Tigers dominate Wildcats in first home wrestling dual of the season


The Tigers wrestling team won its dual with the La Center Wildcats in Battle Ground’s first home meet of the season on Wednesday, Jan. 3.

La Center head coach Jake Johnson’s frustration was visible as his team lost, 54-19, with a few forfeits by the Wildcats adding to the Tigers’ score. The Wildcats would have finished with 20 points except for a coach misconduct penalty that deducted one team point. Soon after the meet was complete, Johnson directed his team to run sprints in Battle Ground’s gym.

Battle Ground won six of 10 matches in the dual. Battle Ground senior Izzy Brown picked up her first win over La Center’s Leah Wallway at 106 pounds in the lone girls match of the night.

“Leah is very good, and Izzy’s never beat her before and got the win today,” Tigers head coach Jake Motzkus said. “I just learned that Izzy’s ranked first in the state at her weight class, so I’m excited about her and how she’s going to do in the postseason. This was a big win for her.”

As Brown’s skills evolve during the season, she is attracting more than just Motzkus’ notice. The Evergreen State College Geoducks and the Eastern Oregon University Mountaineers have contacted her this season.

Two freshmen, Zach Motzkus and Andrew Gray, are leading the Tigers’ younger wrestlers. Both pinned their opponents in their matches against La Center.

Jake Motzkus said he looks forward to watching these two lead a rebirth of the wrestling program at Battle Ground High School as more great young wrestlers are coming up behind them in the youth program.

“I’m looking forward to [seeing] them in the postseason in years to come. I’m excited about the postseason this year, but seeing what’s potentially possible down the road … I think they’re going to be untouchable in the state,” Jake Motzkus said. “We do have some talented kids coming in the next year, and in the next couple of years we have even more behind them that will probably come in through the kids program that I run.”

Other Tiger boys wins include Emet Ordway at 215 pounds, Clyde Cass, 113 pounds, Zach Motzkus, 126 pounds, Gray, 132 pounds, and Isaiah Rogers, 144 pounds.

For La Center, Isaac Chromey picked up a win at 165 pounds, as did Wyatt Eisland at 285 pounds, Zandor Turner, 138 pounds, and Wyatt Ballard, 150 pounds.

The Tiger boys had the weekend off, but the girls competed in the Kelso Girl’s Invite tournament on Friday and Saturday.

Brown earned sixth place in the 100 pound weight class while Brooke Rausch earned sixth place in the 145 pound weight class at the Braided 64 Kelso Girl’s Invite tournament.

The Tigers next compete against Camas High School at 6:30 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 10, at home, followed by the Clark County Wrestling Tournament on Friday, Jan. 12 and Saturday, Jan. 13 at Heritage High School in Vancouver

The Wildcats’ next dual meet was at home against Woodland High School on Monday, Jan. 8, but results were unavailable at press time.