Wrestlers wrap up season at State
Last updated 3/1/2022 at Noon
None of the four wrestlers representing Sisters High at the OSAA 4A State Championships made the podium, but according to coach Gary Thorson, the boys have no reason to hang their heads.
Cascade High School hosted the 4A tournament as part of the OSAA’s decision to split up the meet to separate sites in order to minimize crowd sizes due to COVID-19 concerns.
“Once again, like we have all year, the kids wrestled very hard, but we did not wrestle our very best, and at that level there is no room for error,” Thorson said. “We had a great week of practice and felt very good headed into the tournament. Other than Ben Cooper, who has had a bad wrist for weeks, we went in pretty healthy for this time of year.”
Thorson said, “Three of the four won at least one match, which was good to see, but we really did expect to see a few of the kids on the podium this time around.”
Hayden Kunz started the tournament on a tough note with a loss by fall at the 3:45 mark in round one of the 138-pound class, at the hands of Tanner Wood of Mazama. Kunz responded with a 7-4 victory over Jackson Lyda. In his final match Kunz came up short against Enrico Cervantez of Elmira/Crow, who topped Kunz in a 4-1 decision. The junior ended the season with a record of 20-16.
In the 145-pound class, Ben Cooper battled Jacob Hughes in a contest of wills before being edged by one point in a 5-4 decision. Cooper bounced back in the consolation round to win 7-1 over Luke Bozied of Banks, but Benito Roman of Woodburn out-pointed Cooper in the second round of consolation 7-3. He ended his season with a 39-15 record that included 29 pins.
Wyatt Maffey made quick work of Landon Myers in the first round of the 152-pound class, with a pin in just under two minutes. In the quarterfinal round North Marion’s Landon Wing took the upper hand and beat Maffey by technical fall 19-3.
Maffey moved to the consolation round and stayed alive with a major decision over Ashton Swanson of Sweet Home 27-10. He then lost a close decision 7-5 against Ridge Kehr of La Grande and finished the season with a record of 33-12.
In the 220-pound division, Henry Rard faced off against the eventual third-place finisher in round one, Jackson Contreras of Tillamook, who took Rard down at the 1:16 mark of the match.
Rard moved on to face Cort Waggoner of Siuslaw, but once again fell victim to a fall, this time at the 4:02 mark, ending his season with a record of 20-18.
La Grande, with 18 wrestlers in the meet, won the team title with 275.5 points, Sweet Home was second (250.5), Tillamook third (187), and Philomath fourth (118).
Thorson concluded his comments, saying, “As coaches it was very difficult to see our kids struggle like they did, after they did everything we have asked all year long and us knowing how badly they wanted to perform well. It was a bummer way to end a great season in which the program took some more strides. All of us hated to see this season end, but on a positive note, it was a fun ride for us coaches with a great group of kids and very supportive parents and fans.”