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Chiawana: Have wrestlers, will work

The Chiawana wrestling team has a few good men — more than a few, really — and the Riverhawks are looking for someone, anyone, who wants them.

Head coach Jack Anderson has stressed community service in his program since the school opened last year and has a lot of willing volunteers ready to get to work for the Riverhawk Wrestling Service Project.

What he doesn’t have, though, is target at which to aim his volunteers.

The Riverhawks are planning to go to work at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Nov. 20, in Pasco. They are looking for anyone who needs — or knows someone who needs — a hand or two or 20 from a bunch of guys who “will work like champions for 2-3 hours,” assistant coach Shannon Stover said.

So far, they have one nomination, a neighbor who just had a knee replacement.

Anyone interested should contact Stover at sstover@psd1.org.

On another wrestling note, the Washington State Wrestling Coaches Hall of Fame will induct a new class on Oct. 30 at a ceremony in Wenatchee as part of the WSWCA Coaches Clinic.

The five new members of the Hall are Scott Jones (Lakeside of Nine Mile Falls), Stan Opp (Wenatchee), David Mitchell (Tonasket), Mark Perry (Snohomish) and Lee Reichert (Enumclaw).

This is the first time in the last three years there hasn’t been a Mid-Columbia coach inducted. Warden’s Rick Bowers went in last year and former Pasco coach Gary Hackney in 2008.

I can, however, make a tenuous connection to both Opp and Mitchell from when I worked in Wenatchee for eight years. Opp obviously spent a lot of time in Tri-Cities gyms in his 21 years at Wenatchee, and I got a chance to cover his teams for six years after I moved there in 1998. That first year I was there — the 1998-99 season — his Panthers were ranked No. 1 in the state but finished six points behind Gonzaga Prep for the 4A title.

Wenatchee lost a lot of close matches during that Mat Classic. One of the key areas where the Panthers lost points was at 215 pounds, where Randy Davidson came in expected to place top four at least but instead finished sixth.

He suffered a rib injury in a 3-2 semifinal loss to eventual state champ Tyree Clowe of Central Valley (stud running back who led CV to the state football title in 1997) and then ran into Kamiakin’s Al Genatone in the consolation bracket.

Genatone, whom I remember as a pretty intimidating linebacker in his own right, got the pin in the second period and went on to place third.

Mitchell is a legend in Tonasket, not just for his 25 state champions he has coached in a career that will reach 33 seasons this winter, but also for producing three sons who combined to win seven titles. The oldest, Martin Mitchell, became the state’s second four-time champ in 2001 before going on to wrestle at Oregon. Since then, four more four-timers have been added.

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