It doesn't get much better than this.
Century's Brody Reese, the local contingent's lone finalist, won the heavyweight division at the Reser's Tournament of Champions Saturday, Feb. 1, at Liberty High School, and in the process fulfilled a lifelong dream: earning the "eagle" and the champions jacket that goes to every weight class winner.
"I'm wearing it right now," Reese said Sunday after the match. "I'm pumped."
The junior wasted little time advancing, defeating his first three opponents in a combined 64 seconds before facing off with Dallas' Ashten Brecht in the final. The two had already met three times prior to last Saturday, with Brecht winning the first and Reese taking the last two — so with a sense of familiarity, the Jaguar behemoth was confident leading up to the match.
"I know he likes to collar tie, so I just tried to stay out of that and go into my over/under," he said, "which I'm pretty dominant in."
Reese took Brecht down almost immediately to start the match, got a lead and then forced his opponent to play catch-up the remainder of the way, something he was never able to do. As a result of the win, the son of former wrestler and wrestling coach Adam Reese was able to fulfill a dream he's been chasing since he used to attend the event as a five-year-old.
"I've been watching that tournament as long as I can remember," Reese said. "I've always dreamed about winning it one day, and winning it for my dad, which means a lot to me."
Now, with the win secured, Reese said he's more confident than ever going forward toward districts and state.
"This is the toughest high school tournament around here by far, and I pretty much dominated all my matches," he said. "This is a huge confidence booster for me."
In addition to Reese, Century's Va`atausili Tofaeono placed sixth in the 220 pound weight division, while Hillsboro's Trevor Schubmehl was third at 220 pounds and his teammate Tristin Keffer placed fifth at 126 pounds.
Crescent Valley ran away with the team competition, tallying 289 points. La Grande was second (174.5), Roseburg third (164.5) and Newberg fourth (156.5). Century placed 14th (69) among the 26 competing teams, while Hillsboro was 15th (57.5) and Liberty was 26th (15.5).
Crescent Valley's Santos Cantu III won his fourth Reser's championship with his victory at 195 pounds. He's thought to be just the third four-time champion in the event's 20-year history.
Forest Grove 36, Glencoe 33
In a season that's lacked a significant number of positive results, Forest Grove's wrestling team notched a dual victory over Glencoe, 36-33, on Thursday, Jan. 30, at Glencoe High School.
"We wrestled well and are getting better," Vikings head coach Guy Takahashi said. "We're being more physical and aggressive."
Forest Grove got individual wins in seven different matches, four of which were by fall. One of those winners was Gavin Rice, who continued his strong season with a 10-3 decision over the Tide's Ben Sorenson in the 182-pound weight division.
"Gavin Rice has been really doing an outstanding job of wrestling and leading the team," Takahashi said. "He is an aggressive, physical wrestler that loves to compete with the toughest. So he will go up or down weight classes to find the best matches."
The win over Glencoe was a bright light in an otherwise difficult season for the first-year coach, but Takahashi said he's excited about what lies ahead for a group of young kids that are learning on the job.
"My biggest concern is learning to compete in everything we do," the coach said. "Win or lose, we learn to compete in every situation and mental situations. So as the year progresses, we are definitely competing and learning from our mistakes.
"With that being said, I am pleased with our progress and we will continue to push forward. I have told this team many times that this year is our learning year and after the state tournament, we will actually start preparing for a wrestling season."
Forest Grove winners included: Bryce Perdew (106), Logan Brenner (120), Matix Cooklin (126), Jose Diaz (132), Lewis Gray (145), Gavin Rice (182) and Jeffrey Falla (195).
Glencoe winners included: Hunter Nakamoto (113), Adrian Archer (138), Sutton Yazzolino (152), Olivia Robinson (160), Bryce Archer (170), Spencer Krussman (220) and Jesiah Keiser (285).
Century 51, Liberty 17
The Jags fell behind early, 11-9, but took a 15-11 lead after William Musser pinned Liberty's Christian Ochoa in the 138-pound weight division, then never looked back.
Century won six of the next eight matches, all by fall (one injury time) en route to the comfortable Pacific Conference dual win.
In victory, the Jaguars got wins from Abiu Diaz (106), Jerry Vidad (113), Musser (138), Ernesto Alvarez (152), Jackson Wang (160), Brazton Molen (170), Cayden Palmeri 182), Va`atausili Tofaeono (220) and Brody Reese (285).
Liberty winners included: Oscar Romeo (120), Tanner Santesson (126), Bryce Wunderly (132), David Ponce (145) and Dakota Jensen (195).
Hillsboro 64, Putnam 3
The Spartans continued to run roughshod over their NWOC competition, dominating the Kingsmen en route to a 64-3 win.
Putnam's Kevin Villa (195) was the only Kingsmen winner, while the Sparts got wins from Osman Camposeco (106), Hawley Gilbert (113), Joshua Smith (120), Damon Chavez (126), Brendin Le (132), Tristin Keffer (138), Michael Ellis (145), Jackson Godsey (152), Scott Ellis (160), Sean Ellis (170), Sebastian Echeverria (182) and Trevor Schubmehl (220).
Banks wins one of three duals
The Braves participated in a three-way dual Wednesday, Jan. 29, at Woodburn High School, then hosted state power Sweet Home Thursday, Jan. 30, at Banks High School.
Banks was able to earn a 45-33 win over Estacada, getting points from Hunter Smith, Dylan Smith, Luke Bozied, Tyler Smith, Joshua Hanlon, Rephael Mauck, Daevan Vereen and Ramsey Hering. Meanwhile, the Braves dropped their dual with Woodburn, 56-18, getting points from Hunter and Dylan Smith, Johnathan Dudley and Mauck.
A day later, No. 2-ranked Sweet Home lost just three matches en route to a 61-18 win over Banks. The Braves' three winners included Jakub Hannon (120), Luke Bozied (132) and James Ellis (220).
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