The IssaquahPress Sports B4 Wednesday December 18, 2013 By Greg Farrar Paul Jett, Skyline High School senior, swims the first leg of the 4x100-yard freestyle relay race Dec. 10 in his foursome’s victory against Eastlake and Redmond. By Greg Farrar Conner Small (bottom), Liberty High School junior, gives Juanita sophomore Mason McDaniel an unintended piggyback ride Dec. 12 as they grapple during the closely fought 160-pound bout. Small won 7-5, polishing off the Patriots’ convincing 58-4 victory. MASTERS OF THE MAT Liberty wrestlers overwhelm Juanita, 58-4 By Christina Corrales-Toy firstname.lastname@example.org The Maywood Middle School gymnasium may not technically be the Liberty High School wrestling team’s home site, but the Patriots sure looked comfortable there as they cruised to a dominant 58-4 win against Juanita on Dec. 12. The Patriots won all but one of their matches, making a statement about the strength of this year’s team, led by first-year coach Wright Noel. “The team did great,” he said. “We’re trying to get better each time and this was a good evaluation of how we’re doing, and we’re happy with how we did.” Liberty senior Nate Sjoholm put up a gusty, and bloody, fight in the 145-pound bout, earning the Patriots’ third pin of the night in 4 minutes, 50 seconds. The official stopped the match several times because of Sjoholm’s bloody nose. When he returned to the mat, it was with a face full of tape wrapped across his nose to stem the bleeding. Zach Toombs also had a win for the Patriots in the 132-pound match, coming from behind to pin By Greg Farrar Nate Sjoholm (top), Liberty High School senior, has his nose tightly taped to avoid it bleeding more as he prepares to pin Juanita sophomore Shannon Smith during the third period of their 145-pound wrestling bout Dec. 12. his opponent in 4:36. Will Nguyen also had a pin in his 195-pound bout. “Zach came back really hard. He was down and I was worried about him, but I’m proud of him,” Noel said. One of the more exciting matches of the night involved Liberty’s statereturning wrestler junior Conner Small. Last year, Small placed fifth at the Tacoma Dome, wrestling at 152 pounds. Small never trailed in the 160-pound match against Juanita’s Mason McDaniel, but it remained close the entire time. After the first period, Small led 2-0, but McDaniel tied it up 2-2 after the second. Small eventually won, 7-5. “Conner Small, the kid B asketball roundup By Greg Farrar Above, Mackenzie Wieburg (right) and Tatum Dow (left), Issaquah High School guards, defend a shot by Skyline sophomore post Taylor McKerlich during the third quarter of their Dec. 13 basketball game. The Eagles won, 69-58. At right Tyler Gibson (3), Issaquah High School junior guard, puts up two points during the third quarter as Skyline junior forward Robert Biegaj defends during their Dec. 13 basketball game. The Eagles won, 58-49. he wrestled is a kid that’s ranked at state and so he showed very well today,” Noel said. The Patriots’ Jimmy Andrus (152) and Romney Noel (170) also came away with wins. Noel won 13-5, while Andrus won 15-10. Freshman Dulin Hayden (126) dropped Liberty’s only match, losing to his Juanita counterpart, 10-2. Even so, the Liberty coach said he was encouraged by the freshman’s performance. “We want to keep fighting until the end, and all of our guys did that, even in the match we lost,” Noel said. “Dulin was working hard and went all the way to the end.” Liberty’s Dillon Ching (113), Sean Surowiec (120), Tyler Le (138), Quinn Magendanz (182) and Zach Arthur (220) won their matches by forfeit. Even though it is the Liberty coach’s first year at the helm, Noel’s very familiar with the Patriots’ squad, having served as an assistant under previous coach Manny Brown. “Fortunately, Manny left me with fairly full shelves, so that makes it easier,” Noel said. “I’m still getting my feet wet, but the team’s getting better, hopefully I’m getting better and we’re all having fun doing it.” Liberty’s team is a pretty experienced group, Noel said, and with some key newcomers added to the mix, the Patriots’ season outlook is promising. “I think we’re going to have a solid year,” Noel said. “We have a lot of juniors, one or two seniors and I’m really impressed with our underclassmen.” Patriots show well at Battle at the Border The Liberty wrestling team competed among the best teams in the state at the 2013 Battle at the Border tournament held in Blaine on Dec. 14. Two Liberty wrestlers