It was truly a team effort this time around as all nine Stags earned state medals, including two state titles, the biggest individual hardware haul in school history.
The effort also assured the Stags their fifth straight state Class 2A team title with a 154-134 decision over runner-up Centralia.
Deer Park trailed Centralia 32-23 after the first round. By the end of the first day, the Stags has closed the gap to 68-67.
“If we do our job we’ll be OK,” said Deer Park head coach Matt Jorgensen after the first day’s results.
“The kids jst stepped up,” said Jorgensen as he waited near the awards stand.
He called the championship “better than Christmas.”
The Stags surged ahead on Saturday when Jake Konzal, Cole Harris, Joe Grable and D.J. Rodriguez advanced to the finals Konzal and Harris brought home state championships while Grable and Rodriguez earned runner-up awards.
Grable advanced to the 138-pound finals with convincing wins over Cody Thayer of Mount Baker, Chandler Rodriguez of Tumwater and Blake Haberman of Ellensburg. In the finals, however, he ran into Jake Velarde. The North Kitsap junior won his third consecutive state championship with a 4-1 decision.
The 220-pound C.J. Rodriguez opened up his tournament with a 6-0 win over Abraham Afoa of Fife. He needed overtime to defeat Caleb Newman of Lyden in the quarterfinals and rallied to edge Centralia’s Garrett Pannkuk 5-4 in the semifinals.
The junior’s impressive run ended with a 16-0 loss to Othello’s Joey Gomez in the title match.
The rest of the team kept the Stags ahead with strong efforts in the consolation rounds.
No one had a tougher road to a state medal than Matt Miller, who lost his opening round 145-pound match 7-4 to Jake Wilson of Interlake.
Miller regrouped to win his next three matches and eventually finished sixth.
Miller’s other brother, Dylan, won his first two matches at 160 pounds, only to lose a 3-2 last-second match-up with Cedarcrest’s Cody Paxman. The Stag senior shook off the loss to defeat East Valley of Spokane’s Nick Gonzalez and East Valley of Yakima’s Anton Yates for the third place medal.
Michael Leonard, making his Mat Classic debut, brought home a fifth place medal with a 4-2 weekend. The 120-pound freshman opened the weekend with a second period pin of Granite Falls’ Tyler Groff and ended it with a pin of Toppenish’s Steven Martinez in the medal round.
Cody Dehn had the unenviable position of facing teammate Cole Harris in the 126-pound semifinals after winning his first two matches. The winner, Harris, went into the finals, while Dehn dropped into the consolation bracket.
Dehn, who lost to Othello’s Lucas Garza in the next round, regrouped to pin Tumwater’s Cameron Nolan in the fifth place medal match-up.
Finally, Jason Jorgensen got on a roll after losing his quarterfinal match to Sequin’s Dakota Hinton. The 170-pound senior defeated Olympic’s Albert Lawver, Archbishop Murphy’s Brandon Todd and Cedarcrest’s Martin Vakamoce before meeting Hinton again in the third place medal match. Hinton needed overtime to get past Jorgensen this time.