Comeback win nets Wildcats division title | Wrestling

Oak Harbor
Oak Harbor's Jacob Dugin, top, pins Everett's Anthony Hawkins to help the Wildcats win the Wesco North title.
— image credit: Jim Waller / Whidbey News-Times

Oak Harbor High School wrestler Jacob Dugin didn't know anything about the Everett wrestler he was about to face.

He didn't know Anthony Hawkins was one of the Seagulls' best wrestlers. He didn't know he was state-ranked. All he knew was that he needed to win if Oak Harbor was going to have any chance of capturing the Wesco 3A North crown.

Win he did.

Dugin's win was one of seven for Oak Harbor, all which were equally as important, but his upset swung the momentum and helped the Wildcats to a 37-35 home win Tuesday, Jan. 28. It also helped Oak Harbor lock up its second consecutive conference title and hand Everett (2-1, 8-1) it's first loss.

When Dugin began his 195-pound match with Hawkins, Oak Harbor trailed Everett 35-19 with three bouts left. The Wildcats would need two pins and a major decision just to tie the Seagulls.

Dugin said he approaches all his matches the same, regardless of his opponent: "As long as I wrestle hard, I am happy."

Everett coach Brien Elliott juggled his lineup as the night progressed, trying to get the best match-ups. He moved Hawkins up from 170 pounds to face Dugin. The shift, at first, looked like the right move as Hawkins jumped to a 4-0 lead. Then it backfired in a flash.

Dugin flipped Hawkins and recorded a fall with 25 seconds left in the first round.

"He was just high, riding too high, so I just rolled him," Dugin said.

Even with Dugin's heroics, Oak Harbor needed two more big wins to take the match.  Ray Quinday (225 pounds) and Jackson Constant (285) obliged with first-round falls.

Oak Harbor coach Peter Esvelt said, "Jacob's pin was huge. Every single pin was big; everyone not getting pinned was just as important."

Both teams won seven matches, but Oak Harbor had one more fall, five, than the Seagulls (2-1, 8-1).

Oak Harbor's Garrett Stahl (106) opened the night with a 12-0 loss. Christian Bertram (113) countered by winning 10-2.

Everett then recorded two falls, defeating Carl Caidic (120) and Tricia Desquitado (126).

Jeremy Vester followed with a match as pivotal as Dugin's.

The Oak Harbor junior, ranked seventh in the state, topped fifth-ranked Christian Bagdadi 9-4. That trimmed Everett's lead to 16-13.

Sebastian Ceaser (145) lost 7-0, but Mark Johnston (152) won by a fall, and the team score was tied at 19.

The Seagulls then won three straight to set up the thrilling finish, getting wins over Kekai Tarrant (160, 13-3), Matt Zafra (170, pin) and Mike Laningham (182, pin).

The Wildcats (3-0, 9-1) can finish the Wesco North season unbeaten with a win in the final regular season match. Oak Harbor wrestles winless Marysville Getchell (0-3, 0-9) at home at 7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 30.

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