Schilling, Newport champs; Huskies 2nd at state

Scott Swanson

Kris Newport looked like he’d just won his first state wrestling championship Saturday night as he leaped into his coach’s arms at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland.

It wasn’t his first, but it had been a long time coming for the senior 145-pounder after he won his first title four years ago as a freshman, then experienced a long drought complicated by personal and academic difficulties.

But that was behind Newport Saturday as he and the other Huskies celebrated a second-place team trophy – behind Henley – and two individual state championships. Sophomore Colton Schilling won the 112-pound title – his second in a row – and 135-pound sophomore Tyler Cowger missed a title by the slimmest of margins, losing his championship match 2-1 in the final overtime period.

Henley scored 172 points to win first place, followed by Sweet Home (137), Crook County (132), Cascade (101) and Ontario (98). Thorpe said he was proud of his team, which rebounded from the loss of five senior place-winners from last year’s second-place team to take another runner-up trophy.

He said the Hornets’ success came thanks to a number of transfers who moved to Klamath Falls to wrestle there.

“We beat Henley, minus their transfers, just like Scappoose last year,” Thorpe said. “ For two years in a row we’ve gotten beat by teams that had guys wrestling for somebody else last year.

“I’m proud of what we accomplished. I’m proud of bringing home another second-place trophy.”

Schilling won the 112–pound championship with a pin of Klamath Union’s Tee Nguyen near the end of their match, which Nguyen spent most of the time flat on his stomach, trying not to let Schilling turn him.

“That guy was trying to survive,” Thorpe said. “He wasn’t trying to win. But after a while Colton’s relentless attack, he finally forces his will on somebody and that’s what happened.”

Schilling said he “wasn’t feeling too good” at the end of the match, which contributed to a less-spirited celebration than he had last year after winning the 103-pound title. He said he was frustrated with Nguyen’s “stalling,” during the match.

“I’m just kind of mad,” Schilling said following his win. “I wanted him to wrestle.”

The win made Schilling the first wrestler in school history to win state titles in his first two seasons. He finished his season 53-0, 44 by fall, both school records. Only three of his matches went the duration, he said.

This state tournament was also the second in which Schilling pinned his way through – something, Thorpe said, “that’s just unheard of.”

“I’ve said it before,” he said. “Colton Schilling is a very special wrestler. Not only is he a good wrestler, but he’s a good person. We always talk about how he’s good. No. He is physically and mentally tough and he does all the extra things that make himself better.

“People know who he is. Their goal is to say ‘I lasted with him. I lasted three rounds with him.’ He’s rewriting the record books right now, that’s for darn sure. But he doesn’t care about that. He wants to wrestle. He wants to beat people who are put in front of him.”

Earlier in the day, Schilling beat Zech Bresser of Henley in a semifinal duel that nearly went the distance and, Schilling said, may have been his toughest match of the year.

He said he thinks about winning four straight titles, something that’s never happened in Sweet Home, “every night” and that spurs him to train year-round.

“There’s no seasons off in this sport,” he said. “The practices and extra workouts put me there.”

Newport wrestled his typical hard-charging match in the final against South Umpqua’s Guy Russell, taking Russell down early. Russell reversed him and then slammed Newport head-first to the mat, which prompted an outcry from the Sweet Home corner that resulted in an officials’ conference and a one-point penalty for Russell.

“I wanted to stop but I didn’t want to end the season on an injury default,” Newport said.

At that point he took over and, less than a minute later, had Russell pinned in 1:55.

For Newport, who has a very close relationship with Thorpe, the win came after a couple of years of struggles with his parents’ divorce, grade problems and other issues following his first state title as a 119-pounder – the first Sweet Home freshman to win a championship. He didn’t place as a sophomore and was fourth at 140 pounds last year.

In winning Saturday became the first Sweet Home wrestler to “book-end” in his career – go in with a state championship and go out with one.

“I always knew I was going to come back,” he said. “I always knew I was going to come back, I just didn’t know when. This year I trained harder and worked harder than I ever have in my life. I got my head up. I got my grades up. I just thank God.

“I just want to say I’m proud to be a Sweet Home wrestler.”

Thorpe acknowledged that the last two years have been difficult.

“Kris and I have lot of history together,” he said. “He has tested my faith in Christ, he has made me wonder why I’m putting my time into him.

“But to see the young man we have right now, who is not perfect., but he’s an unselfish leader. He’s given to people on our team. He hasn’t just taken from the program, he’s given back. He’s been a great leader on this team.

“Today he got what he deserved.”

Thorpe said Cowger, on the other hand, didn’t get what he deserved.

