Top row, left to right: James Corales, Sam Heidbrink, Felipe "Chiko" Jacob, Jacob Hamberger, Vincent Nothstine, Cole Hanson, AJ Bourgeois, Dominic Harris Bottom row, left to right: Micheal Harris, Thomas Nothstine, Karl Griffith, Blake Bailey, Ryder Phillips, Levi Pearson, Arianna Ryan

Under dynamic new wrestling coach Seth Balint, the Cordova High School wrestling program has exploded in popularity. A remarkable 14 grapplers in weight classes ranging from 103 pounds to 215 pounds will head to regionals in Anchorage this weekend.

Here is Balint’s description of what will take place and what is at stake:

“Dec. 9-11 is wrestling regionals for our High School wrestlers. We will be taking 14 wrestlers to Anchorage Christian School who will be competing against 10 other schools trying to qualify for the (Wrestling State Championship Tournament.) For the boy’s division, the top three places will qualify, and for the girls, only the top two in the weight class qualify for the state championships.

Most of our wrestlers have only a year or two under their belt, so we are a little inexperienced going into the regional tournament, but we are a scrappy team with a lot of heart. We will be bringing the underdog mentality with us to Anchorage.

The following weekend, Dec. 16-17, we will be taking the wrestlers who have qualified to the Alaska State Championship Tournament at the Alaska Airlines Center where there will be eight mats going on at once with a packed stadium. It’s the mecca for Alaska State wrestling.”

The Cordova High School wrestling squad listed by weight class in pounds:


103 – Micheal Harris

112 – Blake Bailey

119 – Levi Pearson & Ryder Phillips

130 – Thomas Nothistine

135 – Karl Griffith

140 – Sam Heidbrink

152G – Arianna Ryan

152 – AJ Bourgeois & Jacob Hamberger

160 – Cole Hanson

171 – James Corales

189 – Vincent Nothstine

215 – Felipe Jacob