Six Red Devils took home the gold in wrestling championship
Story and photos by Greg Mitchell, FLEACT Public Affairs
The Nile C. Kinnick High School Red Devils wrestling team recently hosted the 2014 Beast of the East Annual Invitational Tournament, held at Kinnick gym, Jan. 11.
Along with Kinnick, competitors from St. Mary’s International School, Yokosuka Shonan Military Academy, Christian Academy of Japan (CAJ), Yakota, Zama American and Robert D. Edgren High School took part in the tournament.
According to the International Federation of Associated Wrestling Styles, Freestyle wrestling is a combat sport which pits two competitors against each other who then try to gain control over their opponent through the use of throws, locks, leg trips, and clinching techniques.
Competitors of the tournament were placed in 13 different weight classes, which ranged from the 101-pound weight class to the 275-pound weight class.
Contrary to Greco-Roman Wrestling, which only allows the use of the upper body, all freestyle holds can involve the legs in order to ultimately pin an opponent’s shoulders to the mat. If a wrestler manages to do so, victory by “fall” is proclaimed, otherwise, the match pursues until the end of the regular time and the winner is decided according to the technical points scored.
Arguably the match of the day was the 168-pound matchup between Dustin Wilson of Kinnick and Riku Osawa of St. Mary’s. Wilson prevailed 11-10 in a physical contest in which Osawa came back after being behind 6-0, only to lose after Wilson’s late 3-point throw.
“I’ve wrestled for four years and I’ve never given up a six-point lead before,” said Wilson. “I’m happy with the gold, but giving up those points … I’ll take the W, though.”
For Wilson’s father, head coach Gary Wilson, the championship will be a lasting memory for him due to Dustin’s eventual graduation from high school at the conclusion of this year.
“It’s our last time to open the Kinnick mats this year and he graduates, so this is pretty special,” Gary Wilson said. “Great match to watch, too.”
The list of Red Devil champions were: Vincent Soiles at 108 pounds; Nathan Abrenilla at 122 pounds; Charlie Gann at 158 pounds; Ian O’Brien at 215 pounds, and Kai Warford at 275 pounds.
For Warford, defeating Jacob Martin of Zama American to become the heavyweight champion was something that he never dreamed of happening due to this being only his second year of active competition.
“Coming from last year, where I did not win a match, to becoming the champion, I am just so ecstatic right now,” said Warford. “I am just speechless right now.”
Warford’s father said his son’s off-season training helped make a difference from his performance last year.
“I am not a wrestler, but I worked with him (Kai) on his conditioning and I think it’s paid off,” said Andrew Warford. “He has come a long way.”
Kinnick led in overall scoring with 84 points. St. Mary’s second with 62 points. Third place was Shonan with 48 points.
Up next for the Red Devils is the Tri-Duals wrestling tournament to be held at American School in Japan (ASIJ), Jan. 18.