Gohlmann, St. Helens wrestling battles with Scappoose
The dagger Blake Gohlmann stared into the Scappoose coaching corner was premediated, personal and frankly, fitting for a rivalry with no love lost.
Gohlmann already possessed a good bit of disdain toward the Indians. As a St. Helens wrestler growing up just seven miles away from Scappoose, that's natural. But that contempt was deeper than surface level and only grew when his counterpart, Scappoose's Mason Mortensen, tried to turn their match into an MMA bout with two illegal pick-up-and-slams in the first two periods.
So, already perturbed and eager to prove a point, Gohlmann pounced Mortensen with a third period takedown and worked the Indian into an unmovable position as the referee lowered himself to the mat to begin the fall count. As the referee tallied out the last few seconds of Mortensen's demise with his left hand, Gohlmann turned his wild eyes toward the two Indian coaches sitting in the metal chairs in the left corner of the mat and glared at them with so much as a blink. When the referee slapped the floor to signal the fall, Gohlmann slowly rose to his feet without breaking eye contact with the two amused Indian gurus and coldly turned his attention back to the center of the mat for his arm-raising coronation.
Did St. Helens wrestle its best as a team against Scappoose? Probably not. The Indians had their way with the Lions, racking up nine total pins and a major decision en route to a 61-14 win at St. Helens High School on February 6. Gohlmann's pin accounted for almost half of St. Helens' team points. Gohlmann and Gavin Schaer were the only Lions to find the win column. Yet Gohlmann's eyebrow-raising victory was a sort of shot across the bow at St. Helens' archenemy. The Lions might get beat, but there was no way in hell they'd be punked.
"The Scappoose coaches like to make it seem like we're a terrible team and they're better than us, so I just wanted to flex on 'em real quick, show 'em who's boss, that they're not going to win everything," Gohlmann said. "They're not the best team ever. (The Indian coaches) were a little pissed off that I boasted so much, but I was like 'Whatever, dude. I don't care.' Their kid threw me on my head, which is illegal, so it was his fault."
When Mortensen tried to turn the match into entertainment style wrestling by picking up Gohlmann and dumping the St. Helens grappler on his dome not once but twice, it lit the Lion up. Gohlmann slammed an armbar on his Indian rival, put him in a Half Nelson and ran with it.
"It made me fight more, gave me my energy back," Gohlmann said of the snafus. "That second time I said 'This is it. He's doing this on purpose. It's time to kick it into gear. I'm getting him. I'm pinning him'. It made me mad. I was getting more pumped up and less tired the more (Mortensen) did it. I wasn't about to lose it. I wasn't going to let him go."
Not bad for a competitor who is only 108 pounds but wrestled up a weight class against Scappoose and was outweighed by about 16 pounds. Schaer (106) pounds won by fall over Nest Bastian-Galindo and Tristin Buchanan won by decision over Wyatt Annicker. Scappoose clinched the Northwest Oregon Conference regular season championship, but Gohlmann made sure the Indians didn't go home feeling fully dominant.
"Scappoose likes to come in hot, talk trash on our name, so I had to give it to 'em," Gohlmann said. "I saw a lot of heart from our team. Everybody tried their hardest no matter what. I saw a lot of people fight off their back a ton of times. I was definitely happy about that, I didn't care if they got pinned."
Admittedly, the Lions weren't at their optimal best against Scappoose. Star sophomore Narcizo Garza didn't suit up. State qualifiers with district championship pedigrees were upset by Indian underdogs. Scappoose, in just its second year at the Class 5A level, looked the part of a top-five placer at the state level. But the Lions are a program built for the postseason. They're deep in numbers to go along with stars who can win NWOC titles in their respective weight classes. Headliners mixed with wells of depth oftentimes equates to district tournament success. St. Helens certainly hopes so as it travels to Wilsonville High on Friday and Saturday for the NWOC district tourney.
"I feel like we can make it in the top-three of districts for sure," Gohlmann said. "We have a great team. A lot of us were pretty tired today, so we weren't 100 percent. But when we get to districts, we're going to bring it to everyone. We're going to be there ready to go. Everything leads up to districts. We don't really care about dual meets at all. It's a dual meet loss, it doesn't matter at all. You can win at districts."
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