On Thursday January 19, 2023, the Ranger wrestling team flew to Washington DC for the 16th edition of WIlligan Wrestling Tournament. The tournament was hosted by Model Secondary School for the Deaf.
On the first day of the trip, we were fortunate enough to get a tour of the Gallaudet Field House, home to Bison Athletics from Isabella Paulone. We also got to meet with Warren Keller, the Athletic Director of Bison Athletics, who expressed his support for the Willigan Tournament.
During the opening ceremony, we were grateful to meet Marty Willigan, whom the tournament is named after and hear his inspiring story of how he became involved with wrestling and coaching. He spoke about his match with Dan Gable.
On Friday, the day of Willigan Duals, a total of 8 teams came to participate. We were placed in pool A with Model Secondary School for the Deaf, California School for the Deaf-Riverside, and Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind.
Our first dual with MSSD, we lost 18-63. Our second dual with CSDR, we lost 16-60. Our third dual with FSDB, we lost 66-6.
We were placed in the consolation bracket with Florida School for the Deaf and the Blind, North Carolina School for the Deaf, and California School for the Deaf-Fremont.
We went head to head with CSDF and lost 24-42. We competed with NCSD for 7th place and won 36-24. We came in 7th out of 8 teams for the Willigan Duals.
On Saturday, the day of the individual tournament. We had seven guys wrestle.
Denis Lodo wrestled in the 120 weight class, he lost all of his matches causing to get eliminated from the tournament.
Max Ponton also wrestled in the 120 weight class, he pinned all his opponents to reach the finals where he lost to Po Kyai from Indiana and got second place.
Joshua Medrano wrestled in the 132 weight class, there were only two other guys in his weight class. He wrestled both in a round robin bracket, he lost to both wrestlers and placed third.
Dylan Barbin wrestled in the 138 weight class. Dylan lost his first 3 matches and ended up in the 7th place match where he wrestled his teammate Earl Freeze, pinning him in the third period.
Earl Freeze also wrestled in the 138 weight class. Earl lost his first 3 matches and ended up in the 7th place match where he wrestled his teammate Dylan Barbin. Earl got pinned by Dylan in the third period.
Lorenzo Urrutia also wrestled in the 138 weight class. He lost once in the tournament before reaching the third place match. He lost to Jullius Garcia from CSDR, placing fourth.
Devan Coons-Meyer was scheduled to wrestle in the 285 weight class but was unable to due to neck injury he sustained the previous day in the dual tournament.
Jacob Ames wrestled in the 285 weight class and lost all his matches causing him to get eliminated from the tournament.
The duals and individual tournament was tough and a learning experience for all of us. I look forward to taking this team again to the next Willigan Tournament and to see how we do this time around with experience under all of our belts.
Coach Charles Johnson