In the final of the 135-pound division, which, Thorpe said, was “quite possibly the toughest in the tournament, Cowger, a sophomore, faced senior Tyler Stigall of North Marion, whose brother, junior Jake Stigall, had just won the 119-pound title.

It was a chess match from the start, with Cowger getting the first point when Stigall conceded an escape to start the second round so both wrestlers would be on their feet. In the third round Stigall scored on an escape and the match was tied 1-1 after three regulation periods and through two 30-second sudden-death overtime rounds, in which Cowger was unable to escape from the down position. In the third overtime period, Stigall was in the down position and managed an escape for a point, then held off a hard-charging Cowger in the final 20 seconds to win.

Thorpe noted that Cowger, who placed third in state last year as a freshman, underwent surgery on both knees two weeks after the tournament.

“To come back, to bounce back the way he has, is incredible,” he said. “He wrestles during the off-season. He runs on weekends. I think he deserved to win that match. I’m not saying he lost because of a bad call because there weren’t any bad calls. Sometimes people don’t get what they deserve. He’s been great leader, a great teammate. I’m sorry he didn’t win.”

Though the others didn’t make the finals, going into Saturday, the final day of the two-day tournament, Sweet Home had nine wrestlers still alive, five in the championship round: Schilling, Newport, Cowger, Scottie Stockman and Wade Paulus. The Huskies also had 103-pounder Justin Nicholson, 125-pounder Colby DeCleve, 140-pounder Kyle Hummer, 152-pounder Jacob Jewell and 285-pounder Zach Gill still alive.

Things got off to a tough start as Nicholson, Hummer, and 152-pound Jewell and Gill lost their consolation quarterfinal matches, Jewell on a takedown in overtime.

Schilling, Cowger and Newport all won their championship semifinals, but after Stockman and Paulus lost and dropped into the consolation bracket, the Huskies’ momentum ground almost to a halt. Paulus rebounded to decisively pin Cascade’s Blake Whelchel in 1:21 to take third place, while Stockman and DeCleve both lost their consolation semifinals to drop into the fifth/sixth-place matches. However, both won those bouts to finish fifth.

DeCleve pinned No. 1-seeded Shane Lacari of Estacada, who had defeated him 9-2 in the second round, and Stockman beat Ontario’s Edgar Nunez, who had beaten him earlier in the season at the Oregon Classic.

“We always talk about finishing on odd number,” Thorpe said. “If you finish on an odd number, that means you won your last match. To have those three finish on an odd number, that was quite an accomplishment.

“Wade Paulus, after his loss in the semis, came back to get two falls,” he said. “He scored as many points as he could score in this tournament.” He also noted that Paulus pinned both the No. 2 and 3 seeds in the tournament, his first trip to state.

Nicholson, a freshman, 119-pounder Colton Holly, 130-pounder Ty Harvey, Hummer, Jewell and Gill did not place.

“We had guys not place,” Thorpe said. “Justin Nicholson, was a freshman coming in here but he wrestled his heart out. I’m proud of Zach Gill, Ty Harvey and Colton Harvey.

“Jacob Jewell was one match away from placing. He didn’t have to place for me to be proud of him. Kyle Hummer is the kid you hope your kids grow up to be like. I am very, very sad for him.

“Some maturing happened in that tournament,” he said. “Zach Gill was there for the first time and Nicholson is a first-year wrestler who was one match away from placing and kid that knocked him out placed third.”

“But they scored points for us in this tournament and without their points, we don’t trophy.”

The tournament was held over two days this year instead of three and each division at the 4A level included 16 wrestlers instead of the 24 who started last year’s tournament.

“We’ve been affected by the economy,” Thorpe said. “They lessened the number of people entered in the tournament. They started early and finished late. I didn’t like way it was bunched in there, but everybody had to wrestle it. I’m glad our kids are used to getting up early and training hard.”

Thorpe said the Huskies will take a week off and then will start their freestyle and Greco season. They also will wrestled in cultural exchange trials on March 12 that will qualify for a trip to Russia this summer.

To watch video coverage of the 4A finals, visit To see photo coverage of the entire wrestling season, visit

OSAA 4A Wrestling Championships

Team Scores – 1. Henley 172.0; 2. Sweet Home 137.0; 3. Crook County 132.0; 4. Cascade 101.0; 5. Ontario 98.0; 6. North Marion 83.5; 7. Madras 74.0; 8. McLoughlin 64.0; 9. Philomath 56.0; 10. Molalla 52.0; 11. South Umpqua 47.5; 12. Scappoose 45.0; 13. Mazama 44.0; 14. Estacada 43.0; 15. Stayton 40.0; 16. Douglas 39.0; 17. (tie) Klamath Union, La Grande, Tillamook 37.0; 20. Yamhill-Carlton 36.0; 21. Phoenix 33.0; 22. Astoria 32.0; 23. Baker 29.0; 24. Elmira 28.0; 25. Junction City 27.0; 26. North Valley 23.0; 27. Gladstone 22.5;l 28. Cottage Grove 20.0; 29. Brookings-Harbor 18.0; 30. (tie) Banks, Siuslaw 16.0; 32. Newport 12.0; 33. Hidden Valley 10.0; 34. Sutherlin 5.0; 35. (tie) Central, North Bend, Taft 3.0; 38. La Pine 2.0; 39. (tie) Roosevelt, Seaside,

Sisters 0.0.

