News

2x 4A State Champion
 
 
 
 
 


2013 4a 145lb State Champion

February 16, 2013

Winning my 2nd Straight 4A Washington HS State Championship

 

Brothers Eric and Michael Soler each won titles as the Vikings, fifth at state last season, captured the school's ninth state wrestling crown.

Seattle Times staff reporter

 
TACOMA — Eric Soler takes things personally.

As a team captain, he blamed himself when Lake Stevens didn't win the Class 4A state wrestling championship last season — even though he contributed an individual title. The Vikings were fifth and missed taking home a trophy.

"I felt like I didn't do my job," Soler said.

So it was extra satisfying Saturday at Mat Classic XXV at the Tacoma Dome when Soler not only became a two-time champion, but helped the Vikings return to the top in dominating fashion. They scored 162 points — second most in school history — to easily outdistance runner-up Tahoma (120).

And it was extra special, too, because Michael Soler, Eric's freshman brother, also finished first at 106.

"I was more nervous for him than I was for me," Eric said.

Although it was Eric's match at 145 that was the nail-biter. He trailed Graham-Kapowsin's Ian Steen, another returning champion, 2-1 before pulling a reversal in the final seconds.

It was all according to plan, according to Soler, who has battled a variety of injuries this season.

"Lately, my conditioning hasn't been very good, so I kind of wait 'til the end and then, bam, make my move," he said.

Soler is among a handful of Lake Stevens wrestlers who have earned four state medals. His two firsts follow a fourth and fifth.

"He's one of the best competitors I've ever coached," Vikings coach Brent Barnes said. "When he steps into the circle, he's going to find a way."

 


 

Lake Stevens wins 4A state wrestling title

Vikings win team title, Soler brothers individual state champs

One of the hardest fought individual wins came from Eric Soler at 145 pounds. He went up against another defending state titleist in the final. Ian Steen of Graham Kapowsin took a 2-0 edge after the second period and Soler earned an escape point in the third. With 12.7 seconds to go in the match, he got a timely reversal for a 3-2 lead.

His strategy was simple.

"Stay in the match and then when it's time to go just go," Eric Soler said.

He went 1-1 against Steen during the regular season and used experience to his advantage. Over his career he's also come back from injuries including an ACL tear, a sprained MCL and torn meniscus.

"I don't know if I've coached as good a competitor as Eric," Barnes said. "He seems to have a flair for the dramatic. He finds a way and you have to be pretty special to find a way to get the job done."

The Vikings briefly talked of going for the 4A record for points set by Tahoma last year (190), but ended up not having enough wins.

Still, the team was proud of the overall victory.

"It means a lot, especially as a captain I'm responsible," Eric Soler said. "I feel like I didn't do my job last year when we took fifth. We just weren't where we wanted to be. People were getting in trouble and a couple kids didn't make weight. That was kind of on me because I was really looking after everyone."

 


Lake Stevens Journal Article:

Brothers Michael and Eric Soler took home individual championships. Michael, a freshman wrestling at 106, controlled Moses Lake’s Trey Long from the start of the match, winning the title by a score of 8-3.
Eric Soler, despite missing the first part of the season with an injury, put together an impressive list of accomplishments dating back to last year’s Mat Classic, where he beat two defending state champions to win his first state championship. This season he was the only person to beat North Kitsap’s Jake Velarde, who won his fourth 2A state championship on Saturday.

Soler’s only loss this season was to Graham Kapowsin’s Ian Steen, another defending state champion. Soler beat Steen 8-4 at a tournament, but a week later was pinned by Steen at a dual meet. The rematch between Soler and Steen was one of the most anticipated matches of the night, and it lived up to expectations. Soler, trailing Steen 2-1 late in the third round, scored a reversal to take a 3-2 lead, and held on for the match’s closing seconds to win his second state title.

Finals Match

 


Ericjsoler's State Championship album on Photobucket

 


February 9, 2013

2013 145lb Regional Champion


 


2013 4a 145lb District Champion

February 2, 2013

 

 
 

January 12, 2013

Defeating 4x State Champion Jake Velarde at the 2013 Matman Classic 145lbs

Soler Shines at Matman Classic (Tribune Article Click here)

 

 

 

 

 