won their weight divisions in the 22-team competition. In the championship matches, Small defeated Blaine’s Jon Stewart, 6-3, to win the 160-pound division while Romney Noel defeated Tumwater’s Clark Smith, 1-0, in the 170-pound division. Skyline edges Eastlake in KingCo swim showdown By Neil Pierson npierson@ sammamishreview.com For Skyline High School to earn a pair of victories in KingCo Conference action last week, the Spartans needed help from their seniors, but also from their freshmen and sophomores. Skyline got first-place times from seniors Paul Jett and Nick D’Alo, and key contributions from underclassmen Nick Nava, Jacob Leahy and Ryan Kinnear to defeat Eastlake (94-91) and Redmond (103-77) in boys swimming and diving action Dec. 10 at Redmond Pool. Jett qualified for the 50-yard and 100-yard freestyle at last season’s Class 4A state championships, but he showed last week that he’s skilled in multiple strokes. Jett won the 200 individual medley at Redmond in 2 minutes, 3.52 seconds — narrowly missing the automatic state-qualifying time of 2:03.20 — and also placed first in the 100 free (51.17). In addition, Jett helped Grant Gellatly earns All-America honors The postseason accolades for former Issaquah football star Grant Gellatly continue to pile up after his record-breaking season at Cornell University. Gellatly, who switched to wide receiver in college, set Cornell single-season receiving records with 91 catches for 1,224 yards and also hauled in eight touchdowns in his senior year. Shortly after he received All-Ivy honors, Gellatly was named to a slew of national lists honoring outstanding athletes. The senior receiver was named to the Beyond Sports Network Football Championship Subdivision All-America second team. Gellatly, who served as a team captain this year, was also named to College Sports Madness 2013 FCS All-America third team. Finally, Gellatly was named to the Capital One Academic All-America Division I second team. He sports a 3.53 grade point average in industrial and labor relations. This year, he led the Ivy League and ranked second nationally in receiving yards per game (122.4) and receptions per game (9.1). He had a school-record 10 career 100-yard receiving games and two 200-yard games in his career and was a Capital One Academic All-District first-team selection. Liberty basketball rallies for heart health During the month of December, Liberty High School the Spartans win the 200 and 400 freestyle relays, and his performances could be indicative of a big season to come, Skyline coach Susan Simpkins said. The X-factor may be his ability to stay healthy, she added. “He swims really well, but you never really know what happens in the winter,” Simpkins said. “But I think he’ll do really well.” Fellow senior Ryan Collins also contributed to Skyline’s two winning relays, and he’ll be looking to build upon a junior season in which he qualified for state in the 100 butterfly. “They’re just team leaders and can show the way,” Simpkins said of Collins and Jett. D’Alo swam to a win in the 50 freestyle, and his time of 23.79 seconds was less than a second away from an automatic state berth. However, Skyline’s younger swimmers were just as important See SWIMMERS, Page B5 Associated Student Body students will focus their efforts to support the American Heart Association’s “Rock the Beat” program. Students, players, staff and fans of the basketball teams are encouraged to wear black “We Are the Beat” T-shirts for both the girls varsity and boys varsity games Dec. 20. T-shirts will be on sale during lunch Dec. 16-20, and at the game for a $10 donation. During the game, students will collect donations for the American Heart Association and educate fans about heart disease prevention and warning signs. The girls game begins at 6:30 p.m. and boys at 8 p.m. Donate to the cause online at www.redoutwsa. kintera.org/libertyhs. Issaquah grad earns Player of the Week Northwest University’s Domi Mendezona was named the Red Lion Cascade Conference Women’s Basketball Player of the Week for her play against Pacific Lutheran University and Quest University. Mendezona, a senior point guard from Issaquah, averaged 14.5 points per game, totaled 13 assists and averaged 5 steals per game to help lead the Eagles to two wins Dec. 13-14 and quadruple their total wins over last year’s two-win season. The Eagles earned a 10-point win over Pacific Lutheran, 69-59, on Dec. 13 before cruising past Quest, 92-70, on Dec. 14.