(GENO LUDWIG/Chewelah Independent)
BATTLE-TESTED: Cougs continue to soar against top-flight talent…
Kaden Krouse added another weight division championship to his tournament portfolio last Saturday when he defeated Sammy DesRoches from Riverside by a 3-2 score in the 182-pound finals of the Freeman Winter Classic. Krouse wrestled only three times, outscoring all three opponents. He won a 6-0 decision over Nick Chase from Post Falls in the quarterfinals. He won his semifinal match over Shaun Anderson from St. Maries by a 6-3 score.
Krouse then met DesRoches in the finals. It was the third time this season the two had faced each other. DesRoches edged Krouse 3-2 at Tri-State, and later in that tournament Krouse beat DesRoches 7-2. Krouse won again at Freeman, outpointing the Riverside senior by the same 3-2 score.
“He has gotten a lot better,” said Krouse of DesRoches. “He is lanky and quick. I beat him this time with a takedown and an escape. He had two escapes. I’m sure he and I will meet again a few times this season.
“I will be dropping down to 170 pounds, hopefully, this week. I am at about 173 now, so I only have three more pounds to lose, but those last few pounds are always the hardest to lose.”
Also competing in the 182-pound weight bracket was Jake Jeanneret who won two of his three matches to place third. He started the day with a 58-second pin win over Triston Crist from Freeman in the quarterfinal round. He then lost a decision to Riverside’s Sammy DesRoches in the semifinals, but bounced right back to earn a 6-3 decision over Shaun Anderson from St. Maries to bring home the third place medal in his weight class.
Justyce Acosta brought home the second place medal in the 132-pound weight bracket. He started the day with a technical fall, crushing Omak’s Caden Johnson in the quarterfinals by an 18-1 score to attain the 15-point split required to end the bout by the conclusion of the second round. He then scored an 8-1 decision over Nathan Werner from Freeman in the semifinals. In the finals, Acosta was defeated 9-3 by Deer Park’s Levi Miller.
In the 138-pound bracket, Chewelah’s Zeke Crockett wrestled his way into the semifinals by winning his first two matches. On his first outing on the mat, he pinned Kessler Fjellman from Omak toward the end of the third round. He next won a 9-2 decision over Sevrin Smith from Lewis and Clark in the quarterfinals. Crockett then lost his next two bouts. He was pinned by Cheney’s Hunter Despino in the semifinals and by Charles Atkins from West Valley, but finished fourth in his weight bracket.
Cougar 145-pounder River Rainer won three of his four matches at Freeman. Although he was pinned in his first appearance on the mat by Gabe Prather from Potlatch, Rainer pinned his next three opponents. First, he pinned Dani Toledo from St. Maries in 59 seconds. Next, he pinned Landon Krohn from Lake Roosevelt in 3:54. He then pinned Kaden Keogh from Cashmere with six seconds remaining in the first round to win the consolation bracket.
In the 152-pound weight division, Cougar freshman Clay Jeanneret won two of his four matches. He lost his first bout to Riverside’s Aaron DesRoches, but he returned to the mat to pin his next two opponents. He pinned Hayden Fatheree from Freeman in 2:11 and then pinned Kyle White from West Valley with 22 seconds remaining in the first round. Jeanneret lost his final match by fall to Omak’s John Cardona.
Also competing in the tournament was Cougar 170-pounder Cole Piepgras.
University won the tournament, followed by Cheney, Deer Park, and Freeman. As a team, Chewelah placed 11th out of the 17 schools in the tournament. Colfax was the only other 2B school competing at the event, placing 14th.
This Saturday, the Cougars will travel to Cheney for the Black Hawk Invitational Tournament. On Jan. 9 they will drive to a league dual match at Almira-Coulee-Hartline. They will then compete in the Bronco Invitational Tournament in Ritzville on Jan. 11.
Chewelah remains in second place in the latest class-B team rankings behind defending state champion Tonasket. Liberty is ranked fourth. Reardan is sixth.
The Cougars currently have four ranked wrestlers. Kaden Krouse is ranked first in the 182-pound weight division. Zeke Crockett is ranked first in the 145-pound weight class. Jake Jeanneret is still ranked first among the 195 pounders although he has dropped to 182 pounds. Cole Davis, who was ill over the weekend and did not wrestle at Freeman, is still the third-ranked 220 pounder in the state. These rankings will soon change as wrestlers drop down into lower weight classifications as the season progresses. Again absent from the 132-pound rankings was Chewelah’s two-time state medalist Justyce Acosta, who was ranked second in an earlier publication of the rankings by the Washington Wrestling Report, but since then has been ignored.