The New Era - All about Sweet Home since 1929

Thorpe, Royer and Hart named Outstanding Wrestlers at long-delayed awards event


June 3, 2020

WRESTLING AWARD WINNERS include, from left, Bryce Porter, Nich James, Travis Thorpe, Lexi Schilling and Jackson Royer. Only seniors were present in person at the awards event. Not pictured, but also receiving wrestling awards, were Jale Sieminski, Jessy Hart, Kami Hart, Paige Chafin, Treyson Smith and Lilly Lindsey.

State champions Jackson Royer and Travis Thorpe were named the Pat Baxter Outstanding Wrestlers for Sweet Home's boys wrestling team, and state placewinner Jessy Hart was named Outstanding Wrestler for the girls as the Huskies finally got their awards last week, ending a nearly three-month postponement due to the coronavirus shutdown.

Senior members of the team congregated at Coach Steve Thorpe's home Friday evening, May 29, while others watched a livestreamed broadcast of the event.

Special guest Bruce Baumgartner, widely considered the best heavyweight freestyle wrestler in U.S. history, made a virtual appearance at the event.

Thorpe said the webinar ceremony was a "huge success."

"I love the resilience of our wrestlers, our wrestling family, he said. "Doing it virtually was not how we wanted to, but for situation we were in, I don't think we could have written a script to make it turn out better than it did.

"The seniors got to do their speech," which is a big part of the wrestling awards banquet annually.

"Being in our program is a big deal," Thorpe said. "Finishing our program and being celebrated at the end of year, that is a huge deal. To be able to have those guys give their speech, address the team, challenge people, that was great."

The 2020 Huskies set the bar high, he said.

Travis Thorpe and Royer are both two-time state champions, each winning back-to-back state 4A Division titles. The team won its sixth straight regional championship and went on to place second at state behind an extremely talented LaGrande squad.

Steve Thorpe noted that this year's Huskies included athletes who have wrestled internationally and Sweet Home has had the highest GPA of all 4A wrestling schools for four straight years, and the highest GPA of all wrestling schools in the state for three.

"They're just an accomplished group," Thorpe said.

Of the 11 seniors on the team, eight are going to college – two to wrestle, two are entering the trades and one is going into the military.

"Everyone has a plan," he said.

Lexi Schilling has signed to wrestle with Corban University's new women's program and Travis Thorpe will wrestle at Southern Oregon University.

All the wrestling awards, except two, are based solely on performances on the mat and in the classroom, Steve Thorpe noted.

Travis Thorpe led the team in almost every statistic this year, as well as setting a school record for the most wins (202), 132 of them by fall.

"That's a pretty good accomplishment," Steve Thorpe said. "No matter how you look at it."

Most Takedowns went to Travis Thorpe, and sophomore Paige Chafin.

Most Falls also went to Thorpe, who had 35. Hart and Schilling were the girls winners, with 26 each.

Rookie of the Year was freshman Jake Sieminski, who was the Huskies' top placewinner as a rookie.

"It's not always a freshman award, but he was the kid who last year was wrestling in junior high and this year puts 50 wins on his record and places fourth in state," Thorpe said.

Most Improved were junior Jake Fanning for the boys and sophomore Kami Hart for the girls.

The Iron Man Award, presented to a wrestler who has overcome adversity – illness, injury or otherwise, went to seniors Nich James and Bryce Porter and junior Treyson Smith.

Workhorse Award winners, wrestlers who push themselves and teammates, were junior Jessy Hart, James, Royer and Travis Thorpe.

The Extra Mile Award, whose name says it all, went to statistician Lilly Lindsey.

"We have people who go the extra mile for our program," Thorpe said.

"They do things for our wrestlers, for me, for our team. They don't ask anything in return. Hands down, what Lilly Lindsey did as team manager, then going beyond that, she organized stuff for tournaments, she did all sorts of things. I'm so proud we chose her for that award."

Lexi Schilling was named Norm Davis Scholar Athlete for the girls, based on a formula that tallies net wins and the athlete's GPA. Travis Thorpe was the boys honoree.

Fourth-year letter winners were Rian Howard, Nich James, Bryce Porter, Jackson Royer, Isaac Schaffer, Lexi Schilling and Travis Thorpe.

BRUCE BAUMGARTNER makes a guest, virtual, appearance.

Third-year letters went to Connor Ford, Jessy Hart, David McMullen, Treyson Smith, Tristan Spencer and Gavin Walberg.

Earning their second letter were Paige Chafin, Jake Fanning,Colby Gazeley, Christian Gregory, Iakona Howerton, Jesse Jamison, Brayden Newport, Kyle Watkins and Kenny Storms.

First-year letter winners were Charlie Crawford, Kami Hart, Marc Kanngiesser, Alex Kisselburgh, Tanner McMahon, Jake Sieminski, Trenton Smith, Ethan Spencer, Tucker Weld and Kaden Zajic.

Participation awards went to Ryan Clark,Brandon Elder, Greg Farrell, Daniel Goodwin, Evan Jensen, Connor McMullen, Dakota Melkvik, Dominis Rodriguez, Ryan Tyndall and Tanner Waldrop.

Earning statistician letters were Christopher Kurtz, Lilly Lindsey, Katie Kurtz and Sami Virtue.


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