Dillingham senior wrestles to the top at state championship

Dec 17, 2018

At the Wrestling State Championship this weekend, eight athletes from Dillingham and two athletes from New Stuyahok placed. Overall, the Dillingham Wolverines took fourth place as a team. Dillon Chaney took first place in the 152-pound weight class.

Credit Steven Heyano


Dillingham Wolverines fought hard at the 2018 Division II Wrestling State Championship in Anchorage, and the dedication payed off. The team took fourth place overall, and Dillon Chaney took home the state title in the 152-pound weight class. Chaney is the first state champion from Dillingham since 2014.

"It’s been a goal of mine for every year of high school really. That’s been the one thing that I’ve always wanted, and we got it this year. So, thanks to my team. It wouldn’t have been possible without my team in the practice room, coaches, parents,” said Chaney.

The high school senior said he went into the tournament getting over a head cold and struggled through some close matches.


Credit Steven Heyano


He said, “First day, I was feeling pretty sick…But Jack Savo, our assistant coach, told me I have the rest of my life to be sick, but for this weekend I’ve got to be fresh. So kind of just had to get that out of my head and wrestle.”

He beat Mose Hayes from Homer in a 2-1 decision in his final match. Chaney said that standing at the top of the podium after years of training in and out of season was “the best feeling ever, really.”

Two other Dillingham seniors wrestled their way to finals. Chris Williams took second place in the 135-pound weight class. Jesse Noden was runner-up in the 140-pound weight class. His final round was a close one with Homer’s Wayne Newman. He said that his semi-final match against Jacob Gagner of Sitka was a highlight of the tournament.

“It was a tough tournament,” said Noden. “My semis match was probably the hardest thing because the kid came into brawl and we had a brawl. It was an awesome wrestling match. I came out on top, 5-3…I had a fun time.

Senior Matthew Krause competed in the 215-pound weight class.

“I’m proud of being there,” said Krause. “It was a great year. I wouldn’t ask for anything better. I got a lot of support from friends, the whole wrestling team and coaches.”

Jean Krause wrestled her way to fourth place in the 103-pound bracket. It was the junior’s first year wrestling, and she said she hopes to compete again next year.

Cate Gomez took fifth place at 119-pounds. For years, this senior has been the only girl to compete in wrestling in Dillingham.

“One of the best parts about this trip was actually having other girls at state and seeing them succeed,” said Gomez.

Darius Tilden and Demetry Hoseth both competed in the 112-pound weight class. Both wrestlers said that competing against each other in the quarterfinal round was one of the toughest parts of the tournament.

“We wrestle each other at practice,” said Hoseth. “We knew it was going to be a close match, and it was pretty tough.”

Hoseth won the match against Tilden. In final tournament placings, however, Tilden wrestled his way to fourth, and Hoseth took fifth.

Freshman Zach Kolbe took fifth at 119 pounds.

“It was a good experience being able to just be with the team,” said Kolbe, who said his proudest moment in the tournament was winning his final match with Jacob Andrew, a New Stuyahok junior. Andrew took sixth place in the weight class.

New Stuyahok’s Gusty Blunka took 6th at 103 pounds.

Dillingham head coach, William Savo, praised his team after the tournament and his seniors in particular.

“We had six seniors wrestle in the state tournament, and they all have great leadership skills. They made this season easier to coach,” said Savo. “They got everyone going and focused. They lead by example.”

In all eight Dillingham wrestlers and two New Stuyahok wrestlers placed at the tournament.

Contact the author at avery@kdlg.org or 907-842-2200.

Credit Robyn Chaney


Credit Robyn Chaney


Credit Robyn Chaney


Credit Robyn Chaney


Credit Robyn Chaney