The New Era - All about Sweet Home since 1929

Wrestlers win district title and qualify 16 for state


February 23, 2016

Sweet Home’s wrestling Coach Steve Thorpe has said all year that this year’s team has chemistry and leadership.

Those qualities were evident Saturday at the 12-team Special District 2 regional championship held at Elmira.

The Huskies finished the day with their second straight district title – 72 points ahead of second-place North Marion, five district champions and 16 state qualifiers.

“We had a good tournament,” Thorpe said. “We had to have a good tournament at that one. I was proud of our team and those guys who made a commitment to this. They showed up and they just competed. They supported one another.

“It’s cool when that happens.”

Sweet Home finished with 376 points to 304 for North Marion and 249 for Cascade.

Winning district titles were two freshmen, Robert Watkins at 106 pounds and Robbie Yunke at 113, junior Kobe Olson at 120, senior Joe Rasmussen at 138 and senior Tyrel Miller at 145.

Watkins pinned Cristian Ramirez of North Marion in 51 seconds in the final.

It was a big tournament, so he was “a little nervous,” he said, but he went into the final confident he could “go out there, take him down and pin him.”

Yunke beat Kyle McConkey of North Marion 4-0, scoring on an early takedown in the first round and and then again on a take down in the second round. It left him holding on to protect his lead.

“I felt good about there, and as long as I was leading, doing my best, I’d win,” Yunke said. “The early lead helped a lot, and I just kept going from there.”

Thorpe noted that Watkins pinned his way through the tournament, giving the Huskies valuable extra points.

“We had 52 falls in that tournament. Those falls add up to bonus points. That’s 104 extra points and you’re getting those falls. Those count the same on the front side of the bracket as the back side of the bracket. Those helped us.

“We entered 26 wrestlers and 24 scored points for us. Even guys who only won a match won it with a fall. That’s bonus points.”

Yunke, he said, “won the rubber match.

“His greatest match was in the semis (a 12-4 major decision over Derek Blake of Yamhill-Carlton).

“He showed up and wrestled hard against good kids.”

Olson has been another leader on the team, he said. The district title was the third for Olson, who was honored as Outstanding Wrestler for 106-145 Pounds.

“When you get something like that, it’s always quite an honor,” Thorpe said.

In the 120-pound final against Russel Stigall of North Marion, Stigal snapped up a quick 2-0 lead with a takedown, but Olson quickly turned things around, scoring on a reversal and then a near fall and led 4-2 in the first round. Olson then scored a takedown in the second to lead 6-2, and in the third, he scored on an escape and another takedown to win 9-2.

“I just wanted to wrestle tough and smart, stay in position and just work my offense,” he said. “I try not to get nervous. It just gets the best of you.”

Rasmussen, who has wrestled for three years, has steadily improved this year, and the district 138-pound title was evidence of that.

Thorpe said his toughest match was against Sisters’ Dyut Fetrow, one of the leading distance runners in the Sky-Em League and a rising wrestler as well. Rasmussen came out of that duel with a 9-4 win, then faced Sutherlin’s Brandon Carrillo in the final. Rasmussen was ready with an early strike and it paid off in a first-round pin.

“I didn’t know what to expect when I went out there,” he said. “I just sort of waited for him to take a shot and sort of sprawled it, grabbed him up and pinned him.”

Thorpe noted that Miller, one of the team’s leaders, beat teammate Jake Porter 9-3 in the 145-pound final.

“Tyrel has just wrestled consistently all year long,” he said. His leadership is unmatched. He’s been that thing we needed this year. He dominated in the tournament, but his toughest and best match was Jake Porter, his teammate. I’ve seen that match 50 times in the Wrestling Room, but it’s just made him better.”

Porter beat Junction City’s Brogan Miner 16-13 in the semifinals, the first loss of the year for the Tiger, who came into the tournament 33-0.

