Crook County wins Coast Classic wrestling tournament
The Crook County Cowboys continued to impress as they rolled to an easy victory at the North Bend Army Strong Coast Classic over the weekend.
Crook County took a slim lead after Friday's first day with 78.5 points, while Roseburg was second with 71.
However, with four Cowboys winning individual championships, the Cowboys opened up their lead Saturday, amassing 266 points, to easily outdistance the competition.
Roseburg finished second with 213 points, while Crescent Valley finished third, 204, North Medford fourth, 150.5, and Redmond fifth, 140.5.
"They are fighting hard for six minutes," Crook County head coach Jake Gonzalez said of his team's effort at the tournament. "We have got some stuff to improve on for sure, but guys are competing really hard, and they are battling."
Instead of taking the JV team to the Coast Classic, the Cowboys elected to send them to a 22-team varsity tournament in Culver, and once again, the team had some impressive results.
Crook County finished fifth overall with 158 points, which was good enough to finish ahead of Intermountain Conference rival Ridgeview's varsity team, which finished sixth with 125.5 points.
La Pine won the tournament with 202.5 points, while Culver was second, 190, Harrisburg third, 188, and Glide fourth, 175.
"We had 25 guys over there wrestling," Gonzalez said. "I heard a lot of good things. Kids competed really well. It's hard to split the team up, but for our guys, that's what needs to happen. It makes us better. I'm proud of the team."
Hunter Mode, 126, Zach Mauras, 132, Kyle Knudtson, 182, and Jaxson Rhoden, 195, each won championships at the Coast Classic, while Jace England, 120, was the lone Cowboy champion at the Culver Invitational.
Knudtson was named the outstanding wrestler in the upper weight classes at the North Bend tournament after pinning all five of his opponents in the tournament.
"It's nice that we got four in there (the finals) and they all won," Gonzalez said. "Zach was in a fight and just kept wrestling and ended up winning, and Kyle went out there and he pinned everyone in each match, and then Jaxson wrestled a tough match with a lot of blood time. That gets kind of frustrating, but he stayed the course. Then, Mode is just kind of a machine. He just goes out there and does what he does. He just rode the guy and scored his points."
Other wrestlers to place at North Bend included Tucker Bonner, third 106, Steven Ware, fourth 113, Trevor Martin, third 120, Mario Hansen, fourth 220, and Caleb Parrott, third 285.
Not only did nine wrestlers place at North Bend, every Crook County wrestler won matches, and they were all still wrestling on Saturday morning.
Bonner, a freshman, finished with a 4-1 record at 106. Ware, a sophomore, came away with a 3-2 record at 113, while Martin, a sophomore who was wrestling in his first matches of the year, finished with a 4-1 record at 120.
At 126, Mode, a junior, finished with a 4-0 record, while Mauras, a junior, went 5-0 at 132 pounds.
Although he didn't place, junior Gage Perry finished with a 2-2 record at 138 pounds.
Freshman Brayden Duke also failed to place but still finished with a 3-2 record at 145 pounds, while sophomore Benjamin Sather was 2-2 at 152 pounds.
At 160 pounds, freshman Gavin McLean wrestled to a 1-2 record, while senior Garrett Bond finished with a 4-2 record despite dropping his opening round match.
Knutson, a junior, was a perfect 5-0 at 185 pounds, while Rhoden, a senior, was 4-0 at 195 pounds, Hansen, a senior, went 5-2 after dropping his first match at 220 pounds, and Parrott, who is also a senior, finished with a 4-1 record.
Despite defeating Dallas, at the Perry Burlison Invitational a week earlier and whipping Crater, which finished sixth in North Bend with 124 points, those two teams are still ranked ahead of the Cowboys in the latest Class 5A poll, with Dallas ranked No. 1, Crater second and the Cowboys third.
Crescent Valley, which finished ahead of Dallas at the Perry Burlison tournament and took third at Roseburg, is still ranked eighth in the latest poll, while Redmond, which finished ahead of Crater this past weekend, is ranked fifth.
At Culver tourney
In addition to England, six other Cowboys placed at the Culver Invitational.
Freshmen Mitch Warren and Kyree Willis finished fifth at 106 and 113 pounds, respectively.
Fellow freshman Conrad Parker came away with fifth place at 120 pounds, while sophomore Alex Vail was fourth at 145 pounds, senior Elijah Becker finished fifth at 152 pounds, and junior Clayton Berman was sixth at 160 pounds.
The Cowboys do not wrestle again until Friday and Saturday, Dec. 21-22, when the varsity team will travel to Nevada for the Reno Tournament of Champions, while the JV team will once again wrestle in a varsity tournament, competing at the Adrian Irwin Memorial Tournament, which will be held in Bend, also on the 21st and 22nd.
"We will probably take a couple of extra wrestlers to Reno with us," Gonzalez said. "But the rest will go to the Adrian Irwin Tournament."
Gonzalez added that 113-pound junior Tannon Joyner, who did not wrestle at North Bend due to a minor knee injury, is expected to be back in time for the Reno Tournament, potentially making the Cowboys even stronger.