Story and photos by Mike Cooper
The Edmonds Woodway wrestling team had four state qualifiers, including two champions, at the WIAA 4A Region 1 tournament in Lake Stevens on Saturday. Brothers Noah and Matt Cuzzetto won individual championships for the Warriors, who place fifth as a team in the 16-school region. Zack Perez competed in the championship finals at 170 lbs, finishing second. George Johanson finished third at 285 lbs.
In the 106 lb-final, sophomore Noah Cuzzetto had a rematch of his district final against Kamiak’s David Garcia. Cuzzetto had pinned Garcia in districts, but this match ended up being a hard-fought, low-scoring affair, with Cuzzetto winning 3-0.
At 145 lbs, junior Matt Cuzzetto trailed off and on throughout his match against Max Welsh from Mariner. Midway through the third round, Cuzzetto scored a reversal and a near fall to take the lead. Welsh came off his back and reversed Cuzzetto, closing the gap to a one-point Cuzzetto lead. Cuzzetto then closed out the match with a takedown, winning 8-5.
During the tournament, the Cuzzetto brothers were always near mat side encouraging each other.
In the 170-lb final, E-W’s Perez faced 2011 state finalist Dillon Thomas from Union. Perez, a senior, finished second, losing a 15-4 decision to Thomas.
After losing in the semifinals at 285, Johanson — a junior — fought back through the consolation bracket, finishing in third place by pinning Austin Wright from Evergreen.
Seniors Collin Natterstad and Kris Delaney, who finished fifth at 152 lbs and 195 lbs respectively, will attend state as alternates.
The Mat Classic XXIV will take place at the Tacoma Dome Feb. 17-18.