Vandergaw provides big test for local grapplers
Chugiak’s Richard Burroughs led all local wrestlers with a second-place finish at the Glenn Vandergaw Classic at Dimond High on Saturday, Jan. 12.
In the 220-pound final match, Burroughs met familiar foe Derek Zorea of Service.
The two met just three days prior during a quad meet at Chugiak where Zorea earned an 11-7 decision. Last year, Burroughs edged Zorea 7-6 to win the Cook Inlet Conference title.
At the Glenn Vandergaw, Zorea pinned Burroughs in the second period.
Burroughs said he had an off day.
“Today, I wasn’t really on it,” he said. “Normally, me and him are pretty evenly matched.”
Mustangs’ head coach Tom Huffer Jr. said Burroughs told him the loss was due to lack of preparedness.
“He told me, ‘Coach, I just didn’t get myself ready to wrestle,” Huffer said.
Huffer said he told Burroughs not to dwell on the match as he expects Burroughs have a chance at redemption at the conference tournament, which Chugiak is hosting Jan. 25-26. Huffer anticipates seeing a rematch of last year’s 220-pound title match.
South High won the Glenn Vandergaw team title with 148 points, nine points ahead of second-place Wasilla. The Mustangs finished 12th with 39 points and Eagle River was 15th with 25.5.
Chugiak’s Chase Jury battled back from a quarterfinal loss to finish fourth. Colony’s Spencer Adams earned a 12-6 decision over Jury in the third-place match at 132 pounds.
Typically a defensive wrestler, Jury said he went out aggressive against Adams.
“I tried overpowering him,” he said.
But to no avail.
“He just rolled me right over every time I tried my usual stuff,” Jury said. “He was strong, too.”
Both Chugiak and Eagle River entered the tournament hampered by injuries. A combined 14 wrestlers competed at Dimond.
For just eight participants, Huffer said he was pleased with Chugiak’s performance.
In addition to having just six athletes, Eagle River competed in a quad meet a day prior to the Glenn Vandergaw. Fatigue was a factor for the team, Wolves’ head coach Daren Williams said.
Chugiak also had a busy week. After a dual with East on Jan. 8, the Mustangs competed in a quad meet the following day.
Williams and Huffer said they’re looking forward to getting some much-needed rest before the CIC tournament. The Mustangs and Wolves will have nine days off following the final dual of the season between the crosstown rivals.
The two met Wednesday, Jan. 16, but results were not available when the Star went to press.
Huffer was hopeful his squad would be healthy by then.
“Hopefully, we’ll have a full lineup against Eagle River,” he said.
Wolves 0-3 at quad meet
Eagle River went 0-3 during a quad meet with South, Bartlett and East on Jan. 10 at South High.
The T-Birds won 51-23, the Wolverines cruised 72-4 and Bartlett edged the Wolves 33-31.
Zach Luff, Gavin Arnold, Cory Florence and Xavier Horton picked up two wins each for Eagle River.
Chugiak 1-2 at quad meet
Chugiak went 1-2 at a quad meet with Dimond, Service and West at Chugiak on Jan. 9.
Service (38-25) and West (58-27) earned wins over Chugiak, which defeated Dimond 50-21.
Robert Huffer, Karson Forbush and Chase Jury won all three of their matches. Burroughs, Ronald Wagoner and Grant Gagnon won two matches apiece for the Mustangs.