Boys wrestling, 1.6.22

Scenes from the annual Battle of the Bull between Stanwood and Arlington on Thrusday, Jan. 6, 2022. Stanwood won 50-21.

Mason Ferguson stepped under the spotlight in the center of the mat and flexed.

“We were having fun,” the junior said of the unique atmosphere of the annual Battle of the Bull boys wrestling event between Stanwood and rival Arlington. 

The spectacle — complete with fog machines, lighting systems and a DJ playing thumping music echoing throughout the gym — featured six Spartan pins, including Ferguson’s last-second pin of Arlington’s Trevor Latta in a showdown of two undefeated wrestlers.

“The bleachers were packed,” Ferguson said. “We were feeling the crowd and the hype DJ music.” 

The victory helped the Spartans seal their 50-26 team victory — Stanwood’s fifth team win in a row over their rivals, keeping the horned trophy with the Spartans.

Head coach Ray Mather said the event can be a double-edged sword, sometimes getting wrestlers too amped up.

But that wasn’t the case for sophomore Braedon Requa, who was elevated to the varsity lineup to face an experienced Arlington senior. 

“Once he got a move in and had it locked, I knew he had the pin,” Mather said. “I knew how big of a win that was. We were screaming. I had to leave the gym to get water after that — might be a career first for me. That really got the momentum going; the gym was on fire.” 

The showdown also served as a restart after the Spartans -- and many other state wrestling programs -- were paused following a COVID outbreak among athletes.

“When they first paused (wrestling), I just hoped they would open it back up at some point,” said Ferguson, who ran outside and on the treadmill to stay in shape over winter break. “We even organized a game of snow football … to keep our cardio up.”

Restarting competition with the Battle of the Bull proved the perfect incentive to stay in shape, Ferguson said. 

“Battle of the Bull is always a fun week of practice, for me it gave me a lot more motivation to work harder,” Ferguson said. “I knew I had the possibility of facing their toughest wrestlers (Latta), but I knew I could beat him if I put the work in.”

Mather said he was happy to see the epic three-round battle go the Spartans’ way.

“Mason just wore him out, broke him down,” Mather said. “Mason just persevered.”

The action continued Saturday where the Spartans took second place at the nine-team Snohomish Panther Classic. Stanwood, with 156 team points, trailed only Glacier Peak’s 160 points.

Stanwood travels Wednesday to face Marysville-Getchell and then travels Saturday to Marysville-Pilchuck for a 12-team event.

“I hope we can just stick out another month to keep the competition going,” Ferguson said, referencing the COVID situation. “Just anything to make it to state because I feel like as a team we can get top 3 in state for sure. We have a bunch of wrestlers who are able to place at state.” 

Jan. 7: Arlington at Stanwood:

  • 106 pounds: AJ Dorchak (Arlington) def. Marc Hruscka
  • 120: Bryan Roodzant (Stanwood) pinned Ethan Barnett
  • 126: Tyler Rhue (Stanwood) pinned Chase Beberry
  • 132: Braedon Requa (Stanwood) pinned David Forslof
  • 138: Lane Ovenell (Stanwood) def. Eric Vogel
  • 145: Dustin Baxter (Arlington) def. Keaton Mayernik
  • 152: Cameron O'Neill (Stanwood) pinned Mason Diemer
  • 160: RJ Gese (Arlington) def. Cruise Swanson
  • 170: Magnus Cairus (Stanwood) pinned James Eastman
  • 182: Mason Ferguson (Stanwood) pinned Trevor Latta
  • 195: Elijah Fleck (Stanwood) def. Holden Strand
  • 220: Isaiah Evans (Arlington) pinned Thor Uhrich
  • HWT: Ameer Alwadi (Arlington) pinned Will Kallock

Jan. 8: Snohomish Panther Classic championship matches: 

