Union junior Andres Nicacio finds solace on the mats.
Dueling with a foe in a test of strength, endurance and will has a healing power about it. That’s never been more important for Nicacio than in the past three weeks.
Nicacio’s grandmother, Rosa, a mother of 10 children, died in December after a battle with Parkinson’s Disease. She was 87.
On Saturday, the fourth-ranked 138-pounder in Class 4A earned his first tournament victory, defeating Prairie’s Bridger Paradis by 7-2 decision to win his weight class at the Norm Friehauf Clark County Wrestling Championships at Skyview High School.
“She was the most giving person ever,” Nicacio said of his grandmother. “She basically gave until she died and gave everything she had. I’m grateful to her.”
He was one of six Union boys champions, as the Titans rolled to their 11th consecutive Clark County title. Union finished with 228.5 points to finish past Prairie 199.5 and Washougal 181.5. Camas chose not to attend the event for the third consecutive year.
The Titans were so impressive, they got to witness an all-Union final at 220 pounds. Levi Harms won a 3-1 decision over Logan Wilson. The two are both ranked in the top four in Class 4A.
“My dad won a Clark County title back in the dinosaur times and he’s always been bragging about it,” Harms said. “It’s been fun climbing up each year, chipping away to finally win.”
Kyle Brosius, the state’s top-ranked 170-pounder, won his third Clark County title by kicking the finals off with a second-round pin of Prairie’s Ben Matson.
“I’ve formed so many relationships through wrestling with this county,” Brosius said. “To be able to go out there and show them what I’ve worked for and who I am as a person means the world to me.”
Other Union champions included Spencer Needham (106 pounds), Dylyn Jimenez (120) and Ryan Esperto (126).
The Falcons’ second-place finish was aided by a pair of champions, including Brody Schlaefli (285) and Jason Wilcox (145). Wilcox topped Evergreen’s Denny Roa by 4-1 decision in what’s quickly becoming a heated rivalry.
It was the two ranked grapplers second meeting and it was a feisty one. Wilcox also won a title over Roa at Mountain View’s Pacific Coast Championships.
“Keep a level head and smart head because I knew he’d be coming at me just as hard as he would at Pac,” Wilcox said. “Coming out on top is a big deal for me. It’s a big win.”
The most thrilling of all the final matches, though, came early on. In just the second boys final of the evening, Washougal’s Korben Modoc earned a late reversal to send his 182-pound match with Mountain View’s VA Ili into overtime. Modoc got the takedown in the sudden-victory period to upset 3A’s sixth-ranked grappler.
“Winning this thing means a lot to me,” Modoc said. “All I’ve wanted to do is win Clark County so I can say I’m the best 182-pounder in Clark County.”
Other champions included Heritage’s Israel Gonzalez (113) and Alex Newberry (160), Mountain View’s Noah Messman (132), Seton Catholic’s CJ Hamblin (152) and King’s Way Christian’s Tayler Shega (195).
“It’s a big deal,” Gonzalez said of the win. “Last year I came in and I was feeling really good about myself. I got humbled in the finals and didn’t wrestle my best. It was good to come back this year and finish all the way through the tournament.”
Clark County Championships
At Skyview HS
Team scores: Union 228.5, Prairie 199.5, Washougal 181.5, Mountain View 129, La Center 114.5, Heritage 112, Ridgefield 89, Battle Ground 87, Columbia River 79, Evergreen 72, Hockinson 60, Seton Catholic 49, Fort Vancouver 40, Hudson’s Bay 37, King’s Way 29, Skyview 26.
106 — 1st: Spencer Needham (U) d. Malachi Wallway (P), 9-1; 113 — Israel Gonzalez (Her.) d. Luke Golphenee (W), 5-0; 120 — Dylyn Jimenez (U) d. Noah Larsen (P), 6-0; 126 — Ryan Esperto (U) d. Edward Jones (MV), 2-0; 132 — Noah Messman (MV) d. Elijah Cassidy (U), 11-3; 138 — Andres Nicacio (U) d. Bridger Paradis (P), 7-2; 145 — Jason Wilcox (P) d. Denny Roa (E), 4-1; 152 — CJ Hamblin (SC) p. Cyle Workman (R), 1:03; 160 — Alex Newberry (Her.) d. Atticus Kurtz (CR), 11-6; 170 — Kyle Brosius (U) p. Ben Matson (P), 2:35; 182 — Korben Modoc (W) d. VA Ili (MV), OT 15-13; 195 — Tayler Shega (KW) p. Henry Jones (W), 3:55; 220 — Levi Harms (U) d. Logan Wilson (U), 3-1; 285 — Brody Schlaefli (P) p. Matt Kinswa (R), 3:20.
106 — Matt Victoriano (BG) d. Justin Wilkins (R), 2-1; 113 — Hunter Brown (MV) inj. def. Andy Santos (MV); 120 — Blake Mattern (W) p. Felix Estrada (E), 1:50; 126 — Ian Crocker (LC) p. Logan Hanson (U), 2:56; 132 — Gunner Henderson (BG) p. Stephen Warren (W), 1:29; 138 — Daniel Joner (BG) p. Hunter Mallicoat (LC), 2:05; 145 — Reuben Bisagna (CR) d. Aiden Kestner (W), 10-9; 152 — Timmy Carballo (Her.) d. Daniel Thompson (Hock.), 3-2; 160 — Scott Lees (W) inj. def. Josh Helm (U); 170 — Gus Shelley (W) d. Conrad Jones (W), 7-2; 182 — Alex Bessanov (U) p. Cody Wheeler (Hock.), 2:17; 195 — Clay Roberts (LC) p. Eddie Hockhalter (CR), 1:47; 220 — Max Muffett (LC) p. Bryant Coronel (FV), 2:25; 285 — Ricardo Cortez (Her.) d. Mason Wann (BG), 2-1.