“That win happened in the practice room and in our schedule and it’s something Jake’s worked for and done all that extra stuff in spring and summer,” Thorpe said. “That’s where the payoff comes.”

“It always sucks to lose,” Porter said. “Against teammates, you’re practice partners, friends at school. We both know each other’s style of wrestling.”

The two are neighbors and wrestled together since they were little, Miller said. “It’s hard to get mentally ready when you’re facing your teammate.”

“I want to meet him in the finals again,” Porter said, looking for a crack at Miller again this weekend.

Meanwhile, Miller said he has his sights on Kurt Mode of Crook County, whom he lost to by three at the Rose City tournament early this season.

But he’s got to take it one match at a time to get there.

“I can’t look past anybody,” Miller said. “I’ve just got to wrestle my match every time.”

In addition to Porter, Ricky Yunke finished second at 132 pounds and Brandon Keenon at 195.

Yunke had a 2-0 lead in the final against Casey Roberts of North Marion after one round in what turned out to be a chess match. Roberts tied him at 2-2 in the second round before scoring a point in the third to win the match 3-2.

Yunke was positive about it afterward.

“It’s always good to get first,” he said, but “I feel good about it. To get that first takedown was a confidence booster. I’m not usually the guy that gets that first takedown.”

He takes awhile to get going, sometimes, he said. This was also his third time wrestling Roberts. He lost each time, but this one was the closest.

Yunke didn’t do well at state last year, he said looking forward to this weekend, “I plan to redeem myself at state. I plan to place.”

Keenon, who has not wrestled since his freshman year, tied his finals opponent, Andrew Smalley of Sutherlin, 4-4 in the first period, but got pinned in the second round, 3:46 into the match.

“I came out, like, three weeks ago,” Keenon said, explaining that his conditioning isn’t what it needs to be at this point in the season.

During winter season, he had been lifting and waiting for baseball season. He said he decided to go out for wrestling after an argument and a challenge.

He feels good about his district performance and the final match, he said.

“I had to get some points. I took some risks. They didn’t pay off because he needed more conditioning, he said. That’s where will focus his efforts preparing for state.

Other place-winners were Dalton Doerfler, third at 220 and Justin Kurtz, fourth at 126.

Fifth-place winners were Zak Rivera at 126 pounds, Tyler Fincher at 132, Boe Baxter at 138 and Gavin Baskin at 285.

All of those qualified for state, because District 2 gets a an extra slot in the state championships this year in a three-year rotation, according to OSAA rules.

Also placing was Oscar Hernandez, sixth at 152 pounds and Bryson Denver at 170, one spot out of a state berth.

“Those guys competed,” Thorpe said. “Bryson Denver has been out sick for a while and he took a guy to double overtime. It was absolutely fantastic. He had all kinds of reasons to make an excuse not to be successful, but he didn’t use them. He went out there and competed and finished sixth.”

He commended Rivera and Kurtz for battling their way through the consolation brackets to qualify for state.

“Those two are workout partners,” he said. “It’s not easy to get there and they did it. The back door is the hardest.”

Another qualifier who did it the hard way was Baxter, at 138 pounds. The freshman lost his first match 16-14 in a pigtail against Connor Kelly of Cascade, then, after battling all the way through the back of the bracket, met Kelly in the fifth-place match and pinned him.

Also qualifying for state – in the girls tournament – is freshman Marissa Kurtz.

Kurtz won her 106-pound bracket at the Oregon State High School Girls Qualifier at Cottage Grove on Feb. 6 with a 6-3 decision over Angie Sletten of Dallas.

Junior Gracie Olson, a first-year wrestler, pinned her way to the B Bracket final but lost 2-1 to Brooke Burrows of McNary, then lost a “tough wrestle-back,” Thorpe said, to miss a state berth.

The Huskies head for the state championships Friday and Saturday, Feb. 26-27, at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland.

Crook County, coming off two straight state titles, is once again the favorite to win. The Cowboys are stacked at nearly every weight, including the heavier weights where Sweet Home is lacking depth.

