Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion Nikiski's Ethan Hack prepares to pin Soldotna's Eli Floyd in an exhibtion match at 220 pounds Wednesday at Soldotna Prep.

Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion Nikiski's Ethan Hack prepares to pin Soldotna's Eli Floyd in an exhibtion match at 220 pounds Wednesday at Soldotna Prep.

Soldotna topples Nikiski in pre-Thanksgiving dual meet

Most say they’ll work off their Thanksgiving dinner. Wrestlers actually have to do it.

The Soldotna wrestling team defeated Nikiski 60-21 on Wednesday in a dual meet at Soldotna Prep. With the conference tournaments for both teams looming on Dec. 9 and 10, the Stars will take today off before getting back on the practice mat Friday, while Nikiski will take a whole two days off before resuming practice Saturday.

“They’ll come back fresh and ready to go after it hard,” Nikiski coach Adam Anders said.

The Stars were able to roll to Wednesday’s victory by getting five forfeits to Nikiski’s one.

Soldotna also received pins from Austin Reeves at 285 pounds, Gideon Hutchison at 120, Brayde Wolfe at 126, Joe VanHout at 132 and Austin Schrader at 182.

Notching pins for the Bulldogs were Dakota Hupp at 195 and Tyler Litke at 220.

Schrader, a senior, had to work the longest to get his pin, getting sophomore Dustin Mullins with just 47 seconds left in the match.

Both wrestlers were wrestling up a weight class.

Schrader is an accomplished powerlifter and star running back for the Soldotna football team, so Anders said Mullins gained a lot of confidence from the matchup.

“He didn’t win but he kept wrestling,” Anders said. “If he keeps going like that, he’s going to be tough to stop.”

It was Schrader’s first match of the season. Gardner said Schrader has been working hard in practice, but that is no substitute for a match.

“He got tired and that’s why he got himself in trouble a couple of times,” Gardner said.

Now, Gardner said it is a race for Schrader to get in wrestling shape in time for regions.

“I told him to tell his lifting coach, ‘Coach Gardner said no heavy lifting,’” Gardner said. “He needs to be able to go for six minutes, not 30 or 60 seconds.”

The closest match of the night came when Mason Payne of Nikiski notched a 6-4 decision over Logan Craig at 113. Craig tried to get a takedown with the seconds winding down in the third period but could not.

Anders said a lot of his younger wrestlers competed well without getting a win, but the coach also said it was a big win for the freshman Payne.

Craig had just finished second at 98 pounds at the Lancer Smith Wrestling Tournament in Palmer on Saturday.

“It was the best tournament he’s ever wrestled in his life,” Gardner said.

Gardner said wrestling up at 113 provided Craig with the type of challenge he must meet to be near the top of the state at 98.

He said Craig continues to wrestle well, with the exception of a habit of reaching back and putting his hand down. That’s the error that cost him in the finals Saturday.

But like Anders, Gardner, who also got 220-pounder Aaron Faletoi on the mat for the first time Wednesday, said his squad is ready to make a run at the end of the season.

The Stars didn’t lose anyone to the final grade check of the season, and will finish the season with 30 wrestlers, up from 22 last season.

Gardner said he’s lost as many as 12 wrestlers in one season to poor grades in his career.

“I’m happy with the team,” he said. “They’re working in the room and they’re working to get their grades up.”

Wednesday

Soldotna 60, Nikiski 21

195 — Dakota Hupp, Nik, p. Quincy Miller, 1:45; 220 — Tyler Litke, Nik, p. Aaron Faletoi, 2:38; 285 — Austin Reeves, Sol, p. Ethan Hack, 1:21; 98 — Joey Yourkoski, Nik, won by forfeit; 106 — Ben Booth, Sol, won by forfeit; 113 — Mason Payne, Nik, dec. Logan Craig, 6-4; 120 — Gideon Hutchison, Sol, p. Caleb Weeks, 1:34; 126 — Brayde Wolfe, Sol, p. Malcolm Yerkes, 4:23; 132 — Joe VanHout, Sol, p. Tyler Olsen, 1:09; 138 — Amanda Wylie, Sol, won by forfeit; 145 — Camron Presley, Sol, won by forfeit; 152 — Hudson Metcalf, Sol, won by forfeit; 160 — Dylan Donham, Sol, won by forfeit; 170 — Double forfeit; 182 — Austin Schrader, Sol, p. Dustin Mullins, 5:13.

