Rake, Deaton, and Maslen win state wrestling titles

By Tony Gorman

The senior duo of Austin Rake and Isaac Deaton closed out their careers by showing why they have been the cornerstones of the Bucs wrestling team on the state’s biggest stage over the weekend.  Both wrote their names in the record book 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’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 in all the tournament, there was a lot of talk about Isaac and Austin and how tough they were.”

Both wrestlers’ season isn’t done yet.  They will go toe-to-toe with the nation’s best wrestlers in Reno Tournament of Champions in Reno, NV.  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.

Ten out of 11 Valdez wrestlers who qualified made the trip.  All ten made it to the second day of the tournament.  It is the most Valdez has taken to the tournament and the first time 

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 Gorundwater, Dave Towne, Dan Walker, and Paul Downing, and Lester Allen.  The group worked has 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.

Glennallen’s Gavin Maslen finished runner-up in the 98-pound class as a freshman at last year’s tournament.  This year as a sophomore, he’s a champion.  The Mouse was mighty in pinning Bethel’s Tristan Evans for the Panthers on individual champion.

As for Cordova, Cody Howard had the best finish for the Wolverines.  He lost to Kotzebue’s Josh Roteman via pinfall in the championship match.


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