Indians wrestling banners celebrate state championship legacy
In the southwest corner of Scappoose High School's gym hang five new banners that celebrate Indians wrestling's 29 state champions and all of its placers since 1956.
The lower half of the fifth banner awaits new entries after current senior Tyler Cooper came up second at 113 pounds and then-senior Braxton Sue reached third at 132 last year at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland.
"The banners are something our coaching staff has wanted to get done for a long time," said Indians coach Nick Byrd, who was an assistant wrestling coach for four years before he took over as head coach when Jim Jones became principal in 2015. "It has been a combined effort to get the names compiled, the layout created and the banners made. Adam Conard [an assistant wrestling coach] played the most integral part in getting this project done."
The Tribe has won 29 individual championships and two team titles (Class AA in 1974 and Class 4A in 2010) since 1956, and only Scappoose track and field (19 combined state championships) can compare.
Ernie Johnson (191) was Scappoose's first state wrestling champion in 1956, and Isaiah Goodrich (182) was the most recent in 2014.
Gregg Strobel (191 in 1968, 1969 and 1970) and Tom Lofland (115 in 1980, 1981 and 1982) both won three titles.
Tim Strobel (157 in 1973, 168 in 1974), Scott Ames (heavyweight in 1981, 191 in 1982), Sam Lofland (119 in 1997, 140 in 2000), Nic Garcia (112 in 2005, 119 in 2006), Ryland Geiger (189 in 2007 and 2008) and Seth Honl (125 in 2007, 130 in 2008) all won it all twice.
The Indians are scheduled to enter the Tigard Invitational at 9 a.m. on Saturday, and to hit the road for a 7 p.m. match on Wednesday, Jan. 25, at three-time Cowapa League champion Tillamook, back from ninth at state.
They will also host Gladstone at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 26, and travel to the Cowapa League Championships on Saturday, Feb. 4, in Seaside.
The District 1 Championships are set for 10 a.m. Feb. 10-11, from which the top three finishers reach the state tournament set for Feb. 24-25 at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland.
The Indians are back from a 14th-place state tie with Marshfield (Coos Bay) and can reach the tournament for the 23rd year in a row.
"I have already heard a lot of feedback from current and past wrestlers and families about their excitement to see those up there," Byrd said. "It really is something they can take pride in, and it keeps their connection to the Scappoose wrestling community."