Spartans dominate early-season tourney
Hillsboro rolls to three easy victories to capture the team championship at the Ron James Round Robin Invitational
Hillsboro smoked em.
The Spartans ushered in the invitational portion of their 2013-14 wrestling season last Friday by going 3-0 to take the team title at their own Ron James Round Robin Invitational.
Hilhi turned back city rival Liberty 60-18 before torching Barlow 69-10 and concluding the competition with a 47-18 victory against Canby. The Falcons eventually finished in third place.
All of that came the day after the Spartans cruised past Southridge of the Metro League 48-19 in an endowment match, also at Hillsboro High School.
Weve had eight practices, and not knowing kind of where were it, it was kind of a big question mark, coach Adam Reese said after last Fridays meet. Were a highly technical team, and eight practices is not a lot of time to get a lot of technique in, so its almost guesswork.
But it turned out well. The kids wrestled well today. They competed hard. Their shape didnt look too bad. And the thing I like is, I think we even improved from last night. We looked better today against some very tough competition.
With such sterling results, Hilhi clearly is off to a crackling start this season. At the Ron James named for the former longtime coach who steered the program to its second state championship in 1990 a total of eight Spartans swept their opponents with James in attendance to witness the success that Reese has continued.
Those three-time winners were Ruben Rodriguez-Saenz at 113 pounds, Matt Peterson (120), Joey Rodriguez (126), Andrew Downer (145), Hunter Morse (170), Isaac Nakamoto (182), T.J. Cavender (195) and Ben Kociemba (220), though Kociemba did take two of his matches by forfeit.
Hilhi is coming off a season in which it produced seven regional meet champions and seven state meet place-winners. Led by John Morin, the state champion at 182 pounds, the Spartans finished fourth among Class 6A teams and earned a state trophy.
Morin has since graduated, but state meet placers Peterson, Rodriguez, Downer and Kociemba all return, giving Hilhi a powerhouse foundation that was evident last week even if the Spartans had not yet gotten in enough practice time for Reeses liking. Alex Hada and Cavender also return with state meet experience to their credit.
The early season success is all well and good, but Reese is already looking forward.
We really set our goals on the state tournament, he said. Thats what people remember. Thats what you wrestle for.
For Liberty coach Eric Givens, he liked giving his team a tough challenge early in the season. Senior Hunter Dehlin, who was third in Class 5A at 152 pounds last year, got in his first competition of the season, as did Kevin Rivas (119) and Michael Feltman (138), both returning top-two district place-winners. Feltman won all three of his matches, and freshman Ethan Wendel (112) and first-year heavyweight Angel Rodriguez both went 2-1 in their varsity debuts.
Both teams are slated to be back in action this weekend. Hilhi is at North Bend today and Saturday for the Coast Classic while Liberty is in the midst of a trip to a tournament in Maui, Hawaii.