Wrestlers heading to Districts

 

Last updated 6/8/2021 at Noon

Jerry Baldock

Hayden Kunz gets a pin in Outlaws wrestling action.

Following a flurry of meets over the past two weeks, the Sisters Outlaws wrestling squad is headed to the District meet on Saturday, June 12, in La Grande.

The Outlaws competed in five meets since May 25 in the run-up to the District meet. The season has continued for the program in a whirlwind of wrestling meets the last two weeks.

Sisters hosted a meet against Mountain View’s junior varsity team on May 25, traveled to Sheldon on May 27, Culver on May 29, Ridgeview on June 2, and McMinnville on June 5.

All those meets gave the Outlaws plenty of competition from athletes of all classifications from 1A to 6A, according to head coach Gary Thorson.

“Each meet we are seeing improvement in the kids and all the meets back to back has been very healthy and eye-opening for many of the kids in the program,” he said. “They have figured out that it is mat time and experience, more than the size of the school, that determines the success of individuals and teams.”


Thorsett pointed out some of the highlights from the extraordinarily busy couple of weeks.

Junior Wyatt Maffey picked up three wins and took third place at the Culver Invite and senior Hunter Spor and sophomore Henry Rard each took fifth place with three wins apiece as well. In addition, Chase Frankl, a junior, picked up his first career victory and senior Miguel Gaona earned a pair of wins at the tournament.

At McMinnville, Maffey and frosh Polan Pool picked up three wins each, Daisy Patterson picked up two wins, and Travis Griffiths notched his first win for the year after coming back from an injury.

Thorson noted that over the last few weeks he has seen steady and good solid performances from juniors Carson Brown, Jacob Washington, and Jared Miller.

Overall, Hunter Spor has a 10-4 record, according to Thorson.

“Hunter has really had a lot of success for the team,” he said. “He did not wrestle the last few years and despite being undersized at heavyweight is really holding his own.”

Looking ahead to Districts, Thorson said, “While we have some very competitive kids and coaches in our program, our team understands we are not determining their success based on their match outcomes but on how hard they are wrestling and the improvement they are making. I think this has taken the weight off the shoulders of our kids and they are enjoying the sport more because of it.”


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The Outlaws will travel to the northeast corner of the state Friday, where La?Grande High School will host the special district meet. La Grande, the defending state champion, will be the heavy favorite to repeat as district champions, according to Thorson. The other teams in the district include Madras, Gladstone, Corbett, Baker, Ontario, and McLoughlin/Weston-McEwen.


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As the season draws to a close, Thorson tipped his hat to the people helping him run the program.

“I cannot say enough good things about our assistant coaches, Zachary Mock, Trey Jarboe, and Randy Robinson, who are the main reasons for the improvement we are seeing in our kids,” he said. “They are the ones providing a wealth of knowledge and expertise in the area of technique and knowledge of the sport for our wrestlers, and are all great motivators for our kids as well. They are a great group of coaches and a pleasure to work with.”


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Normally, the district meet would serve as the qualifier for the state championships, but as with all other high school sports in Oregon this year, the Oregon Schools Activities Association will not be sponsoring a state meet for wrestling. However, a state championship meet organized by coaches and athletic directors will be held June 26 at Cascade High School in Turner. The top four athletes in each weight class will advance.

 

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