The defending Class 1-2-3A state champion Homer wrestling team opened up its season with a victory in the Luke Spruill Memorial Tournament on Saturday at Kenai Central High School.
Homer scored 158.5 points, while Soldotna was second at 146.5, Kenai was third at 88.5, Nikiski was fourth at 33 and Voznesenka was fifth at 22.
“They definitely had a good start to the year,” Kenai Central coach Stan Steffensen said of the Mariners. “Their kids are fun to be around. They’re a hard-working crowd.
“They’re definitely getting after it. When you step on the mat with a kid from Homer — look out.”
The tournament is named for Spruill, who graduated from Kenai Central as a two-time state champion and was killed in a Bristol Bay fishing accident in 2004 at the age of 27.
The biggest moment of the meet is the bestowing of the Luke Spruill Award, which this year went to Soldotna’s Bechler Metcalf.
The characteristics necessary for the award are dedication, good sportsmanship, ability to help and coach others, a can-do attitude, coachable, kindness, leadership and tenacity.
“He exhibits those characteristics,” Steffensen said of Metcalf. “The Soldotna people felt strongly about it.
“He’s definitely a kid that can represent what Luke Spruill’s character exemplified here in the 27 years of his life.”
The Mariners received first places at the round-robin tournament from Wayne Newman at 106, Luciano Fasulo at 126A, Ian Stovall at 126B, Jared Brant at 138, Cole Bernier at 145A, Timmy Woo at 160, Tristen Cook at 182 and Kyle Wells at 195.
The Stars were second even though their football team was winning the medium-schools football title Saturday.
Taking firsts for the Stars were Gideon Hutchison at 120, Amanda Wylie at 145B, Metcalf at 152 and Joseph Street at 170.
Nabbing firsts for the Kardinals were Seth Segura at 113 and Brandon Kroto at 132B.
Dia Martishev paced Voznesenka with a title at 132A.
Luke Spruill Memorial
Saturday at Kenai Central
Team scores: 1. Homer, 158.5; 2. Soldotna, 146.5; 3. Kenai, 88.5; 4. Nikiski, 33; 5. Voznesenka, 22.
106 — 1. Wayne Newman, Hom; 2. Logan Craig, Sol; 3. Natalie Chavez, Ken; 4. Joey Yourkoski, Nik.
113 — 1. Seth Segura, Ken; 2. Cobe Young, Sol; 3. Pierce Peterson, Ken; 4. Ismael Urtubey, Ken.
120 — 1. Gideon Hutchison, Sol; 2. Tyler Vaughn, Ken; 3. Alex Moseley, Hom; 4. Mina Cavasos, Hom.
126A — 1. Luciano Fasulo, Hom; 2. Brayde Wolfe, Sol; 3. Gabe Smith, Nik.
126B — 1. Ian Stovall, Hom; 2. Darius Martin, Sol; 3. Malcom Yerkes, Nik; 4. Caleb Weeks, Nik.
132A — 1. Dia Martishev, Voz; 2. Mose Haynes, Hom; 3. Sean Moran, Hom.
132B — 1. Brandon Kroto, Ken; 2. Vydell Baker, Sol; 3. Sierra Clark, Hom.
138 — 1. Jared Brant, Hom; 2. Jacob Anderson, Ken; 3. Justin Cox, Nik.
145A — 1. Cole Bernier, Hom; 2. Camron Presley, Sol; 3. Tristin Dell, Ken.
145B — 1. Amanda Wylie, Sol; 2. Hanna Wilson, Ken; 3. Elizabeth Lisenby, Sol.
152 — 1. Bechler Metcalf, Soldotna; 2 (tie). Chris Cudabeck, McKenzie Cook, Homer; 4. Levi Wahl, Sol.
160 — 1. Timmy Woo, Hom; 2. Keyshawn McEnerney, Ken; 3. Talon Musgrave, Sol; 4. Donovan Smith, Nik.
170 — 1. Joseph Street, Sol; 2. Josh Corbin, Sol; 3. Ryan Hicks, Hom; 4. Logan Largent, Sol.
182 — 1. Tristen Cook, Hom; 2. Nikit Anufriev, Voz; 3. Tanner Ussing, Sol; 4. Justin Campos, Ken.
195 — 1. Kyle Wells, Hom; 2. Byron Dunham, Ken; 3. Quincy Miller, Sol.