Cowboy wrestling, no surprise, strong
For most of the year, it looked like wrestling wasn't going to happen.
However, the Oregon Health Authority and Gov. Kate Brown finally relented, allowing indoor contact sports to occur.
Although the season is shortened, the Crook County Cowboys appear to be making the most of their opportunity.
On Friday at home, the Cowboys hosted both Dallas and Estacada an easily dispatched both teams. Then, on Saturday, the Cowboys competed in the Central Oregon Officials Tournament, where they defeated Bend and North Medford.
"We were ready to go and wrestled with great energy in both competitions this week," Crook County assistant coach Pard Smith said following Saturday's matches. "With how fast and furious this season started, I thought we looked good technically and when things didn't go our way I was proud of how we battled and overcame some adversity."
Friday the Cowboys and Dallas wrestled some extra matches, with Crook County rolling past Dallas 92-12, Crook County then easily dispatched the Rangers 60-15. If anything, Saturday was even easier as Crook County pounded Bend 78-6, then rolled past North Medford 72-3.
Against Dallas, Wyatt Wood started things off with a first-round fall over Yitsak Ostrom just 54 seconds into the match.
At 160 pounds, Zach Centanni gave Dallas one of just two wins as he pinned Kody Knudtson late in the second round. Gage Hanson then pinned Owen Jones, of Dallas, late in the third round of their 170-pound match and the Cowboys never looked back. Ben Sather picked up a pin over Cole Langford at 195 pounds, then Hayden Hilderbrand picked up a major decision over Cole Williams at 220 pounds. Dallas picked up their final win of the match at heavyweight where Garrett Munkers pinned Crook County's Jubal Brumble.
Crook County then went on a run, pinning 10 of their final 12 opponents.
Alex Vail pinned Centanni, Brayden Duke picked up a fall over Langford, Aiden Bonner pinned Trey Darrington, Mason Lacey pinned Jacob Linford, Robert Lacey pinned Thomas Courson, Tucker Bonner pinned Jose Romero, before Steven Ware won by forfeit.
Cash Wells then picked up a major decision over Isaac Jones, before Trevor Martin pinned Keenan Serafin, Ross McKinney pinned Thomas Talmadge, Cutter Marsh pinned Clifford Johnson and Garrett Cobb closed out the match with a pin of Royce Lavier.
In Friday night's final dual, Estacada started out with a forfeit win over the Cowboys at 106 pounds to jump out to a 6-0 lead.
From then on, it was all Crook County. Mason Lacey pinned Caleb Reilly in their 113-pound match, Mitch Warren pinned Landin Vittetoe at 120, Ware pinned Cohen Schleich at 126, Tucker Bonner pinned Tucker Jackson at 132 pounds, Wells picked up another pin over Dana Glasser at 138 pounds, and Martin pinned Kaiden King at 145 pounds before Estacada scored another point.
Trailing 36-6, the Rangers finally picked up another win as Caleb McDonald edged Collier Buffington 10-7 at 152 pounds. Vail got the Cowboys back on track, taking a hard-fought 4-3 decision at 160 pounds to give the Cowboys a 39-9 lead. At 170 pounds, Hanson pinned Estacada's Ricky Matthews, before Duke picked up fall over James Durand at 182 pounds. Ben Sather then blanked Jackson Turner 6-0 at 195 pounds, before Hilderbrand pinned Waylon Riedel at 220 pounds. Estacada picked up their third and final win of the match at 285 pounds as Devin Gotchall pinned Brumble.
The Central Oregon Officials Tournament is historically a bracketed tournament, but due to COVID restrictions, it was changed to a dual meet format, each school wrestling two other opponents.
Against Bend, the Cowboys gave up a forfeit at 106 pounds, then Crook County wrestlers either earned pins or forfeit wins in the remaining 13 matches as the Cowboys rolled to the easy victories.
First, Mason Lacey pinned Carmelo Farfaglia, then Warren pinned William Pence, before Ware and Bonner both picked up forfeit victories.
Cash Wells then earned a fall at 138 pounds, Martin pinned Kellen Murphy, and Buffington picked up another forfeit victory.
At 160, Vail pinned Ivan Ponce. At 170, Hanson pinned Nolan Knapp, before Duke pinned McKay Dennis at 182 pounds. Sather, Hilderbrand and Brumble then won by forfeit.
The final match of the night started at 145 pounds, where Martin pinned North Medford's Jace Garibay. Buffington then pinned Jose Cortez at 152 pounds before Vail and Hanson won by forfeit.
At 182 pounds, Duke pinned Brett Rucker, then Sather picked up a forfeit win at 195 pounds. Jeremiah Jackson then earned North Medford's lone win of the night as he edged Hilderbrand 7-5 at 220 pounds.
Brumble then won by forfeit at 285 pounds. Neither team fielded a 106-pounder. Mason Lacey, Warren and Ware all picked up forfeit victories before Tucker Bonner won the 132-pound match with a pin of Evan Reyes. Wells then closed out the day with a forfeit victory at 138 pounds.
"There is always room for improvement," Smith said. "But we are off to a good start."
The Cowboys host Pendleton, Hood River Valley and The Dalles on Wednesday, with wrestling scheduled to begin at 4 p.m.
Crook County then travels to Redmond on Saturday where they will take part in the Friday Night Light's wrestling tournament, which is scheduled to be held on the Redmond High School football field, weather permitting. Wrestling is scheduled to begin at 5:30 p.m.
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