Sandpoint Middle School wins inagural Battle for the Paddle wrestling dual

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(Photo courtesy of VALI JOHANSON) SMS wrestlers pose with the Paddle after winning the first-ever Battle of the Paddle middle school dual.

SANDPOINT — The Sandpoint Middle School Bullpups wrestling team won 45-18 in the first annual Battle for the Paddle wrestling dual on Nov. 27.

The wrestling action started at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 12 at the Sandpoint Middle School gym. The Lakeland Hawks took an early 15-point lead by winning the first three matches. But the Bullpups got in their groove and proceeded to dominate by winning eight straight, with six of the wins coming by way of a fall (pin).

Overall, the Sandpoint Bullpups won nine of the 13 dual matches.

As a result of the team’s win, the trophy paddle will rest in the trophy case at Sandpoint Middle School. On the red and black side of the paddle, the Bullpups get to record the first winning score on the fresh Battle for the Paddle trophy.

This was a new experience for the middle school wrestlers.

At the middle school level, the wrestling competitions are normally a mix-and-match style of event, where wrestlers are matched up with their opponents based on their weight and their level of experience. These events are focused on each individual wrestler, and don’t necessarily have a team-scoring component.

However, Sandpoint Middle School Activities Director Kari Granier, organized a new kind of competition for the middle school wrestlers.

Knowing that Sandpoint High School has an annual “Battle for the Paddle” rivalry competition with Lakeland High School, she wanted to introduce the rivalry at the middle school level.

Plans were set at a district Athletic Director’s meeting for an alternating competition that would feature a team dual style of wrestling match.

Such a match would introduce the middle school wrestlers to the team-scoring component of wrestling, previously missing at the middle school level.

The dual would, of course, need to be against the same rivalry team, the Lakeland Junior High Hawks, and would alternate between the two cities each year, with Sandpoint hosting the first rivalry match. Next year’s Battle for the Paddle will be held at Lakeland Junior High.

The winner of the dual will take home the traveling trophy, a custom-painted canoe paddle with one side painted in the Bullpups’ colors and the other in the Hawks’ colors.

The Sandpoint Bullpups will compete in their home gym next Tuesday Dec. 4, when they host Bonner’s Ferry, Priest River and Post Falls Middle schools.

Following their home match next week, the Bullpups will finish their season by traveling to Woodland Middle School on Dec. 8 to compete in the middle school district tournament.

BATTLE FOR THE PADDLE

INDIVIDUAL RESULTS

74lbs: Andrew Duke (SMS) v. Bode Alexander (LL) loss by dec. 2-5

80lbs: Kildy Zingarelli (SMS) v. Matthew Williams (LL) loss by fall

86lbs: Logan Jones (SMS) v. Darren Gosch (LL) loss by fall

92lbs: Nathan Pugh (SMS) v. Scott Glass (LL) win by dec. 5-1

98lbs: Canyon Mimbs (SMS) v. Thane Clark (LL) win by fall

104lbs: Tanner Dredge (SMS) v. Zachary Bigelow (LL) win by fall

110lbs: Shane Sherrill (SMS) v. Jeremiah Driscoll (LL) win by fall

116lbs: Matthew Clifton (SMS) v. Sky King (LL) win by fall

123lbs: Calvin Hinds (SMS) v. Kayden Airhart (LL) win by fall

130lbs: Torrin McKibben (SMS) v. Kevin Slover (LL) win by fall

144lbs: Austin Smith (SMS) v. Annika Thompson (LL) win by dec. 7-0

151lbs: Grace Balch (SMS) v. Hans Pluid (LL) loss by dec. 4-6

160lbs: Greysen Johnson (SMS) v. Ethan Douglas (LL) win by dec. 5-0

LAKELAND 18

SANDPOINT 45

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