The student news site of Lake Stevens High School


The student news site of Lake Stevens High School


The student news site of Lake Stevens High School


Senior Koen Mattern wins state championship

First Lake Stevens Wrestler to win a state title in six years
Levi Allinson
State Champ Wrestler! Senior Koen Mattern stands in front of the new Lake Stevens wrestling trophy case. Mattern won the belt on the top shelf at the 2023 Brian Keck Memorial Preseason Nationals tournament.

Senior Koen Mattern won the state championship in the 215lb. weight class at the Mat Classic XXXV on February 15-16, 2024. Mattern earned second place at the Mat Classic XXXIV last year, and 5th place at the Mat Classic XXIIV.

“It felt great. I’ve been working on this for a long time. And to finally be able to do it after last year’s upset really really made me feel good,” Mattern said.

Going into the state finals, Mattern knew that it would be his hardest match of the season. He was matched up against senior Frank Kissik from Mount Si High School. The match was extremely close with an ending score of 8-7. Mattern completed an escape for one point in the last couple seconds to stop the match from reaching overtime, securing the victory.

“I started wrestling when I was six years old. My dad just threw me into wrestling, and that’s kinda where it all started,” Mattern said.

Mattern was also a two-time finalist at the Tri-State tournament in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, a tournament with tough competitors from Idaho, Montana and Washington.

In the finals, Mattern faced Brendan Hughes, the 3A Mat Classic XXXV champion from Mt. Spokane High School. Mattern started off strong with the first takedown in the first period for two points. The second period Hughes deferred and Mattern chose bottom. Mattern was ridden out by Hughes and no points were gained in the second period. In the third period Hughes decided to pick neutral against the exhausted Mattern and took down Mattern in the first 10 seconds and rode the rest of the clock to go into overtime. Mattern was taken down with 13 seconds left in overtime for 2 points and the end score of the match was 4-2 Hughes.

“At the start of this season, I was pretty out of shape when it came to cardio. So I had to do a whole lot of running on my own time to work it up before going into state,” Mattern said.

Going into the 2024 wrestling season Mattern had to put in extra work if he was going to achieve his goals. This included lifting weights and running at least two hours every day in his free time.

“The hardest match of my life was last year losing in the state finals to a guy I have beaten many times beforehand,” Mattern said.

Mattern was in the finals of the state tournament last year and was ranked #1 in state. He had beaten his opponent Chase Baker from Kent-Meridian High School many times. However, in the finals, the score ended up being 5-7 Baker with an exhausted Mattern. Conditioning was one of his biggest flaws Mattern previously stated.

The new wrestling coach Derek Lopez previously held the position of assistant coach at Lake Stevens and was the head coach at Rainier Beach High School in Seattle. Mattern is the first state champion under Derek Lopez’s coaching at LSHS.

Lake Stevens has been a dominant wrestling team in Washington state for many years, with 11 state titles and an 18-year run without losing a single league match. These were all coached by the previous coach, Brent Barnes, who retired after the 2022 season. Barnes coached 39 individual state champions and 201 state placers.
After this year the Lake Stevens wrestling team will have one returning state placer, junior Samuel Irizarry who placed eighth at state this year.

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