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The Student News Site of Seward High School

SHS Today

The Student News Site of Seward High School

SHS Today

Seahawk Wrestlers Dominate ASAA State Championships


After an incredible season, the Seward High School wrestling team was met with success once again at the recent ASAA State Championship. 

The Seahawks took the Division II State Title with a score of 184, trouncing second place Haines High School by nearly 50 points. This marks the first team state title won since 1999.

Furthermore, several individual championship titles were won. In fact, no Seahawk wrestlers competing in the tournament placed below fourth in their weight group.

John Van Buskirk, a senior competing in the 285 lb. weight group, just lost out to Mt. Edgecumbe’s Donovan Standifer in the third place match. 


Anthony Smith (140), Alejandro Sanchez (135), and Emery Kirchner (112) all found spots on the third step of the podium, beating Barrow, Homer, and Koliganek, respectively.

Aidan Schilling (119), already a two-time state champion and son of 1991/1993 champion Chris Schilling, fought a hard final match but fell short of first place by just two points.

A lucky few Seahawks did find their way to victory. 2022 champ Hunter Forshee-Kurtz (130) once again claimed triumph, this time against Tristan Tildan of Dillingham. Afterwards, he was presented with the 2023 DII Outstanding Wrestler Award. 

He was soon followed by Tommy Jarnig (103), who destroyed Chevak’s Laiton Pingayak with a final score of 16-0. 

Finally, freshman Ridge Conant (112), son of 1998-1999 state champion Jim Conant, pinned Haine’s Hayden Jimenez with ease.

This all ties into a historically significant season for Seward. A record-breaking number of medals were won in tournaments at Nikiski, Palmer, Mountain City Christian, and Grace Christian. It was also the first time all the Seward state qualifiers not only seeded, but medaled. 

Additionally, having three champions, let alone four finalists, has never been done before. 

“Next year, obviously I think it would be pretty cool to be the first Seward team to go back-to-back in team state titles, and then also get more individual titles,” said Forshee-Kurtz. “We have a good shot and we’re only losing one [championship contending senior] for next season, so I feel like our chances are still pretty high.”

In the season to come, the team will be missing its three seniors, John Van Buskirk, Chloe Lastimosa, and Alejandro Herrera, all of whom have had lengthy wrestling careers. SHS Today wishes them all the best in their future athletic endeavors.

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