All Newberg, all the time. That's what the OSAA 6A Boys State Wrestling Championships turned into this past Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 26-27, at Sandy High School.
The Tigers ran away with the team title, boasting six individual champions, five runners-up, and two thirds en route to an astounding 418 points—nearly 200 points clear of second place Sprague. The 418 points was a meet record and broke the previous mark set by Crook County, which scored 405.5 points in the 4A state tournament in 2014.
Sprague finished with 220.5 points, while Roseburg and West Linn tied for third (163), and Mountain View rounded-out the top-5 with 135.5.
Locally, Westview (59) was the highest finisher, placing 13th, while Tigard (57) was 14th, Century (50) 15th, Tualatin (49) 16th, Aloha (46.5) 19th, Mountainside (42) 22nd, Sherwood (37.5) 24th, Liberty (31) 25th, and Southridge (29) 26th.
The Westside claimed no individual champions, but they weren't lacking for impressive finishers.
The Metro League boasted five state placers, with Mountainside freshman Brody Lybarger finishing fourth in the 106-pound weight division, Westview's Elliot Mauck placing fifth at 120-pounds, Southridge's Andy Melz (138) and Fransisco Endi (152) each placing sixth, and Aloha's T.J. Turner earning third at 120-pounds.
Turner was seeded third to start the bracket and defeated Tualatin's Damey Motellang, Sandy's Kayden Keller, and Ida B. Wells' Oscar Doces before losing to Newberg's Ethan Ritchie in the semifinals. The Warriors senior bounced-back to defeat Newberg's Jacob Smith in the third place match by an 11-5 decision.
Turner was a bit disappointed in leaving without a state title, but was at the same time proud of what he accomplished both this year and during his time at Aloha.
"All year long my goal was to win a state championship and go down as one of the best wrestlers ever at Aloha," Turner said. "I fell a little short, but I did better than last year and I felt good out there."
The Pacific Conference—in addition to Newberg—put eight wrestlers on the podium, including McMinnville's Chris Dillworth who placed second at 126-pounds; Sherwood's Seth Glenn who was fourth (160); Century's Ethan Wedel who earned fifth (170); Sherwood's Seth Everhart who placed sixth (170); Century's Tyler Sagapolu who placed sixth (195); Liberty's Dakota Bass who placed fourth (285); Glencoe's Spencer Krussman who placed fifth; and Century's William Musser who placed third at 160-pounds.
Musser—a senior—lost to McKay's Jesse Rubio in the championship's second round but went on to win six matches in its wake to earn third. The Jaguars veteran said despite the disappointment of his early defeat, added that it was important to stay focused in order to move forward—something he said he's learned in his time at Century.
"It's starts in practice," Musser said. "Our coaches tell us that we train the hardest in the state, and you have to always be ready to go. Some people want to win, I need to win."
Musser's third-place win came over Sherwood's Seth Glenn who defeated him last week at districts. The Century grappler said that part of his motivation coming into the tournament came from wanting to defeat those who'd beaten him in the past. He added that he learned a lot in his defeat to Glenn a week prior and used what he'd learned to forge through the consolation bracket.
"Last week when I lost my first match I wasn't ready for it and I got my butt kicked," he said. "This week I was ready to go."
Tigard and Tualatin boasted four state-placers with the Tigers' Chase Dennis (152) placing fourth, while Atticus Waddell (113) and Cade McCallister (132) were fifth respectively. Tualatin's Jesse Gutierrez earned sixth at 145-pounds.
At the 5A event Feb. 26 at Ridgeview High School in Redmond, Crescent Valley (241) walked away with the team title, with Crook County (210.5) finishing second, Thurston (208.5) third, Redmond (152) fourth, and Dallas (119) fifth.
Hillsboro High School (110) placed an impressive sixth in the team competition and boasted six state-placers, including junior Sebastian Echeverria (220) who was second; sophomores Skylar Salzman (138) and Preston Echeverria (170), along with senior Michael Ellis (152) who placed third; senior Darrius Walker (195) who was fourth; and Junior Jaden Echeverria (182) who was fifth.
St. Helens finished ninth in the team competition with four state-placers including Evan Willis (106) and Narcizo Garza (138) who were fifth; and Gavin Schaer (120) and Malakie Gibney (152) who were sixth.
Scappoose was 11th and was led by junior Anthony Comer's second place finish at 126-pounds, while Benjamin Rintoul (160) placed third, and Trey Dieringer (170) was fourth.
At the 4A event Feb. 26 at Cascade High School in Turner, La Grande won the team competition with 275.5 points, with Sweet Home (250.5), Tillamook (187), Philomath (118) and Baker/Powder Valley (100) rounding-out the top-5.
Banks (81) finished a solid eighth in the competition, and head coach Dan Herb said he was mostly pleased with how things turned out.
"We wrestled pretty well," Herb said. "Won some big matches and lost some heart breakers…about what you expect at the state tournament."
The Braves were led by Daveon Vereen (182) and Dylan Smith's (132) second place finishes, and were followed by the sixth place finishes of sophomore Mishael Mauck (220) and freshman Luke Bigsby (285).
Herb said he was proud of all of his guys, but said he was particularly proud of Smith, who finished his career as a three-time state placer and two-time runner-up.
"Very proud of Dylan," the coach said. "He lost to a kid who was a four-time state champ in the finals and that's nothing to be ashamed of. His semifinal win over La Grande's Brysen Penaloza was the best match he's ever wrestled."
Herb added that with three of his four placers returning, along with some promising kids coming into the program next year, things are continuing to look up for Braves wrestling.
"The future is bright," he said. "We won the middle school regional title, and while we lose some good seniors, we expect to replace them and next season take home a state trophy."
6A State Champions
106—Gage Singleton, Roseburg
113—Isaac Hampton, Newberg
120—Brayden Boyd, Sprague
126—Zachary Keinonen, Newberg
132—Nash Singleton, Roseburg
138—Drew Jones, Mountain View
145—Ayden Garver, Newberg
152—Charlie Evans, Newberg
160—Price Pothier, Newberg
170—Riley Davis, Sprague
182—Brook Byers, Sprague
195—Hudson Davis, Newberg
220—David Sherman, Sprague
285—Cole Steketee, Sprague
5A State Champions
106—Everest Sutton, Crescent Valley
113—Elijah Bayne, Crater
120—Tucker Bonner, Crook County
126—Gabe Whisenhunt, Crescent Valley
132—D.J. Gillett, Crescent Valley
138—Kolton Malone, Thurston
145—Junior Downing, Redmond
152—Hunter Harwood, Thurston
160—Dylan Lee, Redmond
170—Daschle Lamer, Crescent Valley
182—James Rowley, Crescent Valley
195—Hayden Walters, Crescent Valley
220—Vaun Halstead, Thurston
285—Riley Godek, Crescent Valley
4A State Champions
106—Kyle Sieminski, Sweet Home
113—Jacob Landtroop, Sweet Home
120—Kai Carson, La Grande
126—Jacob Sieminski, Sweet Home
132—Mauro Michel, Stayton
138—Joshua Collins, La Grande
145—Braden Carson, La Grande
152—Ruben Hernandez, Ontario
160—Carson Henderson, Junction City
170—Emmett Henderson, Junction City
182—Lance VanHoose, Cascade
195—Miguel Velazquez, Marshfield
220—Colby Gazeley, Sweet Home
285—Jaden Martin, Baker/Powder Valley
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