The Nome-Beltz wrestling team returned home from the Kotzebue Bush Brawl Invitational with multiple champions across the board, even without the full roster in attendance. Wrestlers from around the region attended the invite, including teams from Unlalakleet, Shaktoolik, and Savoonga.
“I actually stayed home to run practice for the group that did go to Kotzebue and we had a bunch because we couldn’t afford to send our junior high.”– Coach Dudley Homelvig
That’s Nome-Beltz Wrestling Coach Dudley Homelvig. Homelvig went on to say that the Nanooks team has been fundraising to help with expenses and so far, his wrestlers have raised over $6000.
While only the high school team attended the Bush Brawl, Nome left with six individual champions: JJ Marble in the 135 weight-class, Elden Cross in the 152 class, Stephan Anderson in the 160 class, Karis Evans in the girls 135 class, and Della Medlin in the girls 125 class. For the middle school team, Son Erikson was first in 105 weight-class.
Besides the individual winners, Homelvig says Nome’s female wrestlers took home their first team championship.
“Our girls, several who were in the first tournament of their life, they won the girls division, which was really great to see. Couple of our beginners won championships. Can’t ask for more than that, wrestle your first tournament and win the championship.”
For Bering Strait School District schools, Shaktoolik had a couple winners like Taylor Kulukhon in the 119 weight-class and Kaden Jackson in the 103 class. Stebbins’ winner was Celeste Katcheak in the girls 112 class. Gambell’s Corey Campbell took first in the 112 class. Gavin Douglas won for Koyuk in the 125 class, along with Annie Hoogendorn in the girls 160 class. For Savoonga, Derek Seppilu dominated the 215 class. And representing Brevig Mission, Alaina Pete won the 235 weight-class.
The hosts of the Bush Brawl, Kotzebue, had 6 winners: Candace Wilson in the girls 145 weight-class, Jessica McCall in the girls 103 class, Zaida Baldwin in the girls 119 class; for the boys Ryan Troyer in the 145 class, Coltrane Chase in the 140 class, and Brenyn Schaeffer in the 285 class .
Next up for the Nanooks will be a trip to Nikiski today.
Image at top: Two wrestlers face off at the 2019 Nome Invitational. Photo from Nome Public Schools staff, used with permission. (2019)