NWC wrestling continues improvement in Idaho

Posted 3/16/21

The first few months of the 2021 season have been a climb for Northwest College wrestling, and the team reached its highest point so far this past weekend. 

Competing in Coeur d’Alene, …

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NWC wrestling continues improvement in Idaho

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The first few months of the 2021 season have been a climb for Northwest College wrestling, and the team reached its highest point so far this past weekend. 

Competing in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, the Trappers grappled in an official dual with Clackamas Community College and an exhibition with North Idaho College. The Trappers won a few matches in the dual against Clackamas, falling 27-9. 

Overall, head coach Jim Zeigler was proud of his team’s effort against one of the nation’s premier junior college wrestling squads. 

“The kids did great,” Zeigler said. “We are wrestling with great pride, purpose and intensity.”

Against Clackamas, Ryker Blackburn and Tahjae Jenkins-Harris picked up match wins for the Trappers. Blackburn (197) defeated the No. 1 wrestler in the country — Tarik Sutkovic — in a 5-0 decision, while Jenkins-Harris (165) upended Jake Richardson, who is No. 6 in that class.

“They both beat highly ranked kids,” Zeigler said. “Those were big wins.”

With several athletes out due to injuries and sickness, NWC and NIC agreed to hold five exhibition matches, rather than an official dual. Of those, the Trappers won three. Blackburn and Jenkins-Harris once again came out on top, and Gus Harrison also picked up a win. 

Though some Trappers didn’t win a match on the weekend, Zeigler said “every kid wrestled well.” He noted Christian Dean and Devyn Mosteller as wrestlers who performed exceptionally in defeats.

Just over a month ago, Zeigler described the team’s performance at a set of duals in Montana as humiliating. In the weeks since that dismal outing, the Trappers have grown with one another, thanks to a changed mindset. 

“We want to be performance-driven, not results-driven,” Zeigler said. “Our record is not a big deal to us. It has been a total transformation.

“Over the last month, they’ve built a very tight bond with one another,” he added. “We’re just trying to become a team and get better at wrestling.”

NWC is slated to compete in Rock Springs for a dual with Western Wyoming Community College Wednesday. Zeigler said that’s still up in the air due to inclement weather and potential health issues, but as of Monday, the Trappers were still scheduled to participate in the event, which will begin at 6 p.m. 

    

Clackamas 27, Northwest 9

125: Hunter Sparks (CCC) (Forfeit) 

133: Cameron Enriquez (CCC) over Devyn Mosteller (NWC) 

141: Marckis Branford (CCC) (Forfeit) 

149: Deville Dentis (CCC) over Christian Dean (NOCO) (Dec 1-0) 

165: Tahjae Jenkins-Harris (NWC) over Jake Richardson (CCC) (Inj. 4:53) 

197: Ryker Blackburn (NWC) over Tarik Sutkovic (CCC) (Dec 9-5) 

285: Kyle Richards (CCC) (Forfeit)

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