SANDPOINT — After losing the “B” Cup for the first time in five years last season, Sandpoint wrestling took down Bonners Ferry 48-27 on Thursday to reclaim the trophy.
The Bulldogs won eight of the 14 matches including four by forfeit. Kayelin Otterson, Jeremiah Burkamp and Jake Suhr all earned pins to claim victories in their matches.
Sandpoint head coach Jake Stark said he could tell his team was nervous wrestling in their first event of the season, but he knew how badly they wanted that trophy.
“They remember last year how close it was and to bring that back home was pretty big especially for this group of seniors,” Stark said. “They put a lot of work in during the offseason and they earned the “B” Cup.”
One of the most impressive performances of the night was put on by senior Isaiah Caralis who dominated his opponent to secure a 19-6 victory in the 160 weight class.
Caralis had a 4-2 advantage after the first round, but in the second he went on the attack and slowly wore down his opponent to take a 15-4 lead.
Stark said Caralis is one of the vocal leaders and someone he is expecting a lot from in his final season as a Bulldog.
“He’s coming out firing on all cylinders,” Stark said. “He’s hungry because he’s never placed at state, he hasn’t made it there yet so he has chance to do it is this year and he’s got a really good shot at it.”
Everyone was on their foot for senior Brady Nelson’s match against Manuel Naccarato at 152 pounds. The two went back and forth all three rounds and both teams screamed from the sidelines, giving each wrestler an extra boost that they needed to outlast the other.
Nelson fell behind 8-4 after two rounds, but Nelson is known as a closer who always has a little some extra in the tank when the third round comes around. Unfortunately, Nelson couldn’t quite make the comeback and lost 9-7.
“I think part of that first match of the year feeling got to Brady a little bit because usually he’s very calm and collected,” Stark said, “and I think that he came out and got down a little bit but it didn’t stop him one bit, he kept fighting and fighting.”
Stark said he’s proud of what he saw from the Bulldogs and the mentality they brought to the mat.
“Overall, I’m pretty happy,” he said. “We came out and we were aggressive, that’s our style. We’re going to take you down, we’re going to attack you. If we smell blood in the water, we’re going to go for it.”
Sandpoint hits the road for the first time this season to face Newport, Priest River and Kellogg 5 p.m. Tuesday.
Sandpoint 48. Bonners Ferry 27
(Sandpoint wrestlers in bold)
98: Ambridge accepted forfeit
106: Otterson d. Richards, Fall 1:02
113: Summerfield d. Dickson, Dec. 9-6
120: Birkhimer accepted forfeit
126: Burkamp d. Fisher-Fodge, Fall 1:18
132: Rehehr d. Ryan, Fall 1:26
138: Maas d. Resso, Dec. 4-2
145: Durette d. Sherrill, Fall 4:50
152: Naccarato d. Nelson, Dec. 9-7
160: Caralis d. unknown, Dec. 19-6
170: Richter d. Troumbley-Karkoski, Fall 1:08
195: Belgarde accepted forfeit
220: Suhr d. Shottanana, Fall 0:39.
285: Twineham accepted forfeit