Entering the 2010 season, Pat Costello knew he had a good dual meet wrestling team.
The team made good on what the veteran coach thought.
Kodiak finished second in its opening weekend at the Peninsula Duals. The Bears’ only blemish came when they lost to Colony, the four-time defending state champions, in the finals.
“I thought we could beat them and we almost did,” Costello said.
Beginning the season at a team event really brought into focus what Costello is preaching this season — the team concept.
“The team got into the team matches,” he said. “Everybody was into it and excited when we won and down when we lost. It was the emotional roller coaster of a team. It really solidified us wrestling as a group.”
Costello was pleased with seniors David Castonguay and Pearson Brodie, who grasped the leader roles last weekend.
Brodie, who placed sixth at 140 pounds in last year’s state tournament, went 7-0 over the three days of wrestling.
He started his season with a thrilling triple-overtime one-point victory over one of Dillingham’s state place winners from last season.
“That was a really good match,” Costello said. “You don’t expect your first exhibition match of the season to be against a kid that is that tough.”
Castonguay went 6-1 over the weekend at 160 and 171 pounds. His primary class is 160 pounds.
Both wrestlers are key to Kodiak’s team success this season.
‘They have to continue to do well,” Costello said. “Both of them should place fairly high at state. We got to get them to work to the level of where they could get to the finals.
“They realize this is their last hurrah and if they are going to go anywhere they have to do it now — there is no next year for them,” he added.
Both wrestlers are ranked first in the state in their weight classes on akmat.com.
Eddy Burris and Branden Canete are Kodiak’s only other state ranked wrestlers. Burris, a sophomore, is second at 112 pounds, while Canete is third at 145 pounds.
Today, Kodiak travels to the Lancer Smith Memorial Tournament at Palmer High School.
The Bears are going to be without Castonguay for this tournament.
Mirror writer Derek Clarkston can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.