Another wrestling tournament, another set of wins for Reece and Cael White.
This time, they were taking home titles from the Rollin Schimmel Memorial Wrestling Tournament, which was held at the Pendleton Convention Center on Wednesday, Dec. 22.
Madras finished in third place at the event with 151.5 points, narrowly edging out hosts Pendleton. The Buckaroos finished with 150.5 points to take fourth. The joint team from Baker/Powder Valley dominated with a total of 252 points to win the tournament, with Burns' 184 points being good for second place. In all, 16 schools took part in the tournament.
Madras senior Reece White continued his undefeated start to the season by pinning all four of his opponents at the event. Only one of those bouts lasted past the first round, with White pinning Adrian Allen of the joint Baker/Powder Valley team after just 33 seconds in the 182-pound final.
White, who placed second at the unofficial 4A state championship held by the Oregon Wrestling Association, has now won 11 consecutive bouts to start the season. He appears to be right on track to get back to the podium at the 2022 state championship.
Elsewhere on the mats for Madras, juniors Cael White and Brady David ran into each other in the 160-pound bracket for the second straight week. And for the second straight week, Cael White prevailed — this time, in the final round of the championship bracket.
The pair wrestled at different weight classes during the Culver Invitational, with White going at 170 pounds and David at 160. David, who wrestled at 195 in the state tournament this past spring and took third at 170 in the Buffs' season opener in Sisters, topped the 160-pound bracket in Culver. White, meanwhile, was pinned in the 170 semifinals.
In the past two events, however, they have both weighed in at 160.
More important than who won between White and David is the fact that Madras has taken first at 160 pounds in each of the last three tournaments. Through the first month of the season, White's record stands at 11-1. Meanwhile, David's 16-3 record is another gold star on Madras' team sheet.
With both of these wrestlers performing at such a high level, the White Buffalos could up their odds of placing in the 160-pound bracket at the state tournament this year. (That is, of course, either one of the pair switches weight classes again.)
As impressive as these three individuals have been so far, the entire Buffs team is showing progress.
At the Schimmel Memorial tournament, two Buffs took fifth place. Isaiah Martinez bounced back from a loss in the quarterfinals to win two consolation matches in the 170-pound weight class. Over in the 220-pound division, Conner Comingore took the same path, winning twice after taking a defeat in his first bout. Comingore finished in second place last week at the Adrian Irwin Invitational, while Martinez was fifth.
Further down the list, Jake Lawrence and Collin Switzler each placed sixth at the Schimmel Memorial. Lawrence finished with a 1-2 record in the 113-pound bracket, while teammate Michael Young won his consolation bout and placed ninth in the division. Switzler also went 1-2, falling by a narrow 6-3 decision in the fifth-place match at 220 pounds.
Malacai Alire won three matches at 138 pounds, but only placed ninth after being knocked out of the championship bracket in the first round.
Other Buffs to win multiple matches included: Chase Strawbridge, 126 pounds; Raider Poppe, 152 pounds; and Chris Gandy, 285 pounds. Each of those wrestlers won two matches in Pendleton.
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