got some pins too, which always helps.”
Soler, the defending state champion at 106 pounds, started slow in his quarterfinal match against Davis’ Ramiro Ortiz, but came on strong in the second period and scored a pin for the Vikings with 0.3 seconds remaining.
“I was watching the clock as I was pinning him,” Soler said. “I knew I would have to thrust my hips to try to get it. I didn’t think I was going to get it, but it’s cool I did. It helped the team out.”
It’s bonus points like those that come along with Soler’s pin and those Cuzzetto earned by earning a major decision in the final seconds of his victory over Skyline’s Tristan Steciw with a two-point takedown that have the Vikings in position to win yet another state title.
“We have to bonus points to win,” Barnes said. “The way we look at is, let’s produce another state champion with wins and bonus points. Our goal is to get 25 or 26 bonus points and if we do that’s like having another guy get to the state finals.”
2014 Regional Champions 113lbs Michael Soler 126lbs Jake Douglas 132lbs Noah Cuzzetto 195lbs Cody Vigoren
Team 2nd Place Finish
Photos from Regionals
February 15, 2014
LS Fans at Regionals 2014
2014 4A District One Championships
February 8, 2014
2014 District Champions
Day 1 Photos
Day 2 Photos
District Finals and Placings
February 8, 2014
2014 District Champions
Champions 113lbs Michael Soler 126lbs Jake Douglas 132lbs Noah Cuzzetto 195lbs Cody Vigoren
2nd Place 113lbs Tyler Headland 120lbs Alex Rodorigo
3rd Place 120lbs Garrett Gershmel 132lbs Trysten Peralles 138lbs Zach Cunningham 160lbs Logan Johnson 170lbs Mason Beaver
4th Place 126lbs Wyatt Bell
5th Place 138lbs Devian Jones 145lbs Ty Stacy 160lbs Bhodi Scott
The Lake Stevens Wrestling team has complied an impressive list of accomplishments during its history. Most notably, in recent years, the team has won Ten state titles: 1990, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011,2013 and 2014. Under coach Brent Barnes, the team had not lost a WESCO league match in 18 years, last losing during the 1993 season. Originally, this feat was nicknamed the Decade of Dominance, Until the team surpassed ten years of unbeaten league matches. However, In the 2007-2008 season, the streak ended with their 1st loss in 18 years. Lake Stevens Wrestling did go on to win the state championship that same year.
Lake Stevens Wrestling
State Champions: 1990, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2014