Wrestlers take championship

Scott Swanson

Sweet Home wrestling coach Steve Thorpe has said all season that this year’s squad sets a standard for effort and leadership.

The Huskies proved him right on the mat Friday and Saturday, Feb. 13-14, as they won the OSAA Special District 2 regional tournament at Cascade, finishing nearly 50 points above the hosts, who won the title last year.

“A lot of things went right for us,” Thorpe said. “It wasn’t by accident. The kids worked really hard to get what they got. I was proud of them for what they did.”

Sweet Home scored 359 points and brought home four individual titles, qualifying 12 wrestlers for state in the process – three more than last year. Cascade was second with 311 points, followed by North Marion (217) and Elmira (203).

The Huskies’ individual champions were Kobe Olson at 113 pounds, Tyler Schilling at 126; Tyrel Miller at 132 and Jake Porter at 138.

“Kobe Olson, Tyler Schilling and Tyrel Miller – those guys were expected to win, not because they had an easy bracket or anything like that,” Thorpe said. “They beat those guys all year long. That speaks to how they’ve approached the season. They’re leaders.”

Schilling, a senior who lost in the district finals last year and then placed fourth at state while suffering from the flu, said this year he “told myself just to go through and make it my tournament and wrestled to the best of my ability. I think I did that.”

That was a difference from how he approached last year’s district, as leader of an inexperienced team, he said.

“Last year I was really stressed. Our team had taken kind of a hit. We’d lost a lot of seniors the year before and so I was kind of stressed last year, felt a lot of pressure. This year I just kind of not worried about it. I tried not to get nervous, just wrestle each match the same.”

Thorpe credited Schilling with delivering on that.

“Senior leadership comes off of guys that had to step in and play that role last year,” he said. “What’s happened, because of their example, these younger guys are taking on leadership roles. We have an unselfish team that enjoys being around each other. This has been a very very enjoyable year to coach.”

Olson, who along with Miller were Sweet Home’s only district titlists last year, said he’s “gotten a lot better since last year.

“I’ve done a lot better at tournaments,” he said. “I came into the season thinking that I won regionals last year and I’ve got to put on a show every night – that’s what my dad says. I’m hoping I can bring my “A” game to state and do something good.”

One of the biggest winners of this year’s district tournament was Porter, a sophomore, who got off to a good start Saturday by pinning No. 1 seed Jared Schweighardt of North Marion.

Thorpe said both Porter and Rasmussen, who met in the final at 138 pounds, posted “monumental wins” on their way to a one-two finish.

Porter credited a win in the first round for opening his eyes to what could happen, and his confidence was bolstered by the victory over Schweighardt.

“I pinned the first kid that I wrestled and that was a big turning point for me,” he said. “I thought, ‘I can win this, this is my tournament.’

“Then I came out the next day and pinned the first seed. I was pretty happy. I didn’t expect to beat that kid. I went two and out last year. I did not wrestle well at the beginning of this season. The kid that I beat in the first round, he would have pinned me at the beginning of the season. I actually lost to our JV 145-pounder at the first of year. It’s crazy. I can’t believe it.”

In addition to the titlists, placewinners were JC Elder, third at 106 and a state qualifier; Boden Petersen, fifth at 106; Ricky Yunke, second at 113 and a state qualifier; Anthony Hardee, second at 120 and a state qualifier; Tyler Fincher, fourth at 120 and a state qualifier; Dillon Stutzman, fifth at 126; Justin Kurtz, sixth at 132; Rasmussen, second at 138 and a state qualifier; Bryce Coulter, eighth at 145; Joe Salsbery, second at 145 and a state qualifier; Oscar Hernandez, eighth at 152; Jason Miller, second at 152 and a state qualifier; Travis Petersen, eighth at 160; Brycen Denver, eighth at 170; Cole Ashcraft, fourth at 182 and a state qualifier; and Gavin Baskin, sixth at 220.

Out of 25 wrestlers in the tournament for Sweet Home, 23 scored points. The Huskies posted 60 individual wins, 41 of them by falls.

“It was pretty exciting to see it happen,” Thorpe said. “We had kids winning matches they weren’t expected to win. It was just kind of contagious. One guy would win and then another guy would win – not just the champions.”

He noted that Salsbery, a 145-pound senior transfer from Taft earlier this season, was a big help in the points race.

Other notable efforts came from Elder, Boden Petersen, Hardee, Yunke, Stutzman, Miller, Ashcraft and Baskin.

In particular, Stutzman, a sophomore, won five straight matches by falls, after losing his opener, to give Sweet Home 10 bonus points, even though he finally fell to to Yamhill-Carlton junior Orrin Ouska in a wrestle-off for fourth place and a trip to state.

