Tim Ige lost his first and last wrestling matches of the season, but what happened in between was something special.
Ige finished 49-2, winning every match in between his first one of the season, when he was coming off knee surgery, and the last match in the state final. That includes individual championships in the South Coast League tournament, the Southern Section 3-A tournament and the Masters Meet.
Clearly Orange County's best wrestler this season, Capistrano Valley High School's Ige made it to the state tournament at Stockton before losing in the 141-pound final to Fred Hunziker of Antioch, 5-4.
Ige was up against a difficult task when facing Hunziker. Ige stands 5-feet 4-inches compared to the 5-11 Hunziker.
"It seemed like I came up to about his waist," said Ige, who pronounces his name EYE-gee. "I was real disappointed at the time, but now in looking back, I think I had a pretty good season."
Though it would seem Ige's small stature would be a disadvantage on the mat, he claims that wrestling is as much leverage and balance as it is brute strength.
"My coach (Jeff Roberts) is also my physics teacher in school," Ige said, "so he taught us a lot about using your arms for leverage and pulling the other guy off balance."
Ige also balances himself rather well on a surfboard. He says surfing is a diversion from the pressures of grappling.
Ige took that point to extremes before his final match in the 141-pound class in the 3-A tournament at Redondo Union High School in February. He surfed the Redondo breakwater before returning to the school for the championship-round finals.
"It got me relaxed before that last match," Ige said. "Surfing was a great way to take my mind off of things."
Ige returned to land to defeat an El Cajon wrestler, 9-4, in the 3-A final.
Throughout his march to the state meet, Ige didn't had a problem losing weight, which often is as much a of a dilemma as a strong opponent for teen-age wrestlers.
"I didn't really cut that much weight during the season to begin with," Ige said. "I wrestled at 141 and that's about what I weigh right now. I keep busy."
WEIGHT WRESTLER SCHOOL CLASS 101 Greg Drinnon Fountain Valley Fr. 108 Jim Stanavich Estancia Sr. 115 Israel Chavez Santa Ana Valley Sr. 122 Marty Strech Fountain Valley Sr. 129 Ed Ruiz Marina Jr. 135 Tim Ige Capistrano Valley Sr. 141 Trent Kenney Fountain Valley Sr. 148 Art Urias Santa Ana Sr. 157 Joey Gillis Savanna Jr. 168 Jose Orozco Garden Grove Sr. 178 Steve Lawson El Dorado Jr. 194 Marc McBride La Quinta Sr. Hwy Tom Berry Cypress Sr.
101: Jesse Bustos (Rancho Alamitos) Jr. 108: Ken Beck (Huntington Beach) Sr. 115: Jim Kingsmill (El Toro) Sr. 122: Gabe Garcia (Garden Grove) Jr. 129: Marshall Gamboa (Loara) Sr.135 Albert Lee (Canyon) Sr. 141: Tony George (Kennedy) Jr. 148: Steve Stephanides (Laguna Hills) Sr. 157: Chris Wright(Loara) Jr. 168: Mike Lewis (Western) Sr. 178: Scott Arnott (Edison) Sr. 194: Tony Ruiz (Katella) Sr. Hwy: Randy Gonzales (Rnacho Alamitos) Jr.