Tuesday, June 22, 2021
June 22, 2021

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Mat Classic Notebook: Kelso exchange student is quick study on mat

Kolsky started wrestling just three months ago

By , Columbian sports reporter

TACOMA — When Pavel Kolsky came to Kelso as a foreign exchange student from the Czech Republic, he had no idea he’d be wrestling, let alone wrestling on Washington state’s biggest stage.

So when the senior Hilander earned his second pin of the day in the 195-pound quarterfinals, Kolsky stunned everyone. He had practiced judo for three years, but he just started wrestling three months ago.

“This is one of the greatest things I’ve ever accomplished,” Kolsky exclaimed.

Kolsky has made massive strides even in the past two weeks.

He finished third at sub-regionals before winning regionals and then topping second-ranked Gilbert Marquez of Kamiakin in the quarterfinals.

“I never expected something like this,” Kolsky said. “I feel so grateful for the opportunity to be here.”

Kolsky will wrestle top-ranked Blade Gray of Spanaway Lake in the semifinals. “I will see how I do,” he said.

28 Photos
Camas sophomore Porter Craig, right, fights the hands of South Kitsap's Payton Motter in the Class 4A 106-pound quarterfinal on Friday at Mat Classic XXXII in the Tacoma Dome. Craig won by 5-0 decision.
Photos: Mat Classic XXXII Day 1 Photo Gallery

Hoffberger survives protest

Stevenson’s Logan Hoffberger had to wait for his semifinal berth. After defeating Connell’s Abel Morales, the third-ranked 126-pounder in Class 1A, by 7-5 decision, a protest was raised. The Connell coaches claimed Hoffberger used an illegal move.

After a lengthy conversation between officials and administrators, Hoffberger was ruled the victor.

“I was just ready to wrestle again and get back out there and keep going,” Hoffberger said of what went through his mind.

In the end, Hoffberger, the 11th-ranked wrestler entering the weekend, guaranteed himself his first state medal.

“It’s pretty cool; it’s pretty cool.”

No problems for defending champions

Hudson’s Bay’s Allison Blaine was on the mat for less than two minutes, securing two pins at 135 pounds to move her record to 90-1 in high school competition. With two more wins Saturday, she will become Clark County’s fourth three-time state champion.

Seton Catholic sophomore CJ Hamblin, too, had no issues. He earned a pair of falls to advance into Saturday’s 152-pound semifinals. He’s aiming to win his second title and stay on track to become Clark County’s first four-time state champion.

Camas’ Gideon Malychewski has had a much more difficult season than the former two returning state champions.

The Papermaker senior has battled a knee injury and has dropped down to 160 pounds. He looked comfortable Friday in securing two wins to stay in the hunt for his second crown.

“Nothing different, just wrestling the same way I’ve wrestled all year,” Malychewski said. “Just wrestle relaxed and take it to my opponents. Make them pay.”