“He had to come up the back door and win five matches in a row to get to where he could go third-fourth,” Thorpe said of Stutzman. “It was heartbreaking to have to wrestle back, to lose it, but it doesn’t take away that he earned us those points.”

Miller, a senior, “just missed being a champion,” Thorpe said. “He was a No. 5 seed in this tournament. He was completely disrespected by the coaches who made him a five seed.”

Another big performer was Ashcraft, who beat No. 3-seed Trey Summers of Stayton 5-2.

“That was a huge victory for him,” Thorpe said. “This is a guy who did wrestling to make him better for football and baseball.”

Elder pinned an opponent who had pinned him earlier in the season. Petersen, a freshman who hadn’t wrestled varsity at all this year, finished fifth.

“It’s hard to name everybody who did great things because these guys all wrestled well,” Thorpe said. “We weren’t supposed to be regional champs. To have guys keep winning, and winning by falls, was pretty awesome. There was incredible leadership by those guys that lead on this team.”

The state tournament will be Feb. 27-28 at Portland’s Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Doors open to the public at 8 a.m. both days. Seedings will be released by Sunday evening, Feb. 22.

Miller and Schilling said they liked the two-week break between district and state, which the OSAA dictated this year.

“All this week we’re going to work on the little things we need to work on before state, so I think it’s a really good break,” Schilling said. “I think it’s how it should have been all along. I’m excited for it.”

Miller said the Huskies will be ready.

“I think we’ve just been staying tough in the right ways. Everybody’s been working hard, conditigioning. The two-week break will give us time to retaper and peak for state.”

Special District 2 Championship Results

Team Scores – (1) Sweet Home 359; (2) Cascade 311; (3) North Marion 217; (4) Elmira 203; (5) Cottage Grove 173; (6) Philomath 134; (7) Sutherlin 130; (8) Strayton 111; (9) Newport 82; (10) Sisters 54; (11) Junction City 48; (12) Yamhill-Carlton 42.

106 – JC Elder, sophomore, finished third. Pinned Dakota Elliott of Cascade (:08); pinned Cristian Ramirez of North Marion (1:22); lost by fall to eventual winner Timothy Coblentz of Stayton (3:36); pinned Ryan Ninman of Stayton (1:24); then pinned Ramirez again in consolation final (1:30).

106 – Boden Petersen, freshman, placed fifth. Lost by major decision to Ryan Ninman of Stayton; pinned Spencer Kemp of Sisters (1:20); pinned Anthony Temple of North Marion (3:56); lost major decision to Cristian Ramirez of North Marion 9-0; pinned Ninman again (1:53) to place fifth.

113 – Kobe Olson, sophomore, won district championship. TF Cole Pade of Sisters (16-1, 4:00); pinned Derek Estrada of North Marion (3:23); dec. teammate Ricky Yunke in final 5-0.

113 – Ricky Yunke, freshman, placed second. Pinned Anthony Rath of Philomath (1:45); dec. Triston Rostocil of North Marion 7-5; lost to teammate Kobe Olson in final 5-0.

120 – Anthony Hardee, senior, placed second. Pinned Zachary Reid of Sisters (1:39); pinned Jasper Kamerer of Elmira (1:08); pinned Bryce Allen of Cottage Grove (:54); in championship final lost 11-5 to Logan Humphrey of Cascade.

120 – Tyler Fincher, sophomore, placed fourth. Pinned Alec Roberts of North Marion (0:58); dec. Riley Craig of Elmira 3-2; lost by TF to eventual champion Logan Humphrey of Cascade (15-0, 5:47); in consolation semis dec. Brandon Gibson of North Marion 9-7; lost by fall to Bryce Allen of Cottage Grove in third-place match.

126 – Tyler Schilling, senior, won the district championship. Pinned Anthony Arnold of Cottage Grove (1:36); pinned Connor Kelly of Cascade (2:44); pinned Derek Jones of North Marion (1:55); in championship final, major decisioned Casey Roberts of North Marion 17-7.

126 – Dillon Stutzman, sophomore, placed fifth. Lost by fall to Orrin Ouska of Yamhill-Carlton (2:43) in pigtail; pinned Hunter Johnson of Elmira (0:30) to stay alive for consolation; pinned Andrew Stevens of Sisters (0:17); pinned Tyler Woertink of Cottage Grove (:46); pinned Connor Kelly of Cascade (0:46); pinned Dillon Blythe of Cascade (:39); in third-place match lost by fall to Derek Jones of North Marion (3:11); in wrestle-off for state berth, lost by TF to Orrin Ouska of Yamhill-Carlton (16-1; 4:12).