 SILVERDALE – Some wresting invitationals are cakewalks. And then there is the Matman Classic – the last high-profile tournament of the regular season.
And this year’s edition of the Matman Classic showcased a super-sized bracket at 145 pounds involving four reigning state champions.
When the dust settled, Lake Stevens High’s Eric Soler stood tallest, dispatching three-time state champion Jake Velarde of North Kitsap in the semifinals with a 3-1 decision, then rolling past Graham-Kapowsin’s Ian Steen, 8-4, for the title.
Soler’s win also gave the team title to the Vikings by the slimmest of margins – 186 to 1851/2 points over defending Class 4A champ Tahoma.
Not a bad showing for a guy who is still rounding into form after suffering a broken hand earlier in the season.
“I would say today is a good day,” Soler said. “This tournament is tougher than my (4A) state bracket will be.”
The match folks packed the grandstands to see was the Soler-Velarde semifinal. Velarde was undefeated, and next month is set to try to become the 10th wrestler to win four state titles.
The score was tied 1-1 when Soler scored a takedown in the final seconds.
In the other semifinal, Steen upended South Puget Sound League foe Lucas Somera of Enumclaw. The match was stopped when Somera suffered a right-knee dislocation.
“I knew it was going to be a long day,” Steen said. “These guys are a bunch of studs.”
Soler scored three reversals, including the clincher with 20 seconds to go, for an 8-4 decision over Steen.
“It was a tough bracket, and it felt good to get through it,” Soler said. “This gets me feeling confident going into state.”

 


 

Lake Stevens Journal Article (Click Here)

 Lake Stevens’ Eric Soler, the Viking wrestling team’s lone returning state champion, isn’t used to being a fourth-place seed at tournaments. But that’s just where he found himself at the Central Kitsap MatMan wrestling tournament on Jan. 12, where the 145-pound weight class featured three other state champions in addition to Soler.

In Soler’s semi-final match, he faced North Kitsap’s Jake Velarde, who will be attempting to win his fourth 2A state title this year. Late in the third round, Soler and Velarde were tied 1-1 after trading escape points. With seconds remaining Soler scored a takedown to win 3-1 and advance to the finals, where he would face Graham-Kapowsin’s Ian Steen, another returning state champion.

To add to the pressure, Soler’s finals match would determine which team won the tournament: if he won, the Vikings would win the tournament by a half a point. If he lost, Tahoma would pass the Vikings to win and avenge a dual-meet loss earlier in the season.

Soler defeated Steen 8-4, winning his weight class, securing the team victory, and placing himself as the top-ranked 145-pound wrestler in the state—and he also took home the tournament’s outstanding-wrestler award.

Three other Viking wrestlers won their weight classes. Freshman A.J. Crew at 106 pounds pinned his opponent in the finals, sophomore Cody Vigoren won at 170 by injury default, and senior Brandon Johnson won in overtime at 285 pounds to remain undefeated for the season.

At 120 pounds, freshman Jake Douglas lost his finals match 7-5 after defeating top-ranked 2A wrestler Austin Dodson in the semifinals.

Earlier in the week, Lake Stevens defeated Monroe 72-3 in a Wesco North dual meet to remain undefeated in Washington dual meets this season. The Vikings now continue with weekly dual meets until the district tournament on February 1

 


 


Broken hand hasn't slowed Lake Stevens wrestler

January 27, 2013

 

 

Seattle Times Article

 

 

 Five questions with Lake Stevens High School senior Eric Soler, a returning state wrestling champion at 126 pounds. He is 14-1 at 138 despite breaking his hand early this season.

Q: What was it like coming back from your injury?

A: "Getting in shape was a pain. At first, I would be winded in my matches, but I've been getting there. I should be good by state."

Q: How do you prepare for the postseason?

A: "You time it so that right at the end is when you peak, you're at your best performance. Right now, we're shortening practices and working a lot more intense and harder and faster ... and getting ready to battle it out in the Tacoma Dome."

Q: What was it like to be a part of "True Life: On the Mat," the MTV documentary that chronicled the 2010-11 Lake Stevens wrestling season?

A: "It was cool, because we got a lot of attention. I liked the guys who filmed. They were always around, so we would always joke around. They were pretty cool."

Q: Your plans after high school?

A: "I got accepted to UW-Bothell, so I'll probably go there. I'm planning on majoring in engineering.

Q: What do you like to do away from wrestling?

A: "I love wakeboarding. I live on a lake, so every morning during the summer, you can catch me out there riding."

