Moments before the matches commenced, the gymnasium lights darkened, leaving only a single light suspended from the ceiling, which hung low and hovered above center court, illuminating where the grappling was to begin.
That was the dramatic setting where an upstart Redmond squad would give Woodinville all it could handle, forging a 21-21 tie late in the meet.
But it was Woodinville’s "Murderer’s Row" of Ryan Christensen, Cole Stemmerman and Duke Clinch that pinned their respective opponents consecutively, leading the Falcons to a 45-27 victory.
"We have a couple seniors there, but we were actually very nervous," Woodinville coach Todd Christensen said. "Redmond wrestled very well tonight, very intense. We didn’t match their intensity. Ryan was wrestling a pretty young kid. He did well, was careful.
"He wrestled hard and pinned him. The other two were big wins for us. Cole wrestled a senior. It was important to get that win, as it took some of the pressure off.
"And then Duke was great. He wrestled a kid who had some success wrestling at District, while Duke is a first-year high school wrestler and a sophomore. So that was a really big point for him, and huge for our team. It basically sealed the deal."
Clinch, an affable 235-pounder with a bright future, was sweating and catching his breath as he discussed his win over Redmond’s Yobani Chavez.
"Both Ryan and Cole, I’m usually expecting a pin from those guys," he said. "Me, I was just trying to wrestle my best. Usually I am going against guys who are 30-40 pounds heavier than me, so it was nice having a break from that tonight."
Woodinville is now 6-0 in dual meets this season. The Falcons next take on Garfield on January 14th at 7:30 p.m. at Woodinville High School.
Then on January 18th, they travel north to participate in the Marysville Premiere Tournament.
Go to WHSwrestling.leag1.com for more information.
January 9, 2014
Woodinville (WOOD) 45.0 Redmond HS (REHS) 27.0
120: Kyle Nazareth, REHS, dec. Ridge Peterson, WOOD, 5-2. 126: Chase Simmons, REHS, pinned Travis Gilpin, WOOD, 1:37. 132: Zachary Gracia, WOOD, pinned Ryan Collyer, REHS, 1:10. 138: Audel Bartolo, REHS, pinned Tim Lopez, WOOD, 2:00. 145: Cole Morrison, WOOD, dec. Nathan Kaneko, REHS, 2-0. 152: Dalton Mann, WOOD, pinned Jacob Shea, REHS, 1:03. 160: Everett Bingisser, WOOD, dec. Alex Kudryshov, REHS, 4-2. 170: Bryan Morrison, WOOD, dec. Brian La Pierre, REHS, 6-2. 182: Collin Cottom, REHS, pinned Dylan Axelson, WOOD, 3:31. 195: Ryan Christensen, WOOD, pinned Nicky Kaneko, REHS, 1:01. 220: Cole Stemmerman, WOOD, pinned Francisco Fuentes, REHS, 1:19. 285: Duke Clinch, WOOD, pinned Yobani Chavez, REHS, 2:26. 106: Michael Gamez, WOOD, forf. . 113: Michael Beecroft, REHS, forf. .
Photo by Deb Stemmerman Woodinville wrestling star Ryan Christensen (right) prepares to square off against Redmond’s Nicky Kaneko (left) in the dual meet held at Woodinville High School January 9th.