Fueled by seven falls – six in the first period – the Oak Harbor High School wrestling team won its season and home opener 51-27 over Arlington Thursday, Nov. 29.
Only two of the night’s 14 matches went the distance. The Wildcats surrendered two forfeits and an injury default and the Eagles forfeited once.
Oak Harbor, ranked 14th in the preseason Washington Wrestling Report 3A poll, opened the match with a pair of pins, first from Ray Quinday (220 pounds, 3:06) and then from Jackson Constant (285, 1:29).
Arlington, ranked 19th in the 4A preseason poll, then collected two forfeits (106, 113) and a win by injury default over Zaiha Sams to go ahead 18-12.
The Wildcats then ran off a string of three quick falls to lead 30-18: Jeremy Vester (126, :40), Cody Fakkema (132, :29) and Jahleel Vester (128, :27).
In the evening’s most exciting match, Oak Harbor’s Jacob Fitzgerald (145) recorded five takedowns and came from behind to win 14-10.
At 152 pounds and in a battle of ranked wrestlers who qualified for the state meet last winter, Arlington junior Scotty Bardell (seventh in the 4A rankings) defeated sophomore Mark Johnston (seventh in 3A) 13-7.
Two more lightning pins from Joshua Crebbin (160, :57) and C.J. Shavers (170, :36) and a forfeit to Jon Lanningham (182) made it 51-21.
Arlington finished the scoring with a fall over Jeremy Alonzo (195, 3:31).
Oak Harbor coach Mike Crebbin said Fitzgerald “wrestled really well against one of their better wrestlers.” He added Fitzgerald “is in really good shape and even when he was behind we knew he could get their kid.”
Coach Crebbin liked the intensity of this team and the crowd and said, “The kids came out ready to go.”
Oak Harbor hosts Mount Vernon at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 6.