Culver Bulldogs wrestling squad returns from Reser's tournament, lose to Cowboys in home dual Jan. 28.

STEELE HAUGEN - Brody Piercy wrestles against his Crook County challenger Jan. 28.

The Bulldogs returned for the Reser Tournament of Champions Jan. 25-26. Culver was not at full strength as Lane Downing (145) and Isaiah Toomey (170) did not compete at the tournament.

Twenty-six teams from all different classifications competed at the elite tournament, and the Bulldogs scored 21 team points, placing 25th.

Debren Sanabria (106) lost his first match by fall but bounced back to beat Estella Gutches, of North Medford, in one minute and beat Christian Martinez, of Roseburg, in a close 4-3 decision. Sanabria lost his next match by fall, going 2-2 at the tournament.

Anthony Hood (138) lost his first match in a sudden victory loss, but beat his next challenger by fall in 4:21. Hood beat Cole Isaacson, of La Grande, in a close 2-0 decision and lost to Hunter Harwood, of Thurston, by fall at the 1:46 mark.

Senior Hunter Augustynovich (152) won his first match over Christian Ketchem, of Redmond, in a 7-3 decision, and bested Noah Brooks, of Tualatin, in a 12-7 decision. He lost his next two matches of the tournament to go 2-2 at the tournament.

Brody Piercy (113), Noel Navarro (120), and Braeden Chapman (132), went 1-2 at the Reser Tournament of Champions, while Derek Torres (126), Wyatt Corwin (160), and Eduardo Penaloza (195) went 0-2.

"It is kind of the way things go," head coach J.D. Alley said. "Sometimes those bigger tournaments like that depend on your draw, how you felt that day. Anthony (Hood) lost that overtime match or he would have been in the quarterfinals, which would have gotten him farther down the path. We got some good stuff out of the JV team, saw some good wrestlings. Survived the week without too many more injuries and that is a major concern for coaches, especially this year, since the tournament was a week later than normal."

Cowdog dual

The 2A Culver Bulldogs and the 5A Crook County Cowboys wrestling programs participated in the 10th annual Cowdog Classic in Culver Jan. 28.

The Bulldogs did not have several key wrestlers compete in the Cowdog Classic, such as state champion Lane Downing (145) and standout Isaiah Toomey (170). Crook County was able to beat all of the Bulldog wrestlers except Anthony Hood (138), who won a 14-1 majority decision.

Hood took an early 2-1 lead after the first round and scored a reversal and a near fall, taking a 10-1 lead at the end of the second round. Hood again scored a takedown and near fall in the finals round to beat Crook County's Mason Clark 14-1.

Sanabria (106), Jaimes (126), Chapman (132), Wilson (145), Mathews (152), Nicolas Navarro (170), Johnson (220) and Derek McKern (285) were all pinned by their Cowboy challengers.

Piercy (113), Noel Navarro (120), Augustynovich (160), and Penaloza (195) all lost by major decision. Crook County also won the 182-pound match by forfeit to beat the shorthanded Bulldogs 70-4.

"The whole week wasn't probably our best week as far as successes," Alley said. "Crook County knocked the mudhole out of us and we were short-handed there, missing three kids with some eligibility issues and injuries. "We did come away with some positives from Reser and the Crook County dual and hopefully we can get back on track."

"Tough week to be a Bulldog, but that is how you find out who you are and where you need to be," said Alley. "I think for most of us, it was still a positive experience. It keeps us grounded and it has been that kind of season for us. Either we stomped the mudhole out of somebody or got the mudhole stomped out of us. Sometimes that is why the season goes with certain matchups."

Before the dual started, the Culver wrestling program celebrated senior night for seniors Lane Downing, Hunter Augustynovich, and Johan Jaimes, as well as longtime manager Janae Rhen.

"I wish it could have been a more positive note for those seniors on senior night, but it is always a special night for me," Alley said. "I always want to hear what the kids have to say and we get to formally recognize them and their parents. Those kids have been through a lot. There were times, they weren't sure if they wanted to be wrestlers. We always talk about how some days you are the windshield and some days you are the bug. What is up to the kids is how they respond to that, mature and grow."

"I think all of those kids have matured tremendously," he said. "Lane (Downing) has had a fair amount of success, but he hasn't always been the most mature kid and he has really matured into a leadership role for us. We can say that about Johan (Jaimes) and Hunter (Augustynovich) the same way. I have really liked the way those kids have matured, whether they offered to help with a not-so-fun task or moving mats, being a leader, doing the right things they need to as seniors. I think they have all done that and I hope their season ends the very best they can.

"That is measured in different ways with different people," said Alley. "Johan has never made it to the state tournament and he has been wrestling well. Hopefully he can make it. Maybe he can make the podium at state. He would be tremendously proud of that. Lane has to bounce back from his injury and repeat for a title defense. Hunter left the state tournament last year a little hungry."

Downing is a 2019 Culver state champion and Augustynovich was a runner-up for the Bulldogs.

The Culver Bulldogs have a bit of a break before heading to Union High School for their district tournament. The district tournament will be Feb. 14-15, starting at 2 p.m. Feb. 14 and 10 a.m. Feb. 15. The state wrestling tournament is at the Moda Center in Portland Feb. 28-29.

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