Sweet Home results and

division champions

103 – Justin Nicholson (SH) lost 10-4 to Tyler Isaacson (La Grande), in consolation bracket def. Tom Snegirev (Molalla) 9-0; def. Kole Wills (Madras) 12-8; lost to Tyler Scott (Henley) TF 4:01. Champion: Ronnie Bresser (Henley).

112 – Colton Schilling (SH) pinned Josh Valentine (Baker) :29; pinned Duke Hebdon (Molalla) :54; pinned Zech Bresser (Henley) 5:45; pinned Tee Nguyen (Klamath Union) 5:08 to win championship.

119 – Scottie Stockman (SH) pinned Brian Middleton (Douglas) 3:37; def. Tavis Hodgen (McLoughlin) 3-1; lost 3-0 to No. 2-seeded Pete Peterson (Brookings-Harbor); in consolation bracket lost 7-2 to Jacob Fowler (Tillamook); def. Edgar Nunez (Ontario) 10-9 in OT to place fifth. Champion: Jake Stigall (North Marion).

125 – Colby DeCleve (SH) pinned Lane McDonald (Madras) :55; lost to No. 1-seeded Shane Licari (Estacada) 9-2; in consolation bracket def. No. 5-seeded Zorg Loustalet (Henley) 3-1; def. Donavan Blake (Yamhill-Carlton) 9-6; lost to No. 3-seeded Adam Hayner (Molalla) 5-1; pinned Shane Licari (Estacada) 1:10 to finish fifth.

Colton Holly (SH) was pinned by No. 2-seeded Andrew Porter (Baker) 3:42; in consolation bracket lost 10-2 to Sarafin Sanchez (North Mrion) 10-2; did not place.

130 – Ty Harvey (SH) lost 9-4 to Rowdy Wells (Mazama); in consolation bracket was pinned by Roberto Noah (Ontario); did not place. Champion: Lucas Randall (North Marion).

135 – Tyler Cowger (SH) pinned Brian Mosier (Estacada) 1:40; maj. dec. Wade Hall (Tillamook) 12-0; def. R.J. Gonzalez (Ontario) 5-2; lost 2-1 in OT to Tyler Stigall in championship final to place second.

140 – Kyle Hummer (SH) def. Dru Stromberg (Tillamook) 10-1; was pinned by Max Maeda (Ontario) 3:15; in consolation bracket def. Cody Pfau (Crook County) 7-3; lost 13-5 to Steven Groce (Yamhill-Carlton); did not place. Champion: Eleazar Deluca (Phoenix).

145 – Kris Newport (SH) pinned Josh Marshall (Hidden Valley) 2:45; def. Jared George (Crook County) 10-3; def. Aaron David (Henley) 7-3; pinned Guy Russell (South Umpqua) 1:55.

152 – Jacob Jewell (SH) pinned Taylor Hodgen (Mcloughlin) 1:46; lost 9-2 to No. 3-seeded Trevor Wilson (Crook County); in consolation bracket, def. Matt Trask (Philomath) 8-5; lost 7-5 to Hector Garcia (North Valley); did not place. Champion: Tyson Dahl (Douglas).

160 – No Sweet Home entries. Champion: Cody Crawford (Cascade).

171 – No Sweet Home entries. Champion: Travis Hill (Scappoose).

189 – Wade Paulus (SH) pinned Rhett Smith (Crook County) 5:28; pinned No. 2-seeded Justyn Headley (Henley) 2:13; lost by fall to Bryson Martin (Crook County) 3:08; in consolation bracket pinned Blake Whelchel (Cascade) 1:21; pinned No. 3-seeded Charlie Stouder (Philomath) 2:52 to finish third. Champion: Phillip Morgan (Henley).

215 – No Sweet Home entries. Champion: Chance Banta (Astoria).

285 – Zach Gill (SH) def. Eli Noonan (Henley) 9-4; lost 7-4 to Robert Eason (Yamhill-Carlton); in consolation bracket def. Trevor Derra (Mazama) 7-3; was pinned by Bradley Springs (Tillamook) 4:37; did not place. Champion: Kyle Smith (Elmira).