Sweet Home wrestlers take their ‘lumps’ at nationals

After winning All-American honors in the Greco competition at the Cadet National Wrestling Championships in Fargo, N.C. last week, things took a downturn for Sweet Home’s Colton Schilling.

Schilling, who was recovering from a back injury going into the tournament, had to bow out after winning his first freestyle match on Wednesday, then suffering an injury in the second match.

“Colton didn’t really recover, health-wise, from Greco,” said his father and coach, Steve Schilling.

Overall, Schilling said, Oregon’s performance was a little disappointing.

Only one Cadet wrestler, 91-pounder Ronnie Bresser of Klamath Fall, made All-American. Bresser won the championship in that division.

In the Juniors class, Izaak Tobin of Silverton placed seventh at 98 pounds.

“That was pretty much the extent of the freestyle (success),” Schilling said, noting that Oregon had 61 wrestlers.

“Oregon kind of took their lumps in freestyle. It kind of had to do with the draw and some things.”

Sweet Home’s Tyler Cowger wrestled in a bracket of 80 competitors in his first freestyle matches after a year and after undergoing surgery on both knees. Still, he made it to the fifth round before exiting.

“I’m thinking next year Tyler and Colton will be second-year Cadets and they both have a chance to be All-Americans,” he said.

Colby DeCleave and Trever Olson exited early in the freestyle rounds, Schilling said.

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Six Sweet Home youth wrestlers competed in the Western Regional Championships tournament held June 17-27 in Pocatello, Idaho.

The six were Eric Blanchard, Aaron Blanchard, Ian Search, Travis Thorpe, Tyler Schilling and Trever Olson.

Schilling was the only placewinner, taking fifth in Schoolboy Greco.

He then placed fifth in the national tournament the following weekend, held in Utah.

Oregon had the largest contingent at the 11-team regional tournament, with 179 wrestlers, Coach Steve Thorpe said.