EAGLE WRESTLERS FINISH SCORING:
There is an old saying that “steel sharpens steel.” You can't swish your knife around in a bowl of oatmeal to make it sharp. The Lakeside wrestlers sharpened each other like steel on steel this year with high expectations, grueling workouts, and an unwillingness to settle. When the Eagle Wresters first walked into the Wrestling room this year, they knew they had an opportunity to chase a state championship. Nobody would have guessed they would finish the year not only winning a state title, but also scoring the second most points (233) ever scored by any team, at any level, in state tournament history (the most being 237).
As you look at the Wall of Fame in the Wrestling room it becomes obvious that the bar is set high and so were the goals of this year's team. Even though the wrestlers performed well in their early tournaments, they still fell short of what they thought they could do. They began the year by placing 3rd in the Deer Park Invitational. The wrestlers then wrestled in the prestigious Tri-State tournament, often called “one of the toughest tournaments on this side of the Mississippi,” and placed 3rd again, this time by one half of a point. They also placed 3rd at the Pacific Northwest Classic at University High School, again by one half of a point. All of these accomplishments were outstanding, but the Eagles were still waiting to make their mark.
That's when they tired of waiting and decided to soar. They finished out the year undefeated in duals, on the way winning the Kelso Tournament, the Vashon Tournament, and the Dream Duals.
In post season they won the District Tournament, advancing 21 wrestlers to Regionals. They then won the Regional tournament, advancing 11 wrestlers and one alternate to the State Tournament. 103-Freshman Mike Baumgarden, 112-Senior Ryan Norstadt(7th-07), 112 Senior Josh Meyerhofer (alternate), 119-Junior Bryan Baumgarden (returning state veteran), 119-Junior Captain Jacob Lauderdale (4th-06, 1st-07), 125-Freshman Josh Lauderdale, 130-Sophomore Tylor Labelle, 135-Senior Captain Kyle Johnson (2nd-05, 2nd-06, 3rd-07), 171-Senior Captain Wes McAdam (4th-06, 2nd-07), 189-Junior Reid Chivers (4th-06, 1st-07), 215-Senior Captain Dustin Baldwin (5th-06, 2nd-07), and 285- Junior Ben Fuson.
The wrestlers began the State Tournament in grand fashion scoring nine pins and 10 wins in the first round. The only loss was by Tylor Labelle who pushed the eventual champion to a 10-7 decision and a near loss. In the second round, the Eagles pushed an amazing nine wrestlers to the semi-finals. At the end of the first day, Lakeside had won 21 of 24 matches and had nearly doubled the score of their competitors. The question many fans were asking was “how can you top that?”
The Eagles gave the fans their answer by winning all semi-final matches and advancing nine wrestlers to the state finals.
In the end, Ryan Norstadt topped off an outstanding senior year by placing 5th. Two tough freshman, Mike Baumgarden and Josh Lauderdale, showed great growth through the season and both finished 2nd (Josh with two overtime matches on the way). At 119, it was a rare all Lakeside finals where Bryan Baumgarden was defeated by returning state champion Jacob Lauderdale in a great 2-0 match. Kyle Johnson finished four years of dedication by dominating his opponent in the finals with a 31 second pin. It was an amazing run from the 171, 189, and 215 pound weight classes where Wes McAdam, Dustin Baldwin, and Reid Chivers all claimed championships with Dustin pinning his opponent in the second round. In the last match of the tournament Ben Fuson, who wrestled an outstanding match and showed tremendous improvement over the season, lost a 2-1 lead in the last few seconds to claim 2nd place.
As their coaches, we would like to say thank you to everyone who contributed to their success. We would like to say thank you to Scott Jones, Jim Pettet, and the Lakeside Mat Men coaches who all helped develop these young men and a special thank you to the 33 wrestlers who had the courage to step into perhaps the greatest physical, mental, and emotional challenge we can offer. You finished with your hands raised high. You have shown “A Fighter's Mind, A Warrior's Heart, and A Champion's Spirit.” Celebrate this great accomplishment, but remember, next year's performance starts today!
Only when we truly test ourselves on a daily basis will we begin to reach our potential. We must always have the courage to run towards the test--never away. We must test ourselves to failure. We must test our deepest limits. We must test ourselves past our limits. We must always rise again. Wrestling is about the test. Most people run from the greatest tests of courage. These men run towards the tests and break down walls. Be proud you are a wrestler!