The Oak Harbor High School wrestling team hopes “home sweet home” translates into “win sweet win.”
The Wildcats (2-0, 8-1), in their first home match of the season, tangle with Everett (2-0, 8-0) at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 28, in a match that will most likely decide the Wesco 3A North divisional championship.
Oak Harbor set up the first-place battle by defeating host Stanwood 34-31 Friday, Jan. 24.
The Wildcats also placed second in the 17-team Lynden Tournament Saturday, Jan. 25.
Because of a quirk in scheduling, Oak Harbor has been on the road all season. After Tuesday’s match, the Wildcats wrap up the regular season with another home contest at 7 p.m. Thursday with Marysville Getchell (0-2, 0-8).
Oak Harbor coach Peter Esvelt said at the beginning of the season that the Wesco North would be evenly balanced among his club, Everett, Marysville-Pilchuck and Stanwood.
That prediction is holding true as the Wildcats pulled off back-to-back, narrow three-point wins over M-P and Stanwood.
In Friday’s victory at Stanwood, the lower weights carried the day.
The match started at 182 pounds, and the two teams split the first four matches: Matt Zafra (182) lost 19-6, Jacob Dugin (195) won by a pin, Ray Quinday (220) lost by a fall and Tyler Adamson (285) won by a pin.
Oak Harbor then won five of the next seven matches: Garrett Stahl (106) won by a pin, Christian Bertram (113) lost 4-2, Carl Caidic (120) won by forfeit, William Stuntz (126) lost by a pin, Jeremy Vester (132) won 2-1, Jahleel Vester (138) won 13-2 and Sebastian Ceaser (145) won 10-3.
Oak Harbor dropped the final three matches: Mark Johnston (152) lost 6-4, Kekai Tarrant lost 9-8 and Stephen Dixon (170) was pinned.
At the Lynden tournament, five Wildcats reached the finals.
Bertram, Jeremy Vester and Johnston all took first, while Jahleel Vester and Constant Jackson (285) nabbed second.
Glacier Peak won the tournament with 162 points, followed by Oak Harbor with 145.
“Mike Lanningham, a first-year wrestler, pinned his way to the semifinals and ended up fifth in his first varsity tournament,” Esvelt said. “All of the finalists wrestled great, and as a team it was the most complete line-up going into the last regular season week, and a great team showing in the last tournament before postseason.”