  • 106 pounds: Marc Hrushka (Stanwood) pinned Noah Bates (Juanita) 0:41
  • 120: Jorey Johnson (Mount Baker) pinned Bryan Roodzant (Stanwood) 5:44
  • 126: Tyler Rhue (Stanwood) pinned Cole Valdez (Oak Harbor) 4:55
  • 132: Lane Ovenell (Stanwood) pinned Miles Lamb (Snohomish) 1:54
  • 138: Gil Mossburg (Glacier Peak) def. Keaton Mayernik (Stanwood) 5-3
  • 182: Mason Ferguson (Stanwood) pinned Jack Kelley (Snohomish) 1:47
  • 182B: Carter Kinney (Stanwood) pinned Dylan Moa (Mount Baker) 5:23
  • 195: Ethan Frati (Snohomish) def. Elijah Fleck (Stanwood) 4-1

Boys basketball

The Spartans did not want to waste an opportunity against nemesis Arlington.

“Unless we play them in districts, this might be the last time we play them,” senior Blake Reid said. “We’ve been playing these guys since third grade. … We’ve always kind of struggled against them. So, to get a win as seniors, it felt amazing.”

The archrivals were neck-and-neck for the bulk of an intense, physical home game Friday until the Spartans began to pull away in the third quarter. 

With about 2-and-a-half minutes left in the third, Mack Hepper splashed a 3 to put Stanwood up 11, sending the crowd -- the largest to-date in the new gym -- into a frenzy.

“That was kind of the exclamation point,” head coach Josh Thayer said of the senior’s trey from the wing.

The Spartans were then able to convert on the bulk of their free throws to seal a 62-56 win.

The victory was fueled by a balanced offensive attack and stellar, energetic defense that largely shut down the Eagles’ top scorer, Ethan Martin.  

“We knew what we needed to do to create stops,” Thayer said. “I think we rebounded really well. In the third quarter, maybe one or two were good, easy looks for them. I think we made it really difficult for them.”

The Spartans got double-digit scoring from four Owen Thayer (19 points), Mack Hepper (12), Kolten Bartram-Scott (12) and Reid (11).

“That was our best game of the year,” said Bartram-Scott, who added 12 rebounds. “We came out with energy and kept it up the whole game. We just went all out on the court.”

The senior said earning a win against a rival is an “awesome experience,” but more importantly showed the team that “we’re capable of beating anyone if we play like that from start to finish.”

coach Josh Thayer agrees.

“A win like that should build these guys’ confidence, if they play like that they can hoop with any team in the state,” coach Josh said. 

The victory was the Spartans’ third in a row. On Jan. 5, Stanwood exploded in the second half to rally past Cascade 69-60. 

The home game -- the first action of the Spartans in 20 days due to COVID and weather cancellations over winter break -- started slow.

Reid and Bartram-Scott said the extended time off the court didn’t help.

“It wasn’t a great start,” Reid said. “Coach Thayer kind of lit a fire under us at halftime and motivated us. We get a lot of our energy on the defensive end, so that’s where we started.”

The Spartans exited the locker room on fire, outscoring the Bruins 26-5 in the third quarter to take control of the game. 

“That defensive energy in the third quarter rolls over to the offensive end,” coach Josh Thayer said.

Brandt Gilbertson connected on five 3-pointers to lead the team with 20 points, and Bartram-Scott added 18 points for the Spartans. Owen Thayer added 13 points, including a trio of 3-pointers

The Spartans take their winning streak on the road, traveling Tuesday to Meadowdale, Thursday to Shorecrest and Saturday to Lynden Christian.


Girls basketball

Tied 26-26 at halftime.

Tied 38-38 after the third quarter.

Stanwood up 45-43 midway through the fourth quarter. 

The Spartans were going toe-to-toe with No. 1-ranked Arlington until the Eagles surged late to a 57-47 victory Saturday, Stanwood’s first game in 17 days.

“Nervousness quickly shifted to fearlessness,” head coach Alex Iverson said. “We took it to them in their house; we stepped up in a tough environment. I couldn’t have been more proud of the girls. They just had a few girls hit some shots down the stretch.”

Grace Walker led Stanwood with 17 points, Vivienne Berrett added 12 points and Paige Almanza had 7.

But it was Chloe Santeford’s defense that helped stymie Arlington’s speedy attack for much of the night. 

