Bulldogs rack up 430 points, win 11 weight classes in romp

To say the Culver High School wrestling team dominated the Special District 2 preview meet Saturday would be selling the Bulldogs short.

Culver obliterated the field at Cental Linn High School in Halsey, scoring an eye-popping 430 points in a tournament title-winning performance. The host Cobras placed second with 170 points, followed by Santiam with 119.

The Bulldogs won 11 of the 14 weight classes, and finished both first and second in five. While Culver head coach J.D. Alley expected to win the meet, which is used to help seed the upcoming district championship (which begins Friday in Culver), he didn’t think it would be as emphatic of a win as it was.

“To a certain extent, we expected to do well,” Alley said. “There were some good matches for us, and we were finally able to scatter out our state champs a little bit.”

Of all the matches, Alley said the match of the tournament for his team was the 152-pound title match between Culver’s Levi Vincent and Central Linn’s Josue Avilez.

Vincent, who Alley said has been on a rampage since his outstanding performance at the Oregon Wrestling Classic, beat the reigning state runner-up by a 4-2 decision. During last year’s district tournament, Avilez beat Vincent “soundly,” Alley said.

“Levi gained another level of confidence after what he did at the (Oregon Wrestling) Classic,” Alley said. “It was a good, fun match.”

There is a chance there won’t be a rematch between the two at districts, however. After the match, Avilez was penalized with two unsportsmanlike conducts after the match was over, but was not ejected from the tournament at the time, Alley said. On Sunday, the referees made the decision to retroactively eject Avilez, which would cause him to be suspended for districts.

Central Linn is currently appealing the ruling by the officials, but if the appeals board doesn’t grant the appeal, there will be no Avilez for the Cobras in Culver this weekend.

“I imagine the OSAA will grant the appeal, but there’s still a big timing issue with that,” Alley said. “I haven’t seen something like this in 24 years of coaching.”

The quick turnaround from Saturday’s tournament to Monday’s district seeding meeting will force a quick decision by the appeals board, and Alley said he doesn’t know how that element will cause the situation to play out.

Along with Vincent’s tournament title, there were 10 more Bulldogs with that distinction. Chris Munoz (106 pounds), Marco Retano (113), Seth Abbas (120), Saxton Schaffner (126), Bolt Anglen (132), Tucker Davis (138), Clay McClure (145), Kyle Easterly (170), Isaias Gutierrez (182) and Josh Hendrix (285) all won their weight classes.

Finishing second for the Bulldogs were Alejandro Terrazas (106), Eric Knudson (113), Jon Krueger (132), Brandon Hawes (138), Kyle Bender (145), Estaban Gutierrez (170) and Mitch Adams (195).

If this was the actual district tournament, all champions and runners-up would qualify for state. However, the state spots are up for grabs this weekend in Culver, and Alley said little should change regarding entrants.

“There might be a dozen or so more entrants, but I don’t think nothing major is going to change,” Alley said. “If we wrestle with a level of consistency, we could end up doing something similar at districts.”

The district championships will run through Saturday evening at Culver High School. The top two wrestlers at each weight class will advance to the state championships, Feb. 28-March 1, at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland.

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