Nine Bowmen are moving on to state

by: DAN BROOD - WINNER -- Sherwood junior Halen Jolley gets his hand raised following his district title win at 113 pounds.WILSONVILLE — Last year, Jess Hatfield just barely missed out on earning a bid to wrestle at the Class 5A state tournament.

This year, Hatfield, a Sherwood High School sophomore, was determined not to be denied.

He wasn’t.

In fact, not only will Hatfield being going to the Class 5A state tournament, he’ll be going to state as a Northwest Oregon Conference district champion.

Hatfield was one of three Bowmen to claim district crowns after stepping up a the NWOC district tournament, held Friday and Saturday at Wilsonville High.

“I was definitely motivated,” Hatfield said after pinning Sandy’s Jonathan Morrell in the 126-pound title match. “I came back with a lot of fire this year. I worked as hard as I could.”

The top four finishers in each weight class at the district tournament advance to compete at the Class 5A state tournament, which will be held Friday and Saturday at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland. Sherwood will be sending nine wrestlers to the state event.

“That’s good,” said Sherwood senior Garret Heckenberg, who was the district runner-up at 145 pounds. “Our ultimate goal was to bring as many wrestlers as we could to state. Now, we’re looking to score a lot of team points.”

Among Sherwood’s nine state-bound wrestlers are two other district champions in sophomore Halen Jolley, who claimed the title at 113 pounds, and senior Ryan Jurgens, who repeated as the district champ at 195 DAN BROOD - YES -- Sherwood sophomore Jess Hatfield celebrates after winning his district title match.

Jolley and Jurgens both wrestled at state last year, but Hatfield will be making his first state tournament appearance, as he placed fifth at 113 pounds at district last year as a Bowmen freshman.

“I’m definitely excited for it,” he said. “I hope to place in the top six. That’s my goal.”

Determination sure looks to be one of his strengths. That seemed to show in Saturday’s 126-pound district title match.

In that bout, Hatfield trailed 2-0 early in the match, as Morrell scored on a takedown with 1 minute and 15 seconds remaining in the first round. Hatfield still faced the 2-0 deficit going into the third round.

But Hatfield, opening the final round in the up position, was able to pin Morrell 45 seconds into the round to win the district title.

“He got the takedown and rode me good for two rounds,” Hatfield said. “In the third round, I was thinking ‘turn him and pin him.’ I was really fired up when I did.”

Hatfield is the No. 3 seed at 126 pounds for the state tournament, and he’ll face Brandon Gastelum-Plata of Cleveland Friday in a first-round tourney match.

Jurgens picked up his second straight district championship at 195 pounds by getting a 3-1 decision win over Wilsonville’s Justin Hamilton in the title match.

Jurgens took a 1-0 lead with an escape coming with 1:35 remaining in the second round. He later scored on a takedown with 41 seconds left in the round on his way to getting the 3-1 victory.

“It’s nice to know that I’m doing well,” Jurgens said of his second district title. “It’s nothing too new, but it’s good to win.”

The only point Hamilton got during the title match came when Jurgens was whistled for a technical violation — for wearing a ring during the match.

“I won’t do that at state,” Jurgens said with a laugh.

But, what he wants to do at state is have a lot of success.

by: DAN BROOD - THE CHAMP IS HERE -- Sherwood High School senior Ryan Jurgens (top) has control of Wilsonville's Justin Hamilton during their district tournament 195-pound title match. Jurgens scored a 3-1 decision win. “You always hope to win it,” said Jurgens, who placed fourth at 195 pounds at last year’s state tourney. “But I want to place higher than last year.”

Jurgens, a No. 3 seed, will open the state tourney with a first-round match against Anthony Sutherlin of South Albany.

Jolley, who wrestled for Mt. View last year, picked up his first NWOC district title in dramatic fashion, as he bested Sandy’s Kyle Grahn 3-1, in overtime, in the 113-pound title match.

In that contest, after a scoreless first round, Jolley took a 1-0 lead on an escape coming with 1:50 left in the second round. Grahn tied the score with an escape of his own, coming with 1:51 left in the third round. Neither wrestler was able to score after that, sending the match to a one-minute overtime round.

Jolley scored on a takedown 18 seconds into overtime to get the 3-1 win.

He goes into the state tournament as a No. 2 seed and will face Ivan Valle of Eagle Point in a first-round match.

Sherwood had three other wrestlers reach the district tournament finals.

At 132 pounds, Bowmen junior Michael Coulter forfeited to Parkrose’s Ryan Wheeless in the title match. Coulter will open the state tournament with a first-round match against Bryan Gastelum-Plata of Cleveland in a first-round match.

In the 145-pound district title match, Heckenberg fell 13-5 to Sandy’s Garrett Rotzien.

“I left it all out there,” Heckenberg said. “I have no regrets.”

Heckenberg will open the state tournament with a first-round match against Austin Kleint of Lebanon.

“I’m excited for state. I’m ready to compete,” Heckenberg said. “This is it for me, so I’m going to leave it all out there.”

In the 160-pound title bout, Sherwood senior Andrew Rice lost a 7-5 decision to Sandy’s Spencer Barnett in a match that turned out not to be very popular with the Bowmen fans in attendance. That’s because Barnett was awarded a total of four penalty points throughout the contest.

Still, Rice came close to sending the match to overtime, or getting a win, as, after scoring on a takedown with just 12 seconds remaining, he nearly was able to turn Barnett for back points.

Rice will open the state tournament with a first-round match against Jacob Thompson of Summit.

Sherwood junior Hayden Koprowski placed third at 120 pounds at district to earn a state berth.

Placing fourth for the Bowmen, and also advancing to state, were freshman Cameron Allender at 132 pounds and senior Martin Layna at 220.

Sherwood finished in second place in the team standings at the district tournament with 250.5 points. Sandy took the top spot with a score of 355.

“This validated the kids’ hard work,” Sherwood coach William Taylor said. “We had six in the finals and are sending nine to state. This was a good night. Now, we’re going to go back and work on a few things.”

Action at the Class 5A state tournament is set to start at 8:30 a.m. both Friday and Saturday. The state championship matches are slated to start at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday.

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