 


 


2012 4A 126lb State Champion


126--Eric Soler (LS)Pinned Zack Gracia (WDNV)4:55
126--Eric Soler (LS)Dec Dalton Meyers (KWOD) 8-0
Semi Finals:
126--Eric Soler (LS) Dec Ares Carpio (TBEA) 6-5
Finals:
126--Eric Soler (LS) Dec Steven Hopkins (TAHO) 8-6(OT)

Season record: 36-1 (21 falls 4 TF 4 MD)

From the Everett Herald Article:

Several local wrestlers rode upsets to the finals Saturday, perhaps most impressive was Lake Stevens' Eric Soler in the 126-pound 4A class. The Vikings junior defeated two undefeated wrestlers in the semifinals and finals both of which were state champions in 2010.

"It's unbelievable especially with a kid that's had to deal with an ACL reconstruction a year ago," Lake Stevens coach Brent Barnes said. "He comes through maybe the toughest weight class."

Against Steven Hopkins of Tahoma in the final Soler lead 6-4 but let Hopkins back in the match with a final second takedown at the end of the third period. In overtime Soler made one quick move to win the sudden-death match 8-6.

"I had it at the end of the match and I was just getting lazy," Soler said. "I was like (shoot) I've got to step back up."

Soler's win helped propel Lake Stevens to the edge of a team trophy awarded to the 4A teams with the top four scores. The Vikings finished with 91 points.

Video of Finals from WIAA @45min mark








TD shot for the win in OT 126lb State Finals




Photos of Championship Match








126lb State Champion




Finals Match


Semi Final Match


Photos From State


Other Finals match photos by T.H.











 


2012 4A 126lb State Champion

 


More Finals Photos by Kevin Sawyer of Kelso





2012 126lb Regional Champion

February 11, 2012



126--Eric Soler (LS)Pinned Casey Walkley (LS)
126--Eric Soler (LS)Pinned Conner Gonzalez (A)
Finals Match:
126--Eric Soler (LS)TF Killian Page (MP) 11-1

Season record: 32-1 (20 falls 4 TF 3 MD)











2012 District Champion 126lbs (3x District Champ)

February 4, 2012

126--Eric Soler (LS)Pinned Isreal Lopez (MP)
126--Eric Soler (LS) Dec. Keaton Mills (Sno) 6-0
126--Eric Soler (LS)Pinned David Bui (M)
Finals Match:
126--Eric Soler (LS)TF Killian Page (MP) 16-1

Season record: 29-1 (18 falls 4 TF 2 MD)









2011 Tournament of Champions Lakewood CA.

December 29, 2011

My team traveled to Lakewood CA to compete in the 21st annual North Torrance tournament of Champions. The tournament is considered one of the toughest in southern California with 86 teams and included two top teams from Arizona and a team from Georgia. I wrestled at 126lbs going 6-0 in a 64-man bracket winning 3 by fall and 3 by tech fall without giving up a single point. In addition to winning the 126lb championship I was also awarded the tournament Outstanding Wrestler Award.

126--Eric Soler (LS) TF Alfredo Orozco (ALA) 15-0
126--Eric Soler (LS) TF Kurtis Gibson (BUE) 15-0
126--Eric Soler (LS) Pinned Christian Rodriguez (ART)
126--Eric Soler (LS) Pinned Dominic Hernandez (CS)
Semi Final Match:
126--Eric Soler (LS) Pinned Joe Locke (VER) (AZ)
Championship Match:
126--Eric Soler (LS) TF Brendan Quigley (HI) (GA) 16-0

Season record 25-1 (16 falls 3 TF 2 MD)




Finals Match


Semi Finals Match






2011 Tournament of Champions Outstanding Wrestler Award.

December 29, 2011






Me on MTV

January 4, 2012

MTV True Life: On the Mat: story of my 2010-2011 season

High School wrestling is like no other sport. Those who devote themselves to it often say a typical season falls somewhere in between torture and pure hell. Starving to make weight and pushing body and mind to the brink is typical for wrestling team members at Lake Stevens High. With seven Washington state championships under their belt, an incredibly demanding coach, and a student body that expects them to win state every year, the pressure's always on. Last year (2010), the squad finished 4th - which was considered to be a disaster. This year, they're kicking it up a notch and doing everything possible to reclaim their title. Losing is not an option. When you wrestle for Lake Stevens, there's no choice but to leave it all On the Mat

Q 13 Fox news report






Got a new boat Time to Surf

October 12, 2011










Me catching Franklin

May 31, 2011





2011 4A Wesco District 112lb Champion

February 5, 2011

I won my 2nd Straight 4A Northwest District Championship today defeating my old club team training partner and friend Andrew Vulliet in the finals in a tough 7-1 battle. I won my first 2 matches by fall and the third by an 11-0 decision. I go into regional next week as a #1 seed.

