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Crook County High School Cowboys take third at the makeshift state tournament

LON AUSTIN - Cash Wells won the 132-pound state 5A title Saturday at Cottage Grove. Wells was the lone Cowboy to win a state title but seven others placed as the team finished third overall. Crescent Valley dominated the team competition in the Cottage Grove gymnasium, where temperatures reached 100 degrees.

In a year when most Oregon high school sports teams were unable to hold state tournaments, it was business as usual for the wrestling community.

With the OSAA choosing to not sponsor any state tournaments, the Oregon Wrestling Association stepped up and ran a state tournament at five different sites this past weekend.

"That's what's cool about wrestling is we've got this other governing body," said Crook County head coach Jake Gonzales about having a state tournament. "USA wrestling and the Oregon Wrestling Association, for them to step up and do it, a big shout out to then. (Coaches from Thurston, Sweet Home, Newberg and Culver were much of the driving force to make a state tournament happen for all classifications.) It's horrible that OSAA would do that, for basketball, not to have a state tournament, it's horrible, I don't understand it, but I'm just lucky that with wrestling the OWA said, no we are going to have a wrestling tournament. We did and it was great."

Things started off on Thursday in Cottage Grove with the girls state tournament, which was won by Thurston. Friday saw the Class 6A tournament begin at Newberg, the Class 5A tournament at Cottage Grove and the Class 3A tournament at Ridgeview. On Saturday, all four of those tournaments continued along with the start of the Class 1A/2A tournament at Sweet Home.

Although all five tournaments went off without any major hitches, that doesn't mean that putting on wrestling tournaments in late June is easy.

With no air conditioning in Cottage Grove, and unseasonably hot weather, temperatures in the Cottage Grove gymnasium reached 100 degrees on Saturday.

Heading into the Class 5A tournament, Crescent Valley was the prohibitive favorite, and they lived up to their billing as they rolled past the competition, amassing 364.5 points. Thurston was a distant second with 196.5 points, while Crook County finished third with 182.5 points. Redmond walked away with fourth place with 118 points.

The Cowboys had their chances to finish in second, but things did not exactly go their way on Saturday.

"I think the team worked really well," Gonzales said. "18 guys won matches out of 19. We knew it was going to be a tight race for second and I think Thurston just had the better quarterfinal round — they put eight in the semis and we put five in the semis and I think that kind of was the deciding factor. They had nine placers. We had nine placers. They had one state champ and we had one state champ."

Crook County's state champion was sophomore Cash Wells, who earned his title at 132 pounds, knocking off number one seed Elijah Southern of Thurston in the semifinals and number two seed Narcio Garza of St. Helens in the finals.

"That was the best I've seen Cash wrestle," Gonzales said. "He stuck with the game plan. He was solid and he wrestled really well."

However, that does not tell the entire story. Things did not go Crook County's way in the semifinals.

At 132 pounds, Crook County senior Trevor Martin, who defeated Wells at district, was leading 6-2 over Garza of St. Helens when Martin tore ligaments in his ankle. Martin tried to continue and still led 6-5 late in the second round when he was finally forced to withdraw.

"More than anything, it hurt him because it was his senior year and he has been injured last year," Gonzalez said. "It hurts. It's a crappy way to end your senior season. That affects the team points. I don't know if it would have beaten Thurston, but it hurt. But it is what it is."

Then, at 152 pounds, Crescent Valley's Austin Dalton was initially given a first round pin of Hunter Harwood of Thurston. After a lengthy discussion at the scorer's table, the pin was overturned and Harwood came back to pin Dalton late in the third period. That gave Thurston an additional 13 points in the round.

Finishing second for the Cowboys was Tucker Bonner, who lost to D.J. Gillett of Crescent Valley in the finals. Gillett was one of 10 individual champions for Crescent Valley.

"I think that the team did pretty well," Bonner said. "Everybody wrestled to the best of their capabilities. I'm proud of the younger guys because they won a lot of matches and scored points for the team. You know that's obviously not the best feeling in the world (getting beaten in the finals), but I am pretty satisfied with the way I wrestled because I beat a few kids I've never beat before and I feel like I wrestled the best I could."

Other Crook County placers included Mitch Warren, third at 113 pounds, Steven Ware, third at 126 pounds, Martin, sixth at 132 pounds, Wyatt Wood, fourth at 138 pounds, Alex Vail, sith at 160 pounds, Ray Soliz, third at 185 pounds and Ben Sather, fourth at 180 pounds.

Gonzales noted that all of Crook County's placers wrestled well during the course of the tournament.

The situation at 185 pounds was especially interesting. Sather defeated Soliz in the district tournament. Then defeated him again in the state quarterfinals. However, Sather lost in the semifinals and the two wrestlers eventually met up again in the third and fourth place match with Soliz getting a late pin to win the match.

Other Cowboys to win matches included Jackson Wainwright, who went 1-2 at 106 pounds; Mason Lacey, 1-2 at 113 pounds; Robert Lacey, 2-2 at 120 pounds; Garrett Cobb, 1-2 at 138 pounds; Collier Buffington, 1-2 at 145 pounds; Ross McKinney, 1-2 at 145 pounds, Brayden Duke, 1-2 at 170 pounds; and Gage Hanson, 1-2, also at 170 pounds. Hayden Hilderbrand also competed at the tournament going 0-2, dropping his first match in overtime and his second by a 3-0 decision.

Crescent Valley's individual champions included Everest Sutton, 106, Gillett, 120, Gabe Wisenhunt, 126, Hunter Eveland, 138, Chance Lamer, 145, Daschle Lamer, 152, Jackson Rosado, 170, James Rowley, 185, Hayden Walters, 195, and Riley Godek, 285.

