Yelm High School proved again Saturday why it has two of the most highly respected wrestling programs in Thurston County.
The Tornados triumphed at Mat Classic XXX at the Tacoma Dome with two individual champions in juniors Phoenix Dubose (115 pounds) and Derrick Platt (182).
Yelm’s girls also successfully defended their title in the team competition, while the boys took eighth in 3A.
“Yelm has had a good strong program for a long time, and the girls are enjoying it now, too,” said boys coach Gaylord Strand, who is in the National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
“The whole community is behind it, and I want to thank everybody that is supporting us.”
Six girls reached the podium for the Tornados, while five boys competed in medal matches. And Dubose and Platt punctuated the tournament with big finishes.
Dubose, now a three-time medalist, tore through the girls bracket at 115 pounds, pinning her first two opponents before reaching the finals by 9-3 decision.
There, she met top-ranked Granger’s Viktorya Torres, who was undefeated this season entering the match and won a title at 110 pounds a year ago.
“That was a crazy match,” Yelm girls coach Amy Earley said. “Viktorya is so dominant.
“I kept telling Phoenix, ‘You’re just as good as her. You’ve been dominating all through this tournament, you’re solid in your wrestling.’ ”
Dubose fell into a 5-0 hole early, before rallying with a reversal and near fall to tie the score before the end of the first period.
“I had to make sure I didn’t allow her to get anymore points after that first near fall,” Dubose said. “I had to work really hard to come back and make sure I was tied up, and then later on make sure I was ahead.
“It was a battle, and I knew it was going be.”
The wrestlers were deadlocked until the final seconds of the match, when Dubose took Torres down to win, 7-5, and secure the first title of her career.
She becomes the second girl in program history to win an individual state title, following Danielle Curlis, the champion at 125 pounds in 2008.
“I’m so happy that I did it, and that I had my partners and my captains on my team to help me,” Dubose said.
Meanwhile, Platt dominated at 182 pounds in the 3A bracket to improve on a third-place finish a season ago.
“It feels great once you’re there,” Platt said. “I owe it to all of my coaches, they’ve been pushing me. Wrestling, football, rugby, track coaches — all of them.”
After pinning two of his first three opponents to reach the championship match, he worked quickly to a 7-1 title win over Mount Spokane’s Tayven King.
“The third round I started to pick it up and kept him on the ground and got some back points in there to finish off of the match strong,” Platt said.
He is the first individual from the Yelm boys team to win a title since Darren Harris won a 126-pound title in 4A in 2015.
“He’s a very tough kid,” Strand said of Platt. “I’ve had confidence in him all year long. … He has just been mowing everybody down.”
Four more boys reached the podium for Yelm, including Gage Nelson (seventh, 106), Gavin Stewart (fifth, 120), Ryan Davis (fifth, 126) and Chayton Miller (eighth, 160).
All six of the Yelm girls who competed finished with medals, including Dubose, Brooklyn Cutler (third, 120), Carly Smith (third, 130), Chelsey Rochester (fifth, 140), Shelaha Brown-Stephens (sixth, 145) and Ashley Kile (third, 190).
HICKS CLOSES DECORATED CAREER
Tumwater’s Cy Hicks reached the podium for the fourth time Saturday in the 2A heavyweight bracket.
“He’s a stud,” Tumwater coach Tony Prentice said following the final match of the senior’s high school career.
Hicks pinned to of three opponents to reach the championship round, and was edged by Othello’s Isaiah Perez, 1-0, for the title. The only point scored in the match was an escape late in the second period.
The best Mat Classic finish of Hicks’ career came his junior season, when he defeated W.F. West’s Hunter Arredondo in overtime for the 285-pound title.
Hicks finished third as a sophomore and fifth as a freshman. He has signed to play football the College of Idaho next season.
LOCAL STATE PLACERS
4A — Chase Poston, Olympia, sr. (fourth, 113).
3A — Gage Nelson, Yelm, fr. (seventh, 106); Gavin Stewart, Yelm, sr. (fifth, 120); Ryan Davis, Yelm, jr. (fifth, 126); Chayton Miller, Yelm, jr. (eighth, 160); Derrick Platt, Yelm, jr. (champion, 182); Noah Winder, North Thurston, sr. (sixth, 182).
2A — Roehre Cunningham, W.F. West, sr. (third, 106); Levi Walters, W.F. West, sr. (sixth, 120); Mykka McAllister, Centralia, sr. (fourth, 132); Mason Burbidge, Tumwater, jr. (seventh, 138); Jayden Lancaster, Rochester, soph. (sixth, 145); Julian Kennedy, Black Hills, soph. (sixth, 160); Tristen Dickey, Centralia, sr. (sixth, 170); Patrick Alvarado, Black Hills, sr. (eighth, 170); Izz Almotes, Centralia, sr. (fourth, 220); Caden Hicks, Tumwater, jr. (seventh, 220); Cy Hicks, Tumwater, sr. (second, 285).
1A — Justin Sample, Elma, sr. (fourth, 138); Jacob Garcia, Elma, jr. (eighth, 220).
2B/1B — Brody Klein, Rainier, soph. (fifth, 145).
GIRLS — Phoenix Dubose, Yelm, jr. (champion, 115); Brooklyn Cutler, Yelm, soph. (third, 120); Hailey Henry, Olympia, sr. (seventh, 125); Carly Smith, Yelm, soph. (third, 130); Chelsey Rochester, Yelm, sr. (fifth, 140); Shelaha Brown-Stephens, Yelm, sr. (sixth, 145); Quinn Lacy, Shelton, jr. (third, 170); Ashley Kile, Yelm, sr. (third, 190).