The Huskies were ranked fifth in pre-district polls, behind Henley, Marshfield and North Marion.

“Now we change gears,” Thorpe said. “Now we focus strictly on the state tournament. We want to get as many guys into Day 2 as we can. We want as many guys to win a match as we can.”

Sweet Home Individual

Results and District 2

Qualifiers for State

Team Scores – (1) Sweet Home 376; (2) North Marion 304; (3) Cascade 249; (4) Elmira 183.5; (5) Cottage Grove 168.5; (6) Philomath 112; (7) Sutherlin 99.5; (8) Junction City 83; (9) Yamhill-Carlton 76; (10) Sisters 68; (11) Stayton 53; (12) Newport 33.

106 – Robert Watkins pinned Carlos Saravia (North Marion) 1:13; Pinned Hunter McCaskill (Philomath) 1:10; in final pinned Cristian Ramirez (North Marion) 0:51; Champion. Other qualifiers: Cristian Ramirez (North Marion, second place), Hunter McCaskill of (Philomath, third), Boden Petersen (SH, fourth), and Chance Ralston (Cottage Grove, fifth). Watkins, seeded second, opens Friday against Ezra McIntosh of La Grande.

106 – Boden Petersen pinned Brett Chrismer (Junction City) :52; lost maj. dec. to Cristian Ramirez (North Marion) 9-0; pinned Chance Ralston (Cottage Grove) 0:37; in consolation final lost maj. dec. top Hunter McCaskill (Philomath) 14-6. Finished fourth. Petersen opens Friday against fifth-seeded Colton Anderson of Baker.

113 – Robbie Yunke pinned Dalton Ford (Sisters) 0:22; pinned Devin Privatsky (Cascade) 1:23; maj. dec. Derek Blake (Yamhill-Carlton) 12-4; dec. Kyle McConkey (North Marion) 4-0. Champion. Other qualifiers: Kyle McConkey (North Marion, second); Derek Blake (Yamhill-Carlton, third); Ryan Ninman (Stayton, fourth), and Aaron Boitz (Cottage Grove, fifth). Yunke, seeded fourth, opens Friday against Deazen Zerba of McLoughlin.

113 – Austin Oakley lost by fall to Kyle McConkey (North Marion) 1:55; pinned Ethan Cline (Yamhill-Carlton) :50; lost by fall to Anthony Rath (Philomath) 3:53; did not place.

120 – Kobe Olson pinned Chris Hernandez (Cascade) 0:57; pinned Parker Ringwald (Philomath) 2:33; dec. Triston Rostocil (North Marion) 7-0; dec. Russel Stigall (North Marion) 9-2. Champion. Other qualifiers are: Russel Stigall (North Marion, second); Triston Rostocil (North Marion, third); Dillon Stutzman (SH, fourth), and Darien Fagin (Cascade, fifth). Olson, seeded first, opens Friday against Darien Fagin of Cascade.

120 – Dillon Stutzman pinned Darien Fagin (Cascade) 5:17; lost 4-3 to Russel Stigall (North Marion); pinned Chris Hernandez (Cascade) 1:14; lost 9-1 to Triston Rostocil (North Marion); finished fourth. Stutzman opens Friday against Corey Isaacson of La Grande.

126 – Justin Kurtz pinned Andrew Bates (Sisters) 3:11; dec. Derek Estrada (North Marion) 5-3; lost 5-1 to Bryce Allen (Cottage Grove); pinned Riley Craig (Elmira) 2:35; lost 9-5 to Orein Ouska (Yamhill-Carlton); placed fourth. Other qualifiers are: Bryce Allen (Cottage Grove, first); Brandon Gibson (North Marion, second); Orrin Ouska (Yamhill-Carlton, third), and Zak Rivera (Sweet Home, fifth – see below). Kurtz opens Friday against No. 1-seeded Terran Libolt of Crook County.

