John Barrette and Brendan Casey wanted to wrestle each other one more time in the Tacoma Dome.
After Casey pinned Mount Baker’s Levi Wigg in the opening round, and Barrette beat Joel Trujillo of Burlington Edison 13-2, the two Washougal High School seniors were just a victory away from facing each other in the semifinals. If that happened, it guaranteed at least one of them would be wrestling for a state championship Saturday night and the other would still be going home with a medal.
But as the Panthers found out the hard way this past weekend, state is a different animal. Both Barrette and Casey got caught on their backs in the quarterfinals, but they refused to quit when they dropped into the consolation bracket. Casey pinned North Mason’s Andy Hicks in one minute, 40 seconds, and Barrette pinned Brennan Gulin of White River in 1:41.
This set up a showdown between Barrette and Casey Saturday morning, but it did not happen. A skin infection prevented Barrette from being cleared to wrestle. Although he had to forfeit his last two matches, Barrette still finished with his eighth-place medal intact.
“I’m glad I got up here,” he said. “I just wish it was higher than eighth.”