Wrestlers celebrate successful season

The Sweet Home wrestling team held celebrated another successful season at its awards banquet Monday.

The Huskies won their final Capital Conference district tournament and then sent 12 wrestlers to state, where they placed sixth.

Wrestling Coach Steve Thorpe reviewed the season and showed slides of the various aspects of his program — from conditioning to the medals stand, emphasizing that “this is not a team — it’s a program.”

Awards were presented as follows:

Senior 160-pounder Colton Cooley won the Most Takedowns award with 35, which, Thorpe said, puts Cooley in the top three among Sweet Home’s wrestlers.

Most falls went to senior 130-pounder Shane Vandehei with 27, one less than the school record.

Trevor Tagle earned Outstanding Wrestler honors after winning both the district and state championships at 140 pounds.

John Sutten, another senior, was named Most Improved. Sutten had just over 20 wins as a junior and did not place at the state tournament after taking third in district . This year he placed second in district and second again in state, notching 34 wins . His sole losses at the district and state levels were to the same wrestler, two-time state champion Tyler Phillips of Cascade.

Shorty Weikel and Chris Farris were rookies of the year. Weikel, a senior 145-pounder in his first year of high school wrestling, had over 30 wins and was felled in the first round of the state tournament by a broken leg. Farris, a freshman 103-pounder, won two and lost two at state.

Senior 145-pounder Tom Helfrich, who placed eighth at state, was named to the Workhorse Award ‘— “we ould have had a dozen of those on this team,” Thorpe said.

Junior 160-pounder Rob Helfrich was named Iron Man, “the guy that wrestles through pain, injuries, owies and hurts and just keeps going.”

Debi Temple and Patricia Schilling were named recipients of the Extra Mile award, given to “those who continually do extra things to make the program what it is, not just once but throughout the year.”

The event, catered by John Sutten Sr., father of one of the Husky wrestlers, drew more than 200 family and friends of the wrestling team.

Thorpe said he appreciated the efforts of those who helped put the banquet together, particularly athletic secretary Kendra McCaslin.