Wrestlers compete during holiday break at two tournaments


Last updated 1/3/2023 at Noon

Scott Henderson battling at the tournament in Burns. PHOTO PROVIDED

The Outlaws wrestling team hit the road twice during the holiday break, with tournaments in Pendleton and Burns.

The Red Lion Invitational in Pendleton on December 21 included 19 squads from throughout Central and Eastern Oregon.

The Outlaws ended up placing 11th, with 61 points. Scorers at the tournament included Tyson Kemp, who came through with a fifth-place finish in the 132-pound weight class. Hayden Kunz went 3-1 to place third in the 145-pound division and Ben Cooper made it to the championship match at 152, before losing to champion Hunter Kemper by fall at the 2:57 mark.

Brooklyn Cooper was the highest-placing Outlaw at Pendleton, as she won her division.

Burns racked up 261 points to demolish the team competition, outdistancing runner-up Hood River Valley by nearly 100 points.

At the Woodfin-Robinson Memorial Tournament in Burns on December 30, Hayden Kunz led the way with 21.5 points for the Outlaws as they scored 67.5 points to place eighth among the twelve schools competing. Once again it was the host Hilanders who squashed the rest of the teams, piling up 268 points.

Kunz made his way to the championship round with a fall over Sotelo-Diaz of Nyssa and a 17-2 decision over Mason Benge of Grant Union before succumbing to Carter Lardy of Burns by fall at the 3:01 mark.

Ben Cooper scored major decisions over Jack Strong of Grant Union and Tyler Clarkson of Madras before once again facing off against Hunter Kemper of Burns. Kemper, the reigning state champion, made short work of Cooper with a fall at the 0:56 second mark.

At this point in the season, Ben Cooper has made it to the finals at every match, placing second each time, according to Head Coach David Kemp.

Scott Henderson returned to action for the Outlaws and picked up third place, including an overtime victory over Raul Gonzalez in the final round in the 170-pound division.

“Scott came back strong for us and that final match was exciting and impressive,” said Kemp.

Tyson Kemp and Brennan Frutos both competed in the 132-pound weight class. Kemp lost by fall (3:01) to Jayvon Tovar of Madras, and lost a 15-6 major decision to Fabin Cruz of Madras in the consolation round. Following a bye in the first round, Frutos lost to Giovanni Cartwright of Pine Eagle by fall (0:24), and then lost to Lucien Miller by fall (1:12) in the consolation round.

Brooklyn Cooper placed second in her division among girls at Burns.

“Our team is small but we consistently are getting our kids in placement matches, and in finals in these big tournaments,” said Kemp.

The Outlaws were scheduled to host a home meet on Tuesday, January 3 before traveling to Pleasant Hill on Saturday, January 7 for the annual King of the Hill tournament.


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