Other state champions included Tygren Lopez of Eagle Point at 113 pounds, Manuel Monroy of Thurston at 160 pounds, and Austin Carter of Redmond at 220 pounds.

Newberg ran away with the Class 6A tournament, Sweet Home took the Class 4A event, La Pine came away with first in the 3A tournament, and Culver won the 1A/2A event.

"With COVID, it's been a tough year," Gonzales said. "But you know, at least the kids got an opportunity to wrestle. We had some kids that left (the program) early and I think we missed them, but you have to worry about the kids that are there. I'm glad for my seniors stuck it out. We wrestled good and I'm proud. I'm glad we got to have a season and we are going to continue to get better. So, go Cowboys."

Oregon Wrestling Association Class 5A Wrestling State Championships

at Cottage Grove

Team scores – 1. Crescent Valley, 365.4. 2. Thurston, 196.5. 3. Crook County, 182.5. 4. Redmond, 118. 5. Crater, 110. 6. Scappoose, 99. 7. St. Helens, 90. 8. Eagle Point, 70. 9. Pendleton, 65.5. 10. West Albany, 64.5. 11. Ridgeview, 56. 11. Silverton, 56. 13. Hillsboro, 54. 14. Lebanon, 47.5. 15. North Bend, 32. 16. Hood River Valley, 30. 17. North Salem, 27. 18. Willamette, 25. 19. Central, 23. 19. Wilsonville, 23. 21. Dallas, 15. 22. Putnam, 8. 23. Ashland, 7. 24. Milwaukie, 6. 25. South Albany, 3. 25. The Dalles, 3. 27. Parkrose, 2. 28. North Eugene, 1. 29. Springfield, 0.

Individual results

106 – 1. Everest Sutton, Crescent Valley. 2. Dawson Tremper, Pendleton. 3. Wyatt Dingman, St. Helens. 4. Marshall Duncan, West Albany. 5. Diego De La Cruz, Eagle Point. 6. Carson Jackson, Scappoose.

113 – 1. Tygren Lopez, Eagle Point. 2. Braylin Ruchti, Thurston. 3. Mitch Warren, Crook County. 3. Landon Carver, Lebanon. 5. Gavin Schaer, St. Helens. 6. Logan Hill, Redmond.

120 – 1. D.J. Gillett, Crescent Valley. 2. Tucker Bonner, Crook County. 3. Anthony Comer, Scappoose. 4. Julio Ramirez, North Salem. 5. Logan Basham, North Salem. 6. Ty Havniear, Crater.

126 – 1. Gabe Whisenhunt, Crescent Valley. 2. Kagen Lawrence, Redmond. 4. Steven Ware, Crook County. 4. Jose Romero, Dallas. 5. Jacob Moore, Silverton. 6. Gabe Browning, Pendleton.

132 – 1. Cash Wells, Crook County. 2. Narcizo Garza, St. Helens. 3. Derek Sossie, West Albany. 5. Carson Farlow, Hood River Valley. 5. Elijah Southern, Thurston. 6. Trevor Martin, Crook County.

138 – 1. Hunter Eveland, Crescent Valley. 2. Tristan Buchannan, St. Helens. 3. Junior Downing, Redmond. 4. Wyatt Wood, Crook County. 5. Logan Slonecker, Thurston. 6. Brayden Burton, Lebanon.

145 – 1. Chance Lamer, Crescent Valley. 2. Ethan Dunigan, Central 3. Kole Davis, Redmond. 4. Lack Lieuallen, Pendleton. 5. Mathew Bolanos, Crater. 6. Mario Settersten, Crescent Valley.

152 – Daschle Lamer, Crescent Valley. 2. Hunter Harwood, Thurston. 3. Daniel Jaramillo, Ridgeview. 5. Austin Dalton, Crescent Valley. 5. Brayden Gray, Crater. 6. Wyatt Anicker, Scappoose.

160 – 1. Manuel Monroy, Thurston. 2. Tyson Resko, Crescent Valley. 3. Kyle O'Neil, Eagle Point. 4. Ethyne Reid, Ridgeview. 5. Ben Rintoul, Scappoose. 6. Alex Vail, Crook County.

170 – 1. Jackson Rosado, Crescent Valley. 2. Kabb Christensen, Crater. 3. Adonai Peraza-Nava, Hillsboro. 4. Steven Powell, Silverton. 5. Trey Dieringer, Scappoose. 6. Varney Doreen, Thurston.

182 – 1. James Rowley, Crescent Valley. 2. Asher Ruchti, Thurston. 3. Ray Soliz, Crook County. 4. Ben Sather, Crook County. 4. Marshall Rodenbeck, Wilsonville. 6. Cutter Woodworth, North Bend.

195 – 1. Hayden Walters, Crescent Valley. 2. Bryce Indell, Willamette. 3. Deacon Smith, Scappoose. 4. Jaden Echeverria, Hillsboro. 5. Ethan VanHook, Crater. 6. Abraham Tinajero, Hood River Valley.

220 – 1. Austin Carter, Redmond. 2. Vaun Halstead, Thurston. 2. Konrad Hoyer, Crescent Valley. 3. Joseph Jordahl, Crater. 5. Isaac Urbina, Pendleton. 6. Sebastian Echeverria, Hillsboro.

285 – 1. Riley Godek, Crescent Valley. 2. Owen Magill, Silverton. 3. Cutter Sandstrom, Scappoose. 4. Brian Jenkins, Thurston. 5. Logan Shenk, Ridgeview. 6. Neal Walter, North Bend.

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