The Class 6A state wrestling tournament just about had it all.
There was a thrilling storyline in the team race, with Newberg dominating en route to its second straight state championship.
There were thrilling championship battles, inspirational clashes in the placing matches and lifelong memories.
Heck, there was even a crowd.
By the end of the steamy two-day event — sponsored by the Oregon Wrestling Association (which stepped in to organize when the Oregon School Activities Association handed culminating week activities back to the schools) and held Friday, June 25, and Saturday, June 26, at Newberg High School — the homestanding Tigers had raced away to win the team title with a state-record total of 490.5 points, with runner-up Sprague far back at 261.5.
Among local teams, West Linn finished fifth at state for the third year in a row, this time with 125.5 points, followed by Clackamas (seventh at 72), Lakeridge (29th at 25.0), Oregon City (31st at 23) and Lake Oswego (40th at 12).
West Linn results
West Linn built its success on the efforts of its four place winners, junior Ethan Goff (second at 132 pounds), sophomore Justin Rademacher (third at 170), sophomore Ben Winjum, fourth at 182, sophomore Earl Ingle (fourth at 195) and freshman Charles Spinning (sixth at 132).
Goff, fifth at 120 a year ago and third-seeded in 2021, made his mark by winning four straight times to reach the championship, notching a pin and three decisions to earn a berth in the title contest.
Waiting for him there, however, was top-seeded Roseburg junior Nash Singleton, the 2020 state champ at 120 and 2019 state runner-up at 113. Goff tried to hold his own against Singleton, but got taken down 56 seconds into the opening round, then pinned 15 seconds later.
"He's going to go on to do great things in college and I can't wait to see what he does. I learned a lot," Goff said. "I've got to work on my hand fighting and work on moving him around. He moved me, he controlled the whole match. I couldn't do much."
Despite his championship defeat, Goff said he loved the state experience from start to finish.
"It's a great bonus. At the start of the year, we didn't think we were going to get much. Practices were slow, mandatory masks, everything sucked," Goff said. "Then to come here and look into the crowd and see your family and friends sitting up there and wrestle in front of them, it's the greatest feeling. … To be able to come here and compete with these upper-level guys, it's the greatest feeling in the world."
Seeded third at 170, Rademacher came in determined to win a state championship after finishing second at 160 last year, but saw his hopes derailed with a 4-2 semifinal loss to second-seeded Mountain View senior Cannon Potts.
"I thought I wrestled more my match, but I should have let him up off bottom because he's really good at putting you in bad positions when you're on top and I just got exposed to that and then it was too late," Rademacher said. "I really wanted to be that top guy, but I'll get it next year."
Rademacher won three straight times to reach his semi against Potts, then rallied to win twice more, finishing his tournament with a first-round pin of fourth-seeded Newberg junior Gavin Korkeakoski to place third.
"I'm not happy about (losing in the semifinals), but I battled back to get third," he said. "It's better than me just triple dipping and getting fifth or sixth."
Other West Linn place winners included: Winjum, fourth at 182 after going 4-2 in the tournament; Ingle, fourth at 195 after going 4-2; and Spinning, fifth at 132 after going 6-2.
The Cavaliers saw their tournament highlighted by three place winners, that trio led by freshman Jeremiah Wachsmuth who finished third at 106. Clackamas also saw sophomore Adrian Pacheco place sixth at 126 after going 6-2 in the tournament, and senior Tyler Sims grab sixth at 170 after also going 6-2.
"This year was fun," said Wachsmuth, whose only loss came to top-seeded Newberg freshman Isaac Hampton in the semifinals. "Just getting to see all the wrestlers I've wrestled in the past and getting to wrestle them again and have good matches against them — it was fun getting third. I wish I could have done better, but that was awesome."
Wachsmuth opened with a bye, then used a pin and a decision to reach the semis before getting pinned in the third round by Hampton. But he rallied to win twice more, eventually beating Mountain View freshman Scout Santos 10-7 to finish third.
"It was fun. I ended up third so it was pretty cool," Wachsmuth said. "I was hoping for first, but that didn't happen so I was going for the next best thing in the bottom bracket which was third."
The Pacers sent just two wrestlers to state, their efforts led there by senior Ryan Boucher and his third-place finish at 182.
At the end of a year when he considered not wrestling at all, and following up on a 2019 season when he failed to place at 160, Boucher said he was happy with how he finished his high school career.
"It feels good," he said. "It meant a lot to be out here and get to wrestle all the best guys in the state."
Boucher opened his tournament with a pin, a 4-0 decision and another pin to earn his berth in the semifinals. But there, top-seeded Sprague junior Brook Byers — the eventual tournament champion — pinned Boucher near the end of the first round.
But Boucher rallied with a major decision, then beat Winjum 9-3 to secure third place.
Oregon City results
The Pioneers didn't finish with a placewinner at state, but sent seven wrestlers to the tournament who won a bunch of matches.
Among that group, senior Harley Richter went 3-2 at 285, junior Oscar Cuellar went 2-2 at 106, and freshman Wyatt Stahl went 2-2 at 126.
Lake Oswego results
The Lakers did not finish with a place winner, but saw sophomore Riis Hinrichs win three matches at 132, while sophomore Calvin Fillmore won twice at 145.
Team scores — Newberg 490.5, Sprague 261.5, Roseburg 198.5, Mountain View 161.0, West Linn 125.5, Grants Pass 120.5, Clackamas 72.0, McMinnville 71.0, Cleveland 70.0, Century 68.0, Mountainside 66.5, Tualatin 64.0, Canby 57.0, South Salem 53.5, Aloha 52.5, Reynolds 50.0, McKay 49.5, McNary 48.0, South Medford 47.5, West Salem 47.5, Sherwood 42.0, Westview 41.5, Tigard 40.0, North Medford 36.0, David Douglas 34.0, Sandy 31.5, Franklin 30.0, Forest Grove 27.0, Lakeridge 25.0, Barlow 24.5, Oregon City 23.0, Glencoe 22.0, Centennial 20.0, Gresham 19.0, Liberty 19.0, Southridge 15.0, Wells 15.0, Beaverton 13.0, Grant 13.0, Lake Oswego 12.0, Lincoln 9.0, Roosevelt 8.0, Sheldon 7.0, Madison 5.0, Bend 4.0, Benson 0, Jefferson 0, Summit 0, Sunset -1.
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