Port Angeles’ Tony McMahan surrounded by coaches and family as he signed to wrestle for Waldorf University in northern Iowa. From left, are, head coach Brian Cristion, mother Sarah McMahan, Tony McMahan, father Mike McMahan and assistant coach Rob Smith. (Pierre LaBossiere/Peninsula News)

Port Angeles’ Tony McMahan surrounded by coaches and family as he signed to wrestle for Waldorf University in northern Iowa. From left, are, head coach Brian Cristion, mother Sarah McMahan, Tony McMahan, father Mike McMahan and assistant coach Rob Smith. (Pierre LaBossiere/Peninsula News)

COLLEGE SIGNING: McMahan makes it three for Port Angeles wrestling

PORT ANGELES — Port Angeles’ Tony McMahan is blazing a trail himself as for the first time in recent history, three Roughriders wrestlers in one year have signed letters of intent to continue wrestling at the college level.

McMahan signed to wrestle for Waldorf College, an NAIA school in tiny Forest City, Iowa, near the border with Minnesota.

“We’re here today because of you. Because of your character and work in the classroom,” said Port Angeles Athletic Director Dwayne Johnson, who announced that McMahan had earned a $15,000 scholarship to attend Waldorf and wrestle for the Warriors.

“Three wrestlers have signed this year. That’s awesome,” said principal Jeff Lunt.

Faye Dachs signed last week to wrestle for The Evergreen State College and Willow Harvey signed a few weeks to ago to wrestle for University of Providence in Great Falls, Mont.

“Good job,” said wrestling coach Brian Cristion. “I’m incredibly proud of you.

“I can remember being in your shoes and moving out of state to go to college. It’s not easy, enjoy it, embrace it,” Cristion said.

“You’re going to have to be tough as nails. And don’t be a stranger,” said assistant coach Bob Smith. “For a long time, it’s tough.”

McMahan had his share of success for the Riders with winning records the past two season. He went 10-7 this year after Dec. 29th, going 3-2 at subregionals this year and finishing fourth at 144 pounds. He won two out of three matches at the Port Angeles Battle of the Axe, he won two out of three at the Hawkins Memorial and two out of three at the River Ridge Rumble. He was fourth at the prestigious Larry Brown Invitational in Fife in December. he also went 14-13 in his 2022-23 season.

But his coaches and family talked about his leadership and how he took freshmen under his wing. Instead of pummeling them in practice which he could have, he taught them how to be compete.

McMahan is humble about his accomplishments. he said he wasn’t too nervous about moving so far away.

He liked the Waldorf program “it’s a good all-around program. It’s all competitive.” Wrestling is also a very big popular sport in Iowa, which boasts some of the biggest powerhouse programs in the country.

Waldorf competes in the Heart of American Conference and sent one wrestler to the NAIA nationals last year

Cristion was also proud that his program has three wrestlers moving on to compete in college.

“That’s really amazing. They’re all kids with a lot of heart who bought into our system,” Cristion said. “[Former head wrestling coach] Rob Gale had the bricks already laid for me.”

________

Sports Editor Pierre LaBossiere can be contacted at 360-417-3525 or sports@peninsulanews.us.

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