The Valdez Star - Serving Prince William Sound and Copper River Basin

By Tony Gorman
For the Star 

Wrestlers break records at state tourney

Ken Deaton named 123A Alaska State Coach of the Year


Photo courtesy Lori Day

Wrestling Coach Ken Deaton

The senior duo of Austin Rake and Isaac Deaton showed why they have been the cornerstones of the Buccaneer wrestling team during the state's biggest stage. Both wrote their names in the record book last week by winning their respective weight classes and leading Valdez to a third place finish at the 123A State Wrestling Tournament at the ACS Gym in Anchorage. Bethel and Kotzebue finished first and second respectively.

Rake pinned every opponent - including Hoonah's Torsten Skaflestad - in the championship match en route to winning the 170-lb. class title. He finishes the season as Valdez High School's only undefeated wrestler with a 41-0 record. Rake has not lost a match in two years. He's also the third two-time champion in school history.

Deaton became the first three-time state champion in Valdez High School history by pinning Craig's Tucker Thain for the 160-lb. class title. Deaton collected three pinfalls and a technical pinfall on his path to his historic championship.

"They set the bar at the tournament," Bucs coach Ken Deaton said. "Going into the tournament, there was a lot of talk about Isaac and Austin and how tough they were."

Neither wrestler is done yet. They will go toe-to-toe with the nation's best wrestlers in Reno Tournament of Champions in Reno, Nevada. This is the second year in a row that both wrestlers are making the trip.

In other results, Brian Allen finished runner-up in the 145-pound class. Keefe McIntosh and Adam Downing finished third in the 138-lb. and 152-lb. classes respectively. Cody Greene placed fourth in the 128-lb class. Kalen McIntosh placed sixth in the 160-lb. class. Chase Smith went 2-2 in the 145-lb. class. Trevor Norris and Colbin Hansen went 3-2 in the tournament in the 132-lb. and 152-lb. classes, respectively.

Photo courtesy Lori Day

Buccaneer wrestler Austin Rake remained undefeated for two-years running after winning after he swept the Alaska State Championships in the 170lb class.

Ten out of 11 Valdez wrestlers who qualified made the trip. All ten made it to the second day of the tournament.

It was a big night for the Deaton family. Ken Deaton was voted 123A Alaska State Coach of the Year.

Deaton credits much of his success to the rest of the coaching staff that includes John Grounddwater, Dave Towne, Dan Walker, and Paul Downing, and Lester Allen. The group worked as a team to coach the Bucs instead of naming a head coach after highly successful coach Kyle Siddoway's departure over the summer.

"It was a good weekend. I'm really proud of these kids," Deaton said of his team. "It was a good tournament."

Deaton also commended other members of like Jonah Coats for being the only freshman to make it through the entire season and Darren Allen and Leander Neuweiler for showing support for the team.


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