126 – Zak Rivera pinned T. Thompson (Cottage Grove) 2:23; lost by fall to Brandon Gibson (North Marion) :31; pinned S. Woods (Cascade) 2:42; pinned Marshal Christman (Casade) 1:00; pinned Bailey Archuleta (Stayton) 1:29; lost 12-7 to Orrin Ouska (Yamhill-Carlton); pinned Riley Craig (Elmira) 4:58; finished fifth. Rivera opens Friday against No. 2-seeded AJ Lira of Marshfield.

132 – Ricky Yunke pinned Garrett O’Callaghen (Junction City) 1:54; pinned Quinn Legner (Cascade) 2:20; pinned Wyatt Haberstitch (North Marion) 2:54; lost 3-2 to Casey Roberts (North Marion); Finished second. Other qualifiers are: Casey Roberts (North Marion, first), Quinn Legner (Cascade, third), and Tyler Fincher (Sweet Home, fifth – see below). Yunke, seeded sixth, opens Friday against Cameron Crenshaw of South Umpqua.

132 – Tyler Fincher pinned Gabriel Rigole (Cottage Grove) 1:22; dec. Travis Hodgson (Junction City) 8-3; lost 6-2 to Casey Roberts (North Marion); lost 7-4 to Quinn Legner (Cascade); pinned Wyatt Haberstitch (North Marion), finished fifth. Fincher opens Friday against No. 8-seeded Boss Clark of Henley.

138 – Joe Ramussen pinned Tyler Woertink (Cottage Grove 0:35; pinned Adam Stratemeyer (Cascade) 0:39; dec. Dyut Fetrow (Sisters) 9-4; pinned Brandon Carillo (Sutherlin) :57; Champion. Other qualifiers are: Brandon Carillo (Sutherlin, second); Dyut Fetrow (Sisters, third); and Boe Baxter (Sweet Home, fifth – see below). Rasmussen, seeded third, opens Friday against Trey Hageman of Astoria.

138 – Boe Baxter dec. Connor Kelly (Cascade) 16-14; lost by fall to Jayden Jensen (Philomath) 1:02; pinned A. Leavitt (Newport) :42; dec. Tyler Woertink (Cottage Grove) 15-8; lost 9-6 to Rodney Chamberlain; pinned Connor Kelly (Cascade) 4:40; finished fifth. Baxter opens Friday against No. 2-seeded Connor Noonan of Henley.

145 – Tyrel Miller pinned Brandon McElhose (Elmira) 1:10; pinned Avidan Sanchez (North Marion) 1:39; pinned Cleveland Smith (Stayton) 1:59; dec. Jake Porter (SH) 9-3. Champion. Other qualifiers are Jake Porter (Sweet Home, second); Brogan Miner (Junction City, third); Cleveland Smith (Stayton, fourth), and Kade VanDeHey (Cascade, fifth). Miller, seeded third, opens Friday against Kade VanDeHey of Cascade.

145 – Jake Porter pinned Isaiah Lepre (Sutherlin) 1:13; won by tech fall over Tabor Magnuson (Yamhill-Carlton) 20-5; dec. Brogan Miner (Junction City) 16-13; lost 9-3 to Tyrel Miller (SH); placed second. Porter, seeded eighth, opens Friday against Martin Sierra of Henley.

152 – Oscar Hernandez won by forfeit over Anthony Baker (Junction City); lost by fall to Lane Stigall (North Marion) 2:39; won by tech fall over James Franklin (Newport) 16-1; pinned Rafe Barkley (Cottage Grove) 1:39; lost by fall to Mason Walker (Elmira) 1:00; lost 6-3 to James Howell (Philomath); finished sixth. Qualifiers were Lane Stigall (North Marion, first); James Baxter (Cascade, second); Mason Walker (Elmira, third), Asa Alexander (Cascade, fourth), and James Howell (Philomath, fifth).

152 – Hayden McDonald lost by maj. dec. to Clay Dickerson (Stayton) 13-1; pinned T. Cross (Sutherlin) :31; lost 11-8 to James Howell (Philomath); did not place.

