Crook County wins Rollie Lane Invitational
The Crook County Cowboys held off a late run by Columbia High School to win the 68-team Rollie Lane Invitational Wrestling Tournament, which was held Friday and Saturday in Nampa, Idaho.
"It was a pretty tough tournament, and we haven't won it since 2014, I believe," Crook County head coach Jake Gonzalez said. "So, it's good to come away with a tournament win. All the guys are getting better, I feel like."
The Cowboys finished with 212 points, while Columbia, Idaho, was second with 196. Post Falls, Idaho, finished third with 179.5 points, while Kuna, Idaho, was fourth, 153, and Fruitland, Idaho, fifth, 135.5.
La Grande was the second best team from Oregon, placing 15th overall with 87 points.
Redmond was also in the tournament, finishing in 20th place with 77.5 points.
Redmond's 20th-place finish shows just how tough the tournament was as the Panthers placed a strong fifth in December at the 35-team North Bend Coast Classic, a tournament that Crook County also won.
Crook County placed four wrestlers into their respective weight class finals but crowned just one individual champion as Hunter Mode won the 126-pound weight class.
Mode rolled through the tournament, winning his first three matches by fall before picking up a technical fall win in the quarterfinals and a forfeit win in the semis.
He then whipped Sam Edelblute of Lakeland, Idaho, 6-0 in the championship round.
Edelblute entered the match with an impressive 22-3 record.
"Hunter wrestled really well," Gonzalez said. "In the finals, he had a really tough kid, and that might be the best that I have seen him wrestle yet. I'm really proud of him, but I'm really proud of the whole team. We are fighting, and that's good to see."
Also reaching the finals for Crook County were Zach Mauras, 132 pounds, Kyle Knudtson, 182 pounds, and Caleb Parrott, 285 pounds.
Mauras won his first three matches by fall, then picked up a major decision in the quarterfinals. He advanced to the finals with an 11-5 decision, then was pinned by Ridge Lovett of Post Falls, Idaho, in the finals.
Knudtson pinned four of his five opponents on the way to the finals, then lost a hard-fought 7-4 decision to John Knight of Colville, Idaho, in the finals.
Parrott picked up a pair of falls, a tech fall and a 4-0 decision to reach the finals before being edged by Jake McGinnis of Gooding, Idaho, 3-1 in the finals.
Two other Cowboys also placed in the tournament.
Jaxson Rhoden rolled through his first three matches before falling 11-2 to Jonathon Fagen of Fruitland, Idaho, in the semifinals.
Rhoden then won his consolation semifinal match over Christopher Woodworth of La Grande by injury default before falling to Kash Anderson of Bishop Kelly, Idaho, in the third place match, leaving Rhoden in fourth.
Steven Ware also had a solid outing in his 113-pound weight class with a sixth-place finish. Ware went 4-3 in the tournament, falling to Nathaniel Tovar of Pasco, Washington, in the fifth-place match.
Unlike most tournaments, the Cowboys were allowed to enter more than 14 wrestlers, although only one wrestler in each weight class counted in the scoring.
Crook County took full advantage of the opportunity, entering 34 wrestlers in the event.
"The cool thing is we had 34 people competing," Gonzalez said. "We took every wrestler that we could. I think it's good for them just to be here and be around it, getting matches and mat time. It's good overall for everyone."
Although they did not all count in the scoring, other Cowboys to win matches in the tournament were Tucker Bonner, 3-2 at 98 pounds, Tannon Joyner, 3-2 at 106 pounds, Trentyn Maryanski, 2-2 at 120 pounds, Trevor Martin, 4-2 at 120 pounds, Conrad Parker, 1-2 at 120 pounds, Gage Perry, 1-2 at 138 pounds, Victor Rodriguez, 3-2 at 145 pounds, Alexander Vail, 1-2 at 145 pounds, Brayden Duke, 4-2 at 145 pounds, Benjamin Sather, 2-2 at 152 pounds, Gavin McLean, 2-2 at 160 pounds, and Mario Hansen 3-2 at 220 pounds.
Hansen's tournament ended in especially disappointing fashion. He was leading David Loach of Bishop Kelly, Idaho, 8-0 entering the third period of consolation round five when he got his foot caught on the mat and broke his ankle.
"I feel bad for Mario because it's his senior year," Gonzalez said.
Next up for the Cowboys are a pair of dual meets. Crook County wrestles at Redmond on Thursday with novice matches beginning at 4:30 p.m., JV matches at 6 p.m. and the varsity match beginning at 7 p.m.
The Cowboys then travel to Roseburg to take on the Class 6A Indians on Saturday with JV matches beginning at 5 p.m. and the varsity match starting at 6 p.m.
"We will have to get a 220-pounder (to replace Hansen), but other than that, it will probably be the lineup that we have been seeing," Gonzalez said.
Crook County will finally wrestle a home match the following week as they host The Clash Before the Classic on Thursday, Jan. 17. Teams expected to wrestle at the dual meet event include Pendleton, Molalla and Estacada.
Wrestling is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m.
The Cowboys will be back in action the following day as they travel to Redmond for the two-day Oregon Wrestling Classic, which will be held at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds Indoor Arena. Wrestling times are yet to be announced.