Ethan Goebel wins SE wrestling. Photo by Duppy Ticarro.

Ethan Goebel, Skagway’s lone high school wrestler this year, came on strong at the end of the season by dominating opponents at regionals in Sitka for a SE title in the 182-pound class.
He followed that up with a strong showing at the ASAA 1A-2A-3A Meet in Anchorage Dec. 16-17, winning four of his five matches and placing third in the state.
Coach Duppy Ticarro said Goebel wrestled in just two meets prior to regionals due to some academic issues and an injury sustained at the Haines meet, but he had lost only one match outright. Ticarro was the only one wrestling Goebel in practice, which is “no substitute for wrestling his peers.”
The three weeks off due to the high ankle sprain kept Goebel from keeping his weight down to his usual 170-pound class, so they made the decision to go at 182 pounds at regionals.
Goebel won his first match over Mt. Edgecumbe’s Dorey Jasper in a quick fall. He then won a 6-2 decision over Edgecumbe’s Sean Orsborn in the semifinal, and dominated Thorne Bay’s Brayden Schwab in the championship with an 8-0 major decision.
Goebel’s prospects for an upset at State were good, with an undefeated defending state champ in his radar. Unfortunately he drew that wrestler’s side of the bracket or may have been in the championship match. One of just a few 1A wrestlers in the field, Goebel opened with two falls:  at the 5:04 mark against Wolf Jackson of Sand Point, and at 5:18 against Tyrell Sherman of Noatak in the quarterfinals.
He then faced top seed Joseph White of 3A Glenallen in the state semifinals. Goebel took White to the final period before losing in a fall at 4:49. White would later repeat as state champ.
But Goebel’s season was not over: the Skagway senior still had two tough matches to go for a shot at the podium. First he got by Nathaniel Seman of Unalaska 5-3 in overtime, pitting him against No. 2 ranked Levi King of Homer in the third place match. In his final match of his high school career, Goebel won with an 8-4 decision and stood tall.
“He’s worked hard all summer and all season,” Ticarro said after the state meet. “His goal this year athletically is to reach State in every sport he competes in and he is well on his way. Having just one wrestler in the HS is always challenging but as has been done in the past, we just have to be creative scheduling our practices. Ethan is great athlete with a great sense of humor and humility that in part help his success this season in wrestling. He’s a gritty no-nonsense wrestler, that manages his time on the mat and has incredible mat awareness. Having never wrestled before his freshman year, only able to do three pushups to being runner up in the region his sophomore year, ranked 1 his junior year and winning the region his senior year only gives our sport and his diligence to succeed that much more validation.
“I have coached over a decade and have had three state qualifiers,” he continued. “Ethan is far above the pack and I along with his family are incredibly proud of him. Our community and school also should show him incredible gratitude on representing Skagway in one of the worlds oldest sport.” – JB