160 – Damian Shocker lost by fall to Juan Tarula (North Marion) 5:01; pinned Raymond Bitney (Junction City) 4:14; lost by tech fall to Levi Summers (Stayton) 18-3; did not place. Qualifiers are Ethan Agnes (Elmira, first); Gregory Wing (North Marion, second); Juan Tarula (North Marion, third); Jacob Morris (Philomath, fourth), and Levi Summers (Philomath, fifth).

170 – Bryson Denver lost by fall to Alan Bordeaux (Cottage Grove); dec. Rhylee Farrens (North Marion) 2-1; pinned Nick Payton (Elmira) 3:17; lost 7-0 to Damian Chavez (North Marion); lost by fall to Cole Facchini (Yamhill-Carlton) 1:23; finished sixth. Qualifiers are: Alan Bordeaux (Cottage Grove, first); Levi Hanson (Elmira, second); Damian Chavez (North Marion, third); Sam Garee (Cascade, fourth), and Cole Facchini (Yamhill-Carlton, fifth).

170 – Bryce Coulter pinned Clayton Darst (Sisters) 3:06; lost by fall to Damian Chavez (North Marion) 4:50; pinned Jacob Barker (Yamhill-Carlton) 0:48; lost 12-11 to Sam Garee (Cascade); did not place.

182 – Devin Stafford lost by fall to Christian Beauregard (Sutherlin) 1:33; pinned Kyle Jorgenson (Stayton) 4:24; lost by fall to Zackary Gulick (Sisters) 0:30. Qualifiers are Andrew Bordeaux (Cottage Grove, first); Hayes VanDeHey (Cascade, second); Taylor Kohn (Philomath, third); Matt Carillo (North Marion, fourth) and Rueben Verdugo (North Marion, fifth).

195 – Brandon Keenon pinned Ramon Organiz (North Marion) 1:09; pinned Jesse Wagner (Newport) 0:42; pinned Hunter Rust (Philomath) 1:48; lost by fall to Andrew Smalley (Sutherlin) 3:46. Finished second. Other qualifiers are: Andrew Smalley (Sutherlin, first); Hunter Rust (Philomath, third); Elijah Farrell (Cottage Grove, fourth) and Jesse Wagner (Newport, fifth). Keenon, seeded eighth, opens Friday against Josh Buehler of South Umpqua.

195 – Daniel Rooney pinned Kane Rust (Philomath) 0:40; lost by fall to Andrew Smalley (Sutherlin) 1:07; pinned Casey Warburton (Sisters) 0:46; lost by fall to Macoy Christman (Cascade) 1:33; did not place.

220 – Dalton Doerfler pinned Eddie Steele (Elmira) 0:23; lost by fall to Justin Crum (Sutherlin) 3:40; pinned Brandon Leake (Newport) 0:44; pinned John Dover (Junction City) 3:03; placed third. Other qualifiers are: Louie Sanchez (Cascade, first); Justin Crum (Sutherlin, second); John Dover (Junction City, fourth), and Brandon Leake (Newport, fifth). Doerfler opens Friday against No. 8-seeded Andre Calderon of Ontario.

220 – Josh Rice lost by fall to Logan Schmidt (Elmira) 1:13; lost by fall to Dustin LaFarge (North Marion) 1:50; did not place.

285 – Gavin Baskin pinned Rogelio Mejia (North Marion) 1:41; lost by fall to Dale Miller (Elmira) 0:59; lost by fall to Joseph LeGendre (Junction City) 0:56; pinned Adam Lamb (Cottage Grove) 1:23; placed fifth. Other qualifiers are Dale Miller (Elmira, first); Dylan Porter (Elmira, second); Joseph LeGendre (Junction City, third); and Rogelio Mejia (North Marion, fourth). Baskin opens Friday against No. 4-seeded Dale Miller of Elmira.


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