Exhibition: 120 — Ethan Hack, Nik, p. Eli Floyd, 1:45; 106 — Ben Booth, Sol, m.d. Joey Yourkoski, 16-4.

Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion Soldotna's Austin Schrader controls Nikiski's Dustin Mullins at 182 pounds Wednesday at Soldotna Prep. Schrader would earn a pin in the third period.

Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion Soldotna’s Austin Schrader controls Nikiski’s Dustin Mullins at 182 pounds Wednesday at Soldotna Prep. Schrader would earn a pin in the third period.

Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion Soldotna's Brayde Wolfe and Nikiski's Malcolm Yerkes prepare to engage at 126 pounds Wednesday at Soldotna Prep. Wolfe was able to pin Yerkes.

Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion Soldotna’s Brayde Wolfe and Nikiski’s Malcolm Yerkes prepare to engage at 126 pounds Wednesday at Soldotna Prep. Wolfe was able to pin Yerkes.

Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion Soldotna's Ben Booth controls Nikiski's Joey Yourkoski in an exhibition match at 106 pounds Wednesday at Soldotna Prep. Booth scored a 16-4 major decision.

Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion Soldotna’s Ben Booth controls Nikiski’s Joey Yourkoski in an exhibition match at 106 pounds Wednesday at Soldotna Prep. Booth scored a 16-4 major decision.

More in Sports

Soldotna junior Brayden Taylor rushes the ball down the field during the Division II state football championship game against Lathrop at Service High School in Anchorage on Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021. (Camille Botello/Peninsula Clarion)
Lathrop snaps SoHi’s run of state titles

The Soldotna Stars football team fell to Fairbanks’ Lathrop High School in… Continue reading

Soldotna’s Gehret Medcoff runs for a touchdown against Wasilla on Friday, Sept. 24, 2021, at Justin Maile Field in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Stars dominate major NLC football awards

Soldotna, which went undefeated in the Northern Lights Conference this season, won… Continue reading

tease
SoHi wrestlers take 4th at Houston Altercation

The Soldotna wrestling team finished fourth at the season-opening Houston Altercation Tournament… Continue reading

Kenai Central's Emma Beck attacks against Nikiski's Rylee Ellis on Friday, Oct. 15, 2021, at Kenai Central High School in Kenai, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Volleyball roundup: Kenai tops Nikiski; Wasilla sweeps SoHi

The senior civics project of Valerie Villegas was a smashing success Friday… Continue reading

Morgan Aldridge leads riders down a hill at the start of Week 3 of the Soldotna Cycle Series on Thursday, July 18, 2019, at Tsalteshi Trails. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Chainwreck Cyclocross Series holds final race of season

The Chainwreck Cyclocross Series wrapped up with the fifth race Thursday at… Continue reading

Nikiski's Rylee Ellis attacks against Soldotna's Ashlee Anderson on Thursday, Oct. 14, 2021, at Soldotna High School in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
Volleyball roundup: SoHi, Kenai pull out wins

Staff report Host Soldotna celebrated its senior night with a 3-1 nonconference… Continue reading

Brock Wilson and Brayden Taylor lead Soldotna onto Justin Maile Field for a Division II semifinal against North Pole on Friday, Oct. 8, 2021, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Photo by Jeff Helminiak/Peninsula Clarion)
SoHi football to play for 9th straight state title

Eight straight state titles, and 12 since 2006. An 18-game postseason winning… Continue reading

MJ Hendren pictured kayaking at Hidden Lake next to a large rock exposure. (Photo provided)
Refuge Notebook: Geology of the Kenai … it rocks!

One thing that never ceases to amaze me about living in Alaska… Continue reading

The pedicure in question has seen many miles of hiking and walking since it was first painted on five months ago. (Photo by Kat Sorensen)
Tangled Up in Blue: A perfect pedicure

There is just the smallest sliver of light pink nail polish left… Continue reading

Most Read