132 – Justin Kurtz, freshman, placed sixth. Pinned Anthony Tena of Elmira (2:44); lost by fall to Adam Keller of North Marion (1:35); dec. Rodney Chamberlain of Cottage Grove 10-3; dec. Stuart Hainey of Sutherlin 16-14; in consolation semifinals lost by fall to Jared Riesterer of Cascade (1:47); lost 9-3 to Branden Carrillo of Sutherlin in fifth-place match.

132 – Tyrel Miller, senior, won the district championship. Pinned Josiah Starr of Junction City (0:29); pinned Edgar Gonzalez of North Marion (0:29); pinned Jared Riesterer of Cascade (5:56); in championship final, dec. Kade VanDeHey of Cascade 9-2.

138 – Jake Porter, sophomore, won the district championship. Pinned Jarod Schweighardt of North Marion (1:44); pinned Garth Evenson of Elmira (0:57); in championship final TF teammate Joe Rasmussen (18-3, 4:22).

138 – Joe Rasmussen, junior, placed second. Pinned Gannon Jones of Elmira (3:48); pinned Martin Giffen of Cottage Grove (0:16); pinned Levi Wing of North Marion (4:28); in championship final lost by TF to teammate Jake Porter (18-3, 4:22).

145 – Bryce Coulter, freshman, placed eighth. Lost by fall to eventual champion Lane Stigall of North Marion (0:51); major decisioned Kyle White of Elmira (12-1); lost by fall to Cole Cade of Cascade (2:55).

145 – Joe Salsbery, senior, placed second. Won by TF over Kyler Anderson iof North Marion (17-0 4:00); pinned Gage Herbert of Cottage Grove (2:26); dec. Carson Carder of Philomath 4-2; in championship final lost by fall to Lane Stigall of North Marion (0:39).

152 – Oscar Hernandez, sophomore, finished eighth. Lost by fall to Ronald Benton-Hayes of Cascade (0:39); pinned Timon Schwrey of Philomath (3:50); pinned Luke Nauman of Yamhill-Carlton (4:32); lost by fall to Jacob Morris of Philomath (2:52).

152 – Jason Miller, senior, placed second. Pinned Gunner Cave of Elmira (2:24); dec. Jacob Morris of Philomath 4-2; dec. Damian Chavez of North Marion 2-1; in championship final lost 5-2 to Alan Bordeaux of Cottage Grove.

160 – Nick McIntire, sophomore, did not place. Lost by fall to Ethan Agnes of Elmira (0:41); lost by major decision to Jacob French of Philomath (12-1).

160 – Travis Petersen, senior, finished eighth. Lost 8-4 to Jayson Stalder of Cottage Grove; pinned Austin Emanuel of Junction City (1:36); pinned Rio Solano of Cascade (6:00); lost by major decision to Levi Summers of Stayton 9-0.

170 – Brycen Denver, sophomore, placed eighth. Defeated Kulolyu Tudela of Cascade by injury default; lost by fall to Daniel Folkerts of Newport (5:37); pinned Dustin Smith of Sisters (0:49); lost by fall to Justin Crum of Sutherlin (4:44).

170 – Devin Stafford, sophomore, did not place. Lost by fall to Levi Hanson of Elmira (3:10); pinned Shaun Markam of Sutherlin (0:58); lost 10-4 to Matthew Heskew of Stayton.

182 – Cole Ashcraft, senior, placed fourth. Dec. Trey Summers of Stayton 5-2; lost by fall to eventual champion Spencer Crawford of Cascade (1:44); dec. Tyler Lewis of Philomath 7-4; in consolation final lost 8-3 to Ray Dollahite of Elmira.

182 – Daniel Rooney, junior, did not place. Pinned Kevin Dennis of Cottage Grove (0:29); lost by fall to Hayes VanDeHey of Cascade (:50); lost by fall to Tyler Lewis of Philomath (0:45).

195 – Hunter Olheiser, junior, did not place. Lost by fall to Kelby Evans of Philomath (1:26); lost by fall to Jacob Forcier of Cascade (1:13).

220 – Gavin Baskin, junior, placed sixth. Pinned Shawn Farrell of Cottage Grove (1:14); lost by TF to Jeffre Schaefer of Cascade (17-2, 5:04); in consolation semifinals, lost by fall to Beau Crawford of Cottage Grove (1:26); in fifth-place match, lost by fall to Shawn Farrell of Cottage Grove (3:51).

220 – Dalton Doerfler, junior, did not place. Won by forfeit over Alex Kennedy of Sutherlin; lost by fall to eventual champion Malachi Gonzlez of Cascade; lost by fall to Joseph Legendre of Junction City (1:17).