Club wrestling — Everhart, Hampton and O'Bryan finish in freestyle or Greco-Roman at Western Regional Wrestling Championships

POCATELLO, Idaho — It’s a good thing the Newberg Mat Club took a large contingent of supporters to the Western Regional Wrestling Tournament at Idaho State University because they were treated to some stellar wrestling by the Tigers.

Led by Seth Everhart, Isaac Hampton and Dallas O’Bryan, who combined to win four titles, 11 Newberg wrestlers collected 19 total medals by placing in the top six of their age and weight brackets.

“It was really exciting,” Newberg High School head coach Neil Russo said. “Our group was just unbelievable. I think we had close to 70 people there, including parents and siblings and grandparents. It really was a great way to end the season and take the next step toward getting the program back where we want it to be and we need it to be.”

O’Bryan, who will be a sophomore at NHS in the fall, won regional titles in all three styles — freestyle, Greco-Roman and folkstyle or collegiate — a year ago but had just one wrestler to beat each time.

This time around faced a significantly larger field in the Cadet age group, yet still took home the freestyle and Greco titles at 220 pounds, while placing fifth in folkstyle.

“It was more complete than last year and if it weren’t for a little mistake in the semifinals of the folkstyle, he could have won all three again,” Russo said. “He actually beat the kid in the other two tournaments. He kind of got caught — that happens. But he did a good job coming back. To place in all three styles in that tournament is pretty impressive.”

Hampton, who won the Bantam Greco championship at 50 pounds, also placed in all three styles, finishing third in folkstyle and fourth in freestyle.

The win in Greco was especially satisfying for Hampton because it came against an opponent he lost to in both the folkstyle and freestyle tournaments and had beaten him about a dozen times in previous meetings.

Even more impressive is that Hampton, after beating his nemesis to reach the finals, came back from a 9-0 deficit in the finals to win 14-11.

“I think it kind of sparked our whole group,” Russo said. “Isaac was the youngest kid we had with us and almost our mascot, if you will. He kind of set the bar on how to compete and how to battle. And that was another kid that had beat Isaac several times, but he found a way to get it done. It was pretty exciting.”

Everhart lost a close match in the finals to place second in folkstyle at 80 pounds, but shined en route to winning the freestyle title in the intermediate age group.

“In the freestyle tournament, he was pretty dominant,” Russo said. “I don’t think he got scored on in the entire tournament and won every match by technical fall. He was pretty tough.”

Hunter James also earned medals in all three styles for Newberg, taking fifth in folkstyle and freestyle and sixth in Greco.

Also placing in two styles were: Braden Baxter, who was sixth in both folkstyle and Greco; Christian Morris, fourth in folkstyle and sixth in Greco; and Hunter James, fifth in freestyle and sixth in Greco.

Four other wrestlers earned medals on the trip, including Zach Irving (fifth in folkstyle), Hayden Hampton (fifth in Greco), Gavin Korkeakoski (sixth in Greco) and Nicky Olmstead (sixth in Greco).

Newberg brought 31 athletes to the tournament — more than Russo has ever taken — but chose not to send any to the national championships.

“We had three kids ­— Thomas Myers, Patrick Boulanger and Dallas O’Bryan — that actually went four days before we did and competed for a dual-meet team comprised of kids from all over the state. So they got another 10 matches each and (were) gone for a total of 10 days, so a pretty big trip for them and a good way to finish up.”

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