Santeford was locked on Eagle’s top scorer Jenna Villa, limiting her to 8 points through the first three quarters. 

“Villa is one of the best players in the state,” Iverson said. “(Santeford’s) difference-making in the game doesn’t show up on the state sheet.” 

Going toe-to-toe with a top team in the state is something the Spartans can build on, Iverson said.

“I like where we’re at. We’re getting better,” he said. “We still need to work on being able to execute when tired. That comes with more reps, more games.”

The girls Monday hosted Burlington-Edison for a nonleague matchup after the Stanwood-Camano News press deadline. The Spartans next host Shorecrest on Friday and travel Saturday to Lynden Christian. Stanwood then returns home Jan. 18 to face Snohomish.


Girls wrestling

The Spartans returned to action last week with a four-team scramble on Jan. 5 at Shorewood.

Stanwood collected seven pins in its 15 matches.

Aliya Hammons and Mariah Fulgenzi each had two pins. Sydney Wiegand, Kiki Karasti and Gillian O’Neal each had one pin.

The girls return to the mat Tuesday at an eight-team scramble at Glacier Peak.


Boys swimming

The Spartans picked up where they left off before winter break, collecting a pair of victories on the road last week. 

Stanwood topped Mariner 108-63 on Jan. 4 and bested Everett 126-31 on Jan. 6.  

“We’re still working to get back to where we were before break,” head coach Connie Schmidt said. “But it was good to get back in the pool and get our feet wet.”

On Jan. 4, Stanwood swimmers posted eight best times in a pool without diving blocks, which require slower water starts.

On Jan. 6, several Spartans posted improved times in three of four events they swam, including Ryker Belles, Sawyer Coburn, Emile Mailho, Lucas Stiers and Ben Weseman.

Lloyd Hau dropped 8 seconds in the 200 yard freestyle from Jan. 4 to Jan. 6, earning a district time in the event. 

The Spartans host Cascade at 3 p.m. Thursday. 

Jan. 6: Stanwood 126, Everett 31: 

  • 200 medley relay: Isaac Smith, Larson Haugstad, Aidan Link, Trip Schreiber (1st, 1:59.90); Chance Haugstad, Benjamin Weseman, Matthew Brennan, Hunter Jones (2nd, 2:12.47). 
  • 200 freestyle: Lloyd Hau (1st, 2:04.73); Keith Olson (2nd, 2:20.62); Ryker Belles (3rd, 2:30.15).
  • 200 individual medley: Rory Polson (1st, 2:28.84); Matthew Brennan (3rd, 2:49.28).
  • 50 freestyle: Aidan Link (1st, 24.45); Trip Schreiber (3rd, 27.73).
  • 100 butterfly: Rory Polson (1st, 1:08.88); Daniel Demchuk (2nd, 1:12.22).
  • 100 freestyle: Aidan Link (1st, 56.72); Chance Haugstad (2nd, 1:01.82); Matthew Brennan (3rd, 1:07.18). 500 freestyle: Isaac Smith (1st, 6:04.63); Hunter Jones (2nd, 6:30.86); Keith Olson (3rd, 6:40.66).
  • 200 freestyle relay: Aidan Link, Lloyd Hau, Daniel Demchuk, Rory Polson (1st, 1:46.77); Ryker Belles, Trip Schreiber, Luke Palaniuk, Keith Olson (2nd, 1:55.53).
  • 100 backstroke: Isaac Smith (2nd, 1:07.22); Chance Haugstad (3rd, 1:12.21).
  • 100 breaststroke: Hau (1st, 1:09.58); Larson Haugstad (2nd, 1:23.31).
  • 400 freestyle relay: Rory Polson, Daniel Demchuk, Isaac Smith, Lloyd Hau (1st, 4:07.85); Luke Palaniuk, Ryker Belles, Chance Haugstad, Matthew Brennan (2nd, 4:31.29).

Contact reporter Evan Caldwell at and follow him on Twitter @Evan_SCN for updates throughout the week and on Instagram @evancaldwell.scn for more photos.

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