PREP WRESTLING: Tigers reclaim home wrestling tournament
After just missing a Muilenburg Tournament title by four points last season, La Grande didn’t take any chances at its home event Saturday.
“It was a great team effort,” La Grande head coach Klel Carson said. “To win a tournament like this, you need a lot of kids wrestling well. Even the kids that didn’t make it to the finals did well. This tournament, with all the teams we have here, is really tough.
“We did a great job of getting some extra points from pins in the opening rounds, that helped boost up our team score.”
The Tigers put six wrestlers into the championship matches, and walked away with three titles.
Cole Rohan got things going first underneath the spotlight at 106 pounds. Rohan jumped out to a 4-0 lead against Braxton Sue of Scappoose. Rohan used a late reversal in the second to reclaim a 6-5 lead, and ended up with a 10-7 win. Ryan Middleton, 138 pounds, defeated Javier Gonzalez 7-3, a match that was much closer than the score indicated. Middleton got a takedown at the buzzer of the second round to grab a 4-2 lead.
The senior got another takedown, for a 7-2 lead, at the edge of the mat as Gonzalez was trying to escape Middleton’s grasp.
Middleton was thankful for one more chance at bringing home the title.
“It feels so great,” Middleton said. “I always wanted to win this tournament, I just had to go get it.”
Caleb Woodworth brought home the final championship for the Tigers at 170 pounds, defeating Ty Johnson of Wieser 10-5.
Tyler Isaacson, Jared Neiss and Taren Hardwick each took second for the Tigers.
Middleton said it was a great thing to watch his teammates succeed.
“We hit the weight room and worked really hard over the summer,” Middleton said. “It’s great to be part of a team that’s willing to work hard to achieve success.
“It’s great to know that there’s a legacy with La Grande wrestling, and the team will keep winning after I’m gone.”
Enterprise/Joseph won the small school title, for the third straight season, led by Wyatt Warnock’s championship win at 220 pounds, finishing with 126.5 team points.
The match went scoreless in the opening round, and was 1-all head into the final two minutes. Warnock slipped while going for his opponents leg. He recovered quickly enough, and recorded a takedown and nearfall to walk away with a 5-1 win.
Kyle Roepke came back to win a consolation championship for the Outlaws at 145 pounds.
Imbler finished with 42 points with 10 wrestlers. Union/Cove scored 34 points with six wrestlers. Elgin’s five wrestlers finished with 30 points, while Wallowa finished with two points.
Chad Witty led Union/Cove with a fifth-place finish at 182 pounds.
Tyler Tandy led Imbler with a third-place finish at 220 pounds.