Last year, as a sophomore, Bryan Cuthbertson accomplished a lot for the Sherwood High School wrestling team.
Among those accomplishments, Cuthbertson reached the 220-pound championship match at the Class 6A state tournament.
But, one thing Cuthbertson didn't do as a Bowmen sophomore was to win a Pacific Conference district championship.
Well, now, Cuthbertson can now cross that goal off his list.
Cuthbertson, who placed third at last year's district event, continued his standout junior season by powering his way to the title in the 220-pound weight class at the Pacific Conference district wrestling tournament, held Friday and Saturday at Liberty High School in Hillsboro.
"It meant a lot, because it's step-by-step progression," Cuthbertson said of his district title. "You have your first match at district, then your next match at district, then the finals, if you get to finals, and then on to state. Compared to last year, it's nice. It's going from last year, from not winning any tournaments, to this year, winning most of the tournaments that I go to, including this tournament. Just placing higher than third, like I did last year, was a big accomplishment. I'm happy about it."
Up next for Cuthbertson, and another handful of Sherwood wrestlers, will be the Class 6A state tournament. The top three finishers in each weight class at the district tournament, as well as some fourth-place finishers who earn wild-card bids, will advance to the Class 6A state tourney, which will be held Feb. 28-29 at Portland's Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
Sherwood sophomore Ethan Ritchie, like Cuthbertson, will be going to the state tournament as a district champion, as he won the Pacific Conference crown at 106 pounds.
"It means lot," Ritchie said of the title. "I worked hard for it."
Cuthbertson, the No. 1 seed at 220 pounds for the Pacific Conference event, opened the tournament by pinning Century's Skyler DuBois in a time 3 minutes and 18 seconds in a first-round match. In the semifinals, Cuthbertson defeated Newberg's Jaden Bowes by fall in 1:12. That victory put Cuthbertson in his first-ever district title match, where he faced second-seeded Va'atausili Tafaeono of Century.
Cuthbertson took a quick 2-0 lead in the championship bout, getting a takedown 10 seconds into the first round. The score remained at 2-0 going into the second round. In that period, Tafaeono got an escape with 1:21 left in the round, making the score 2-1, but Cuthbertson responded with another takedown, upping the lead to 4-1 with 1:15 remaining in the period. Another Tafaeono escape, followed by another Cuthbertson takedown, left the Bowmen junior with a 6-2 lead going into the final period.
Cuthbertson opened the third round with a quick escape. He then got his fourth takedown of the bout, coming with 0:49 remaining in the match, to wrap up his 9-2 decision victory, and his first district title.
"It went pretty well," said Cuthbertson, who will take a 37-1 season record to the state tournament. "I knew, from watching film, what would work, and what wouldn't. So, I just knew what to do, and went out there and did it. I wrestled safe, but I wrestled with an edge, and came out on top."
Ritchie also was inspired to claim a district title this year, after placing second at 106 last year as a freshman.
"That was motivation," he said. "I wanted to win this year."
Ritchie, the No. 1 seed at 106, received a forfeit victory to open the district tournament. He then pinned McMinnville's Gavin Rosenberry in 14 seconds in the quarterfinals, and followed that up by pinning Newberg's Dylan James in 27 seconds in the semifinals. The two quick pins put Ritchie in the title match against second-seeded Sophia Redwine of Newberg.
The first round of the championship bout ended with the two grapplers tied at 2-2. Redwine opened the scoring in the second round with an escape, but Ritchie took over after that. The Sherwood sophomore had two takedowns, a 3-point nearfall and a reversal in the period, giving him a 13-7 lead going into the third round.
Ritchie then had another reversal and two more takedowns in the final period to secure a 19-10 major decision victory.
"It went pretty good," Ritchie said. "I might have had an asthma attack mid-match, but it worked out fine. The tournament was pretty fast. Other than the finals, I wrestled about 40 seconds. I was kind of tired, so I just wanted to end those early."
Sherwood junior Dallen Jolley, at 132 pounds, also reached the district tournament finals.
"I thought I wrestling pretty good, all the way up," Jolley said. "I thought I could have wrestled better in the finals, but it is what it is, and I've still got state. That's motivation for state."
Jolley, the No. 2 seed, received a first-round bye to start the tournament. He then pinned Liberty's Christian Ochoa in 2:45 in a quarterfinal match. In the semifinals, Jolley got a 6-5 tie-breaker decision win over Newberg's Gideon Cole. In the championship match, Jolley lost to top-seeded Charlie Evans of Newberg by fall in 2:10.
Sherwood had four other wrestlers place third at the district tournament to clinch state berths.
At 138, Sherwood senior Philip Resch went 4-1, including a win by fall, in 2:55, against Newberg's Patrick Negra in the third-place match. At 145, Bowmen senior Bram Nelson went 4-1, including a 7-1 win over his Sherwood teammate, junior Malachi Tishendorf, in the third-place match.
At 152, Sherwood senior Brody Stevens went 3-1, including a 5-1 decision victory over his Bowmen teammate, senior Sam Fangon, in the third-place bout. At 170, Sherwood senior Ian Glenn went 3-1, including a 16-1 technical fall win over Forest Grove's Owen Rice in the third-place bout.
Placing fourth for Sherwood at the tournament were junior Zackary Coenen at 120, sophomore Seth Glenn at 160, and senior Nick Severson at 285.
Also for the Bowmen, Tishendorf was fifth at 145, Fangon was fifth at 152, junior Ashton Sarono-Ramos was fifth at 195, junior Samuel Shayegi was fifth at 220, senior Dominic Wynkoop was fifth at 285, senior Logan Swanson was sixth at 132 and junior James Day was sixth at 160.
Sherwood finished in second place in the team standings at the district tournament with 271 points. Newberg captured the district team title with a score of 530.
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