(GENO LUDWIG/Chewelah Independent)
Cole Davis and Kaden Krouse finish second at stacked Deer Park Invitational, an early season measuring stick for success in wrestling…
One look around last Saturday’s Deer Park Invitational, and one could see the early season wrestling tournament was a who’s who of great state wrestling programs. To advance in the bracket you had to take your chances against state champions and even national champions.
While Chewelah could have been starstruck, they have a bit of a reputation now after placing third in the state last year.
With five state medalists returning to this year’s squad, including two defending state champions, the prospects for the Chewelah wrestling team look predominantly positive this winter. Coach Kim Hogan had some of his 20 grapplers at the Deer Park Invite. Chewelah placed 11th among the 18 teams in the tournament, which included big 4A, 3A, 2A squads as well as 1A standouts and 2B powers as well.
Kaden Krouse and Jake Jeanneret both won their respective weight brackets in Mat Classic last year. For Krouse, it was his second state championship, and he got right down to business in Deer Park.
Krouse opened his season with a second place finish in the 182-pound bracket at the Deer Park Invitational on Saturday, winning three of his four matches. He pinned Matt Kirkwood from Newport in the first round, battled to an 8-5 decision over Juan Escobar from Shadle Park and then won a 3-1 decision over Mead’s J.T. Connors. Those three wins sent Krouse into the championship finals, where he lost a 10-4 decision to Logan Candanoza from Prosser.
Candoanoza is the top-ranked wrestler in the 2A ranks for his weight class, while Krouse is the top ranked wrestler in the B rankings. We weren’t kidding when we said this tournament was stacked with talent.
Jake Jeanneret won the 182-pound weight class state championship last year and is back for his senior season with the goal of bringing home another state first-place medal. He did some work at the Deer Park tourney, winning three of his four bouts and placing third in the 195-pound bracket. He started with a first round bye and then pinned Ryan Page from Clarkston in 1:04. Jeanneret then lost his semifinal match 7-5 to Sam Walker from Mead, but finished the day by pinning Cheney’s James Whiteley in the second round to earn the third-place medal.
In the 220-pound bracket, Cole Davis also battled his way into the evening’s championship finals. After receiving a first round bye, he pinned Ryan Murbach from Mead in 3:43 and followed with a 7-1 decision over Newport’s Bailey Corkrum in the semifinals. Davis lost to defending state 1A champion Gage Cook in the finals.
Davis placed fourth last year but looks bigger, stronger and faster coming into this year’s wrestling season. Chewelah Independent reporters watched one match where he looked more like a Grizzly pawing the evening catch of the day.
Clay Jeanneret won one of three matches, pinning Ryan Rose from Shadle Park in the first round. Zeke Crockett also won one bout, pinning Ryan Page from Cheney in the first round in the 145-pound bracket. Also competing at Deer Park were Levi Miller and Jonathan Thompson.
The Cougars travel to the Leonard Shutte Roundup in Othello on December 14.