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Weather alters wrestling schedule, Cowboys to host Mike Shinkle Memorial Duals on Thursday, compete at Oregon Wrestling Classic Friday and Saturday

LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Crook County's Zach Mauras takes down Redmond's Reedan Arsenault this past Wednesday. Mauras pinned Arsenault in the first round as the Cowboys went on to win 53-21. Crook County was scheduled to wrestle Roseburg on Saturday, however that match was postponed due to weather. The Cowboys host the Mike Shinkle Memorial Duals on Thursday, then compete Friday and Saturday at the Oregon Wrestling Classic.Weather can always play a role in the winter sports season.

This year is no exception. The highly anticipated dual between Crook County and Roseburg, which was scheduled for this past Saturday, has been postponed due to winter storms on the Cascade passes.

The match has tentatively been rescheduled for Saturday, Feb. 8.

Although wrestling fans will have to wait to see the two schools compete, that doesn't mean that there still isn't plenty of wrestling on the docket for the week ahead.

Thursday the Cowboys will host the Mike Shinkle Memorial Duals. Wrestling is scheduled to begin at 5 p.m. with matches taking place on two mats.

The Cowboys are tentatively scheduled to compete against Molalla and Estacada on the night, with each team in attendance scheduled to wrestle two duals.

Then Friday and Saturday, Crook County will compete at the Oregon Wrestling Classic, which is held annually at the Deschutes County Fairgrounds in Redmond.

Wrestling begins at 8 a.m. Friday; however, Class 5A matches do not begin until 3:30 p.m.

Wrestling continues into the evening on Friday, then resumes with consolation matches beginning at 8 a.m. Saturday.

Quarterfinal matches do not begin until 1 p.m., with the championship round scheduled for 6:20 p.m.

In addition to high school boys competition, this year's event includes both girls open and collegiate women's tournaments.

There is also a youth tournament sponsored by USA Wrestling, which will take place on Sunday.

The Oregon Wrestling Classic features the top teams in each classification competing only within their classification. Winners of Saturday's finals earn bragging rights and the unofficial title of state dual meet champion.

For the tournament, teams are seeded based on a series of criteria, starting with head-to-head dual match results, followed by common opponent dual match results, teams with the greatest number of returning state placers, greatest number of returning state qualifiers, most weight classes filled in the lineup, most top three placers from major tournaments during the year, current rankings, and finally, if necessary, input from the coaches in each classification.

Once seeded teams in each classification are placed in four pools for round robin competition, the top two teams from each pool will advance to the tournament quarterfinals on Saturday. The rest of the teams will fall into consolation matches.

As of press time, seeding for the tournament had not yet been done; however, Crook County is expected to have one of the top four seeds in the 15-team Class 5A field.

The top seed in Class 5A is expected to go to No. 1-ranked Crescent Valley. Other teams expected to advance to Saturday's quarterfinals include Crater, Thurston, Dallas, Redmond and Scappoose, with the final quarterfinal spot wide open between the remaining eight teams.

Should the tournament go as expected, Crook County will meet Crescent Valley in either the semifinals or the finals.

Class 6A has 20 teams entered in the tournament, with No. 1-ranked Newberg and No. 2-ranked Roseburg expected to meet in the championship.

Other Class 6A teams to watch for include Sprague, Mountain View, West Linn and North Medford.

Class 4A also has 20 teams, with No. 1-ranked La Grande, No. 2-ranked Sweet Home and No. 3-ranked Tillamook all expected to have a chance to reach the championship round.

Burns, La Pine and Dayton appear to be the top of the Class 3A field, while Culver is the odds-on favorite to win the Class 2A/1A championship.

Although the Cowboys are ranked No. 2 in both the coaches poll and the Oregon Wrestling Forum rankings, do not be surprised if they are seeded lower than second.

That is because Crook County has only wrestled two dual meets so far this season, while some of the other teams have already competed in eight to 10 duals. With dual meet results being the No. 1 criteria for seeding, that could drop the Cowboys lower in the seeding.

However, their dual meet win over Redmond looks significant, as the Panthers defeated Dallas in a dual earlier this year.

Like the Cowboys, No. 3-ranked Crater has also only wrestled two duals this year, so they could be seeded lower than their state ranking. That leaves No. 4 Thurston as the possible second seed.

Thurston has impressive dual wins over Redmond and Roseburg; however, they lost to Crescent Valley and Dallas.

In addition to the normal matches, for the second consecutive year Newberg and Culver will compete in an exhibition speed match, with the entire dual taking place over a six-minute span stretched across 12 mats.

A two-day pass for the entire tournament is $25 for adults. Daily admission is $15 for adults, $10 for seniors over 60 and $5 for high school and middle school students. Children under 10 get in free.

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