Goddard finishes second at Class 3A Mat Classic state tournament in Tacoma

WRESTLING: Holsinger adds fourth place as Peninsula finishes 10th in team competition

Special to the GatewayFebruary 26, 2014 

Peninsula wrestler Zach Goddard, left, lost to Bellevue’s Christian Villani 17-0 in the Class 3A 145-pound state-title match on Saturday during the Mat Classic at the Tacoma Dome.

KENT NEWMAN/SPECIAL TO THE GATEWAY

Zach Goddard led a group of Peninsula Seahawks with a second-place finish on Saturday during the Class 3A portion of the Mat Classic XXVI state tournament at the Tacoma Dome.

Goddard reached the finals in the 145-pound division before he lost in a 17-0 technical fall to Christian Villani of Bellevue.

But Peninsula coach Mark Nikels praised Goddard’s efforts.

“Zach is a junior, and he is only going to get better,” Nikels said. “This is something he will be proud of. It was a great tournament for him.

“What is great about Zach is that he is such a coachable kid,” Nickels added. “He embodies everything you want as a wrestler and has a great work ethic and is a great kid. We’re looking forward to putting it all together next season. He’s got another crack at it.”

Goddard pinned Mount Spokane’s Christian Nibarger in the semifinals.

“It was just a great moment to see him get his hand raised and make it to the finals,” Nickels said. “I couldn’t be happier for him. He does all the right things.”

The Seahawks scored 59 team points and tied for 10th with Enumclaw.

Peninsula sophomore Luke Holsinger placed fourth at 182 pounds. One of his best matches was when he pinned Lincoln’s BJ Hawthorne in 1 minute, 38 seconds on Saturday afternoon. That result clinched a spot in the third/fourth match later in the day.

“It was a lot quicker than I expected it to be,” Holsinger said. “I beat him (Hawthorne) in regionals, and I wasn’t going to lose to him in state. This is where it counts.”

Peninsula sophomore Chance Stolz finished sixth at 195 pounds, and freshman Michael Campigotto (106) placed eighth.

Campigotto came to the tournament as an alternate but got an opportunity to wrestle when a participant in his division didn’t make weight.

“I was thrilled to wrestle,” Campigotto said after he won his first match, 4-1, against Ferndale’s Biscuits Graves on Friday morning. “I thought I wouldn’t make it into the tournament.

“I was nervous going into that first round, but once you shake hands and the ref starts the match, all the nerves just go away, and you’re there to wrestle,” Campigotto said.

Holsinger believes the future of Peninsula wrestling is bright.

“We’re used to it, and we’re going to stay used to it,” he said of being on the Top 10 board. “We’re going to be on the board for a long time.”

Nickels said each wrestler brought their “A” game to Mat Classic.

“Everybody we brought to state contributed, and everybody added points to that board,” he said. “It was an entire team effort. I’m proud of all of them.”

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