All Wesco Wrestling Team



10th Annual Final Four of High School Wrestling

January 22, 2011


My HS team traveled back to Easton PA to wrestle some of the top teams in the country this weekend. We got smashed. A teammate and I had the best record on our team at 3-2. One on my loses was to Evan Silver, a senior from Blair Academy who has a full ride to Stanford and is rated number one in the country. My second loss came at 119lbs, 5-4, in a match I should have won. I hit a take down at the buzzer that I wasn’t awarded. I shouldn’t have let it be so close. I did get three good wins over three of the top rated wrestlers in PA at 112lbs. It was a great trip and a good learning experience.

In my first match of the day I had my ACL torn. After the match I sat down and my knee swelled and hurt tremendously. I wanted to continue to wrestle so I put a kneepad on and wrestled four more matches. When I returned home I went to the doctor and was told my ACL is torn and I need surgery to repair it. The Doctor said I could finish the season with a brace if I can stand the pain. I’m attempting to wrestle out the season and will have surgery on Feb 24th to reconstruct my ACL. I’ll have to rehab for the next 9 months. Sucks big time.

Lake Stevens 22 vs Council Rock South Hs 48
119 Danny Martoccio (Council Rock South Hs) Dec Eric Soler (Lake Stevens) 5-4

Lake Stevens 24 vs Parkland Hs 44
112 Eric Soler (Lake Stevens) Dec Ian Evans (Parkland Hs) 4-2

Lake Stevens 0 vs Blair Academy 64
112 Evan Silver (Blair Academy) Fall Eric Soler (Lake Stevens) 0:38

Lake Stevens 21 vs Jackson Memorial Hs 43
112 Eric Soler (Lake Stevens) Dec Peter Rinaldi (Jackson Memorial Hs) 10-3

Lake Stevens 12 vs Pen Argyl 64
112 Eric Soler (Lake Stevens) Fall Jamie Welsh (Pen Argyl Area Hs)3:33







Northwest Riders Wake Series at Lake Tye 3rd Place Finish

August 14, 2010



2010 Aquafest Wakeboarding Championships 2nd Place (Mens Division)

July 24, 2010

Time to Wakeboard




Homecoming with Emily Oct. 9,2010

It's Freestyle Season


2010 WESCO 4A District 103lb Champion



2009 HS Season

I'm the Varisty 103lber for Lake Stevens High School


The secret of Lake Stevens' wrestling success

Fighting for the Take Down


Driving for the Take Down


Tri-State Championships Scoring a fall 3rd Place Match


11 Time Washington State Wrestling State Champion

"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great." ~ Mark Twain




2009 ASICS USAW Folkstyle National Championships with my Dad


2009 Folkstyle National Championships


2009 ASICS USAW Folkstyle Nationals


Video from Nationals

Scoring a Fall at Nationals


2009 Middle School Champion


Hitting a 5 Point Throw in Freestyle


Scoring with a Firemans Carry


Gettting a reversal


I made the Front Page of the Sports Section


Winning the 2009 Judo State Championships


Scoring Back Points with my legs


Winning the 2008 Continental Crown


Playing QB for the Bulldawgs



May 2008 Judo Clips

Winning the 2008 NW Middle School Judo Championship


Winning the 2008 Middle School Wrestling Championships


Hitting a Koshi-Guruma


It's Freestyle Season: Throwing for 5


Middle School Season: Scoring with a Bannana Split



Middle School Match from 03/08
More Videos of me in action(click Here)


2008 Freestyle Season Video Clips


2008 Wrestling Season Photo Montage

Party Time


2008 PCJWL Champion (26-0)


Getting the Take Down


Getting ready to finish the Take Down


Winning the 2007 B.C. Judo Championships


I like Girls Too


I scored the Winning TD in the 6th OT for the Play off victory over Silver Lake Green

At Running Back


Against Lake City


On the Run


Lead Blocking


2007 Jr US Open Judo Championships Bronze Medalist




Scoring an Ippon in Judo with a Morote Gari



My latest music Video. Me on Guitar, my brother on Drums


Scoring an Ippon in Judo


Winning the 2007 Freestyle State Championships


Winning the 2007 Greco Roman State Championship


Winning the 2007 Folkstyle State Championships


2007 Triple Crown Champion & Michael: Freestyle & Greco State Champion


Michael & I both won the Outstanding Wrestler Award at the Anacortes Invitational



With My Dad at Qwest Field


Going for the Catch against the Raiders-Qwest Field


My brother Michael & Me: 3x Freestyle State Champions


Winning the Jr National Judo Championship


My brother Michael and Me winning the Budokan Tournament