Crook County finishes far ahead of second-place Roseburg

The Crook County Cowboys left no doubt who the best team was at the Coast Classic Wrestling Tournament, which was held this past weekend in North Bend.

“I think our kids had a good mindset from the get-go,” said Crook County Head Coach Jake Huffman. “The mindset was looking at our brackets to move to the right and score bonus points when you can on the mat. They did that and they did it with a lot of class.”

by: LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Gunnar Robirts works to pin an opponent at a tournament earlier this year. Robirts won the 195-pound weight class at the Coast Classic to help the Cowboys win the tournament championship.

The Cowboys finished the 28-team tournament with 299 points, far ahead of second-place Roseburg who scored 219.5 points. Dallas was a distant third with 162.5 points, while Hillsboro was fourth (144), and Eagle Point was fifth (106.5). Rounding out the top 10 in team scoring were David Douglas (105), Canby (101), Sandy (95), Crater (94.5), and North Medford (85).

The Cowboys finished with four individual champions and 12 of their 14 wrestlers placed at the primarily Class 5A and 6A tournament.

“To go to that tournament and have 12 kids out of the 14 that we brought place and have everyone win a match, that’s pretty pleasing to a coach and that’s pretty impressive,” Huffman said. “We had 10 in the semis and we had five go to the finals and then in the finals, we had four kids win it, and I don’t think we’ve ever had four Coast Classic champions before.”

Coming off of an injury suffered during football season, Trayton Libolt saw his first action of the year and looked strong as he won all five of his matches by either fall or major decision en route to winning the 120-pound weight class. Joining Libolt on the winner’s podium were Colbran Meeker (152), Tyler Berger (160), and Gunnar Ropirts (195).

Meeker (5-0) picked up a pair of falls and a major decision before knocking off Ryan Spencer of Dallas 9-4 in their championship match. Berger was even more impressive, winning his first four matches by fall before knocking off Roseburg’s Ian Thomas 13-4 in the championship match. Robirts, who received a bye in the opening round, rolled through the remainder of the tournament, picking up three falls, including a third-round pin of Canby’s Keltin Boykin in the championship LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Colbran Meeker works to control a wrestler during the Central Oregon Officials Tournament. Meeker won the tournament, and was one of four Cowboys to take first this past weekend at the Coast Classic.

Ryder Shinkle also reached the championship round, winning three of his first four matches by fall before finally losing 13-6 to Roseburg’s Layne Van Anrooy in the tournament championship.

Kurt Mode (126), Grayson Munn (132), Hayden Bates (138), and Jason Williams (285) all battled back through the consolation rounds to finish third in their weight classes, while Brendan Harkey (170), and Trevor Rasmussen (220) each finished fourth. Rounding out the placing for the Cowboys was Aaron Swindle in fifth place at 182 pounds.

Although they did not place, Jared Wheeler and Trey Shores each won at least one match. Wheeler won his first 106-pound match by fall before dropping his next two. Meanwhile, Shores lost 2-1 in the first round to eventual tournament champion Casey Coulter of Grants Pass, then won a pair of matches before falling 4-2 to eventual third-place finisher Tyler Campbell of Marshfield.

“I was impressed with Shores even though he didn’t place,” Huffman said. “He wrestled the No. 1 seed and the kid that won the tournament, and he had a chance to take him down two times in the third period. It was the closest match that kid had in the entire tournament and then he loses to the kid that takes third 4-2. What a tournament for him to realize that he can now compete with anybody in the state.”

The Cowboys did a good job of earning bonus points in the tournament, finishing with 33 falls and nine major decisions in the tournament.

“The ultimate goal in a wrestling match is to pin the guy and I think our guys really buy into that,” Huffman said. “If they pin the guy and get off the mat there’s no way for that guy to win whereas if you are up by a whole bunch of points you can still get pinned. That definitely plays into the tournament setting big time because you get bonus points every time you get a fall. We tell them all the time ‘don’t let anybody off their back and that’s what they did.”

Huffman added that despite the easy win, there are still things that the team can do better.

“I’m just excited to tackle the rest of the season with these kids because they are motivated,” he said. “Even though we are winning, we have lots to improve on and that’s exciting because you never know how good you can be.”

The Cowboys are back in action on Wednesday when they travel to Bend to take on the Summit Storm in a dual meet. Novice action is scheduled to start at 4:30 p.m., with the JV wrestling at 6 p.m., and varsity action to follow at approximately 7 p.m.

The team is back in action over the weekend as the varsity team travels to Nevada for the Reno Tournament of Champions and the JV team goes to Lebanon for the Weisbrodt Duals, also a varsity tournament.

“We are trying to challenge both groups,” Huffman said. “We are trying to seek out the best competition that we can get and it’s going to be great exposure for those kids that are looking to wrestle at the next level. The Tournament of Champions is one of the best tournaments in the country. That’s where our kids will see how we really stack up with the rest of the kids in the country.”

Coast Classic Invitational

at North Bent High School

Friday and Saturday, Dec. 13-14

Team scores — Crook County 299, Roseburg 219.5, Dallas 162.5, Hillsboro 144, Eagle Point 106.5, David Douglas 105, Canby 101, Sandy 95, Crater 94.5, North Medford 85, Phoenix 83, Marshfield 82, Evergreen 75, Century 72.5, Grants Pass 72.5, Churchill 71.5, Cleveland 70, Jefferson 64, Clackamas 63, Hood River Valley 62.5, West Salem 49, Redmond 46, Gresham 38, South Eugene 34, North Bend 23.5, Woodburn 23, Coquille 18, Brookings-Harbor 13.

Individual placers (first place, and all Crook County placers) — 106 — 1. Cody Bibler, Dallas. 113 — 1. Casey Coulter, Grants Pass. 120 — 1. Trayton Libolt, CC. 126 — 1. Thaddeus Nelson, Marshfield. 3. Kurt Mode, CC. 132 — 1. Jasiah Williams, Jefferson. 3. Grayson Munn, CC. 138 — 1. Amari Sengsavanh, Century. 3. Hayden Bates, CC. 145 — 1. Layne Van Anrooy, Roseburg. 2. Ryder Shinkle, CC. 152 — 1. Colbran Meeker, CC. 160 — 1. Tyler Berger, CC. 170 — 1. Izzy Rubio, Phoenix. 4. Brendan Harkey, CC. 182 — 1. Haszell West, Jefferson. 5. Aaron Swindle, CC. 195 — 1. Gunnar Robirts, CC. 220 — 1. Osawaru Odighizuwa, David Douglas. 4. Trevor Rasmussen, CC. 285 — 1. Austin Wright, Evergreen. 3. Jason Williams, CC.

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