Husky wrestling mixed at home tournament

It is early in the year, and already the Sweet Home wrestling team has faced some of the best. Last week, they were taken down by Estacada, the number one ranked 3A team in the state, 62-6.

Only Rob Martin, who has won each of his matches by pins this year, was able to scratch out a win, though many of the wrestlers avoided pins and wrestled full matches. That is the heart that coach Steve Thorpe wants to see from his young team at this point in the season.

Dual meet victories are not essential to Thorpe, though he wants to win just as much as anyone.

“Of course, it’s humbling, but we did too many good things to be disappointed,” said Thorpe, pointing to the 12-2 battering the JV team handed Estacada. “We just pocketed what happened during some of that dual. We’ll bring that out as motivation later on. We’re just getting matches, trying to get ourselves better.” said Thorpe.

With that same thought in mind, Thorpe sent his wrestlers out on the mat Friday against Lebanon, Silverton, and Wilsonville. In their first match, Sweet Home got by Lebanon, 41-30, using pins by the Martin brothers, Brandon and Rob, in the last two events. It was Brandon’s first competition of the year while brother Rob extended his perfect season.

Thorpe sees Rob improving each match as he gets into better shape. Rob is feeling comfortable in his progress as well.

“I’m in pretty good shape; I can go three rounds,” said Martin. “I just want to wrestle every match hard and lay everything out on the mat.”

What he has been laying out on the mat is each of his opponents and he doesn’t come close to three rounds. In his four matches last week, he had four first round pins in a combined three and a half minutes. Occasionally, he intimidates his opponents in the 275 pound weight class by lifting them off the mat before settling in for the quick pin.

“It gets them on their heels and allows me to control the rest of the match,” said Martin.

After Lebanon, the Huskies found the going a whole lot tougher, losing to an always tough 4A opponent Silverton, 55-15. Martin and Shane Vandehei, 119 pounds, both picked up their second pin victories and Tomas Rosa added his second decision in a closely contested duel, notching a 5-4 triumph.

Against Lebanon, Rosa tech falled his opponent, but was disappointed that he didn’t get the pin. Rosa felt he just missed on his timing and doing some of the little things that comes with more practice time.

“I wanted to Lebanon pretty bad,” said Rosa. “At the time, I was disappointed because I might have let down the team.”

Vandehei, who has had mixed results with tough opponents this year, didn’t face much of a challenge all night, so he had a night where he could work on his strategy a little more.

“I just want to wrestle my own match,” said Vandehei, who wanted to take the action to his opponent rather than respond to their moves. “I wanted to wrestle faster and put things together better. Coach Thorpe has told us not to one punch.”

Bryan Corliss, who chalked up two pins in the tournament, lost by a fall to Silverton’s All-American wrestler and also was decisioned by Estacada’s top rated wrestler in his weight class. Thorpe said that he didn’t just fall over to these opponents, but forced them to wrestle hard. Corliss likes these types of matches, even though he may lose.

“It makes me better,” said Corliss. “In February, I’m probably going to be beating some of them.”

Meanwhile, his timing continues to get better and he is always in shape to wrestle at a quick pace.

“I like to outcondition them,” he stated. “I like to be explosive.”

Most of the team had a chance to be explosive in their third team match versus Wilsonville, whom they manhandled 66-15, one of those losses by their forfeit at 103. Sweet Home was the beneficiary of five forfeits as well and that added to the six pin victories, five in the first round, rounded out the evening for the Huskies.

More tough matches are on the way at the Canby Tournament this Friday, but that is the the Huskies like it.