Scappoose had to rest one of their big guns, surrendering the league title - which means little in the long run - to the Cheesemakers.

by: JOHN WILLIAM HOWARD - Johnathan Tardif works to pin his first opponent at 172 pounds. Not only did Tardif get the pin, he did it in style: just 13 seconds after the match began.Even without their standout 184-pounder, the Scappoose Indians came oh so close to taking first place at the Cowapa League wrestling championships, falling by seven points to Tillamook, who the Tribe had thrashed in a dual meet the night before.

The decision of keeping senior Isaiah Goodrich out of competition was an easy one for head coach Jim Jones. A cut on his forehead from his match against Tillamook on Thursday evening left the door open for a re-injury or infection from contact with the mat, a situation that could keep him out of the far more important regional meet on Feb. 21 and 22.

But without Goodrich on their roster, the Indians still almost won. Scappoose got first place finishes in six different weight brackets and finished with 350 points to 357 from the Cheesemakers.

Braxton Sue won the 108-pound bracket with ease, pinning his first two opponents in 51 seconds combined, and taking the final with a 7-5 decision.

Colton Bush was equally dominant at 115, winning by fall in both his matches in a combined 48 seconds.

Taylor Walden, who faced the largest bracket at 128, went 4-0 on his way to the bracket title, winning by 13-0 major decision in the championship. Walden won by fall in his first two matches and by technical fall in the semifinal.

Cody Erhart took home the Indians' next first place finish, dominating the first two matches to win by fall before taking the title by 6-1 decision over Tillamook's Anthony Imel.

At 172 pounds, it was all Johnathan Tardif – almost literally. He won his first match against Clay Pena of Banks in just 13 seconds, the quickest fall of any match at the tournament. The next match he won by 17-1 technical fall before winning by 7-0 decision in the final.

The last first-place finish belonged to Devin Ray, who won the 222-pound bracket by 12-4 major decision over Victor Martinez of Tillamook.

The Indians got a second-place finish for Alex Foumal at 134, and third places finishes for Justin Hering (128), Zach Gadbois (134), Wade Nelson (154) and Colton Wheeler (287).

They will head to Gladstone High School on Feb. 21 for the all-important regional meet, where wrestlers will have a chance to qualify for the state tournament.

Team scores:

1. Tillamook 357

2. Scappoose 350

3. Banks 223.5

4. Astoria 171.5

5. Yamhill-Carlton 89.5

6. Seaside 41

For a full tournament breakdown, see the Feb. 21 edition of the Spotlight.

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