Wrestlers charged with escaping pins

Oak Harbor’s Royce Cardwell flips his man over at 119 pounds. Cardwell won the decision.  - Jim Woolbright/Whidbey News-Times
Oak Harbor’s Royce Cardwell flips his man over at 119 pounds. Cardwell won the decision.
— image credit: Jim Woolbright/Whidbey News-Times

In wrestling, a coach pins his hope on -- pins.

Not enough pins was the problem Wednesday night when the Oak Harbor Wildcats hosted the Anacortes Eagles in a WESCO 4A battle.

Oak Harbor won 6 of the 14 contested matches, but ended up far behind in the total score, 45-25, due mostly to pins, said coach Mike Crebbin.

“We had 6 wins but when we lost they pinned us so they got bonus points,” Crebbin said Thursday. He thought his wrestlers fought hard, but the Wildcats, now 0-2 in league contests and 1-4 overall, need to work on pinning their opponents when they have an advantage, and on not getting pinned when they’re struggling.

Five of the Wildcats’ eight losses were due to having both shoulders pinned to the mat in the judgment of veteran referee Anton Enger. While some of the Oak Harbor boys questioned if they were really pinned, Crebbin had no complaint with the calls.

“He’s one of the best refs in the state, I’m not going to argue,” Crebbin said of Enger, who formerly coached at Sedro-Woolley. “If he calls one of my kids pinned, they were pinned.”

One Wildcat got it right in the pin category. Wrestling at 112 pounds, up a notch from his usual 103 pound class, Cory Trimbur pinned his opponent.

“That was nice,” Crebbin said of Trimbur’s effort against the bigger man from Arlington. “It was a battle, but he finally got it in the third round.”

Also for Oak Harbor, Zach Loescher took an 8-6 decision at 171 pounds, a battle described by Crebbin as “a really hard-fought match”; Jared Tyson won a 11-5 decision; Connar Zimmerman chalked up a major decision at 125 pounds, winning 21-8; and at 119 pounds, Royce Cardwell bested his Arlington foe 8-5.

“We won some hard-fought decisions but need more pins,” Crebbin reiterated. “Arlington obviously figured that out.”

That’s the message Crebbin will be preaching in coming days, but he won’t have much time for team meetings. Due partly to weather cancellations, the wrestlers face a basketball-style schedule. Today they’re at the Everett Classic, Monday they host Everett, Tuesday they host Marysville, next Saturday they wrestle at the Kelso Invitational, and Jan. 22 they finish the regular season at Monroe.

Crebbin wasn’t discouraged by the team’s 1-4 schedule at the end of this week. The toughest teams, like Lake Stevens, Stanwood and Arlington, are behind them. Last year they were 1-4 at this time and went to a winning record. Also on the positive side, Jake Lundstrom just returned from a shoulder injury and Colton Elliott seems on track to return from a broken thumb before post-season competition begins.

Meanwhile, Crebbin will be driving home the point about pins.

“We’ll be discussing with the gentlemen how getting pinned doesn’t just go into the loss column, but puts us in the hole as a team,” the coach said. “If they’re not on their backs they won’t be a risk.”

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