Tahoma wins SPSL 4A North subregional wrestling title
Bears, unranked all season long, top sixth-ranked Decatur and send 15 through to the Region III tournament, which happens Feb. 14 at Kent-Meridian.
Seattle Times staff reporter
KENT – Pint-sized Isaiah Diggs thinks like a giant.
At 5 feet 5 ½ — and don’t forget that half inch — Diggs gives up a lot of size to most opponents. Whether he’s on the football field or the wrestling mat, though, his stature serves as motivation rather than an excuse.
This is a kid measured by the size of his heart.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re big or small,” the Decatur senior said after beating Beamer’s Adrian Avena, 11-7, for the 152-pound title at the SPSL 4A North subregional wrestling tournament at Kent-Meridian. “I’ve always had the mentality that I have to outwork everybody because I’m smaller. But I believe I can do anything a 6-6 person can, except maybe dunk a basketball.”
Although the Decatur football team went 1-9, Diggs finished second in SPSL 4A in receiving and all-purpose yards last fall. Oh, and he won a 3A state wrestling title at 138 last season. But he won’t rest on that laurel.
“I figure I haven’t won a state title yet,” he said. “It’s a new season. I’m not a state champion.”
Tahoma takes team title
Diggs was one of three Decatur champions Saturday, joining Leviticus Arizpe (132) and Zach Berry (152), but the team title went to Tahoma for the seventh straight year.
The Bears, who got individual titles from Nick Whitehead (120), Justin Sipila (126) and Adam Hokenson (195), piled up 368.5 points to 314.5 for the Gators, who came in ranked sixth in the state.
The top five finishers in each weight class advance to the Region III tournament, which is Feb. 14 back at K-M and will include the top three qualifiers out of the Greater St. Helens League. Tahoma pushed a tournament-best 15 through.
“It was a good day,” Tahoma coach Chris Feist said afterward.
The Bears haven’t been ranked all season, but that hasn’t bothered Feist. They just missed a state trophy last season, finishing fifth, but have a young team.
Decatur, which sends 11, could close the gap or surpass Tahoma at regionals and state with its crop of upper-tier wrestlers. Second-ranked Union of Vancouver out of the GSHL should be favored.
• K-M junior Emmanuel Daigbe, who placed second at state at 170 behind Union’s Alex Berfanger last season, improved to 28-0 with a pin in the 182-pound final. He said he is looking forward to a rematch with Berfanger at regionals.
• It was an all-Kentridge final at 106 and Nathan Hobbs wound up winning by injury default over Derek Freitag, ranked No. 1 in the state. Coaches said they wanted to protect both wrestlers. When they met in last year’s semifinals, Hobbs suffered a concussion.
• The upset of the day came in the 160-pound semis, where Blake Capperauld of Kentwood beat top-seeded Josh Beckler of Kentlake, 7-5. Beckler won by technical fall when the two met earlier in the season. Capperauld wound up getting pinned in the final by teammate Heroldo Parada. But his brother, Kyle Capperauld, won by fall at 220. Kentwood had a third champ in Andy Sandu (113).
• It was a good weekend for K-M senior Tanner Torr, who found out Friday he was selected to play in the all-state football game. He won the 285-pound title Saturday over Tahoma’s Kingston Suka in double overtime to give the Royals three champions (Jahleel Smith won at 138).
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