2x 4A State Champion
2013 4a 145lb State Champion
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
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.
2013 145lb Regional Champion
Defeating 4x State Champion Jake Velarde at the 2013 Matman Classic 145lbs
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
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
126--Eric Soler (LS) Dec Ares Carpio (TBEA) 6-5
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.
126lb State Champion
2012 126lb Regional Champion 2012 District Champion 126lbs (3x District Champ) 2011 Tournament of Champions Lakewood CA.
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)
126--Eric Soler (LS) TF Brendan Quigley (HI) (GA) 16-0
Season record 25-1 (16 falls 3 TF 2 MD)
Semi Finals Match
2011 Tournament of Champions Outstanding Wrestler Award. Me on MTV
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
Me catching Franklin 2011 4A Wesco District 112lb Champion
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
Eric MTV Lake Stevens Journal 10th Annual Final Four of High School Wrestling
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
2010 Aquafest Wakeboarding Championships 2nd Place (Mens Division) 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 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 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