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The New Era Paper
Sweet Home, Oregon
February 1, 2012     The New Era Paper
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February 1, 2012

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Ii T ra - February I, 2012 " Page 11 SH pulls shocker with 2nd place at Reser"s It was, Sweet Home Coach Steve Thorpe said, one of the greatest toumament finishes of his coaching career. Sweet Home's wrestling team, which had lost three dual matches to both Henley and Crook County this season, and twice to 5A power Dallas, roared out of the blocks Friday at the prestigious Reser's Tournament of Champions at Lib- erty High School in Hillsborough, and kept the pedal to the metal Sat- urday to come away second out of 24 of some of the best wrestling teams in Oregon from 2A Culver to 6A Roseburg. Roseburg finished with 254 points, with Sweet Home a dis- tant second at 151.5, followed by Dallas (143.5), Hermiston (126.5), Henley (118) and Cascade (117.5). Crook County was 10th, with 105.5 points. "Quite honestly, what can you say?" Thorpe asked, philosophical- ly Monday. "That has to be place up there with some of the best ones Sweet Home has had." The Huskies got an individual championship from Colton Schil- ling at 120 pounds and second- place finishes from Tyler Cowger at 145 and Wade Paulus at 195. Heavyweight Zach Gill got knocked out of the championship bracket by PJ Shubert of Pendle- ton, the third-ranked wrestler in the 5A division, then battled back through the consolation bracket to meet Shubert again in the final, pinned him, and took home third- place honors. It wasn't just the place-winners who wrestled well, Thorpe noted. "We entered 13 varsity wres- tlers and 11 scored points, and they did it with pins," he said. "We pinned people." Raul Hernandez pinned his first two opponents at 152 pounds before being knocked out, but not before setting the standard for his teammates, Thorpe said. "When you have a guy like Raul, who in the first round pins the No. 8 seed, what's the expec- tation? That's when guys start be- lieving in themselves. We finished eight points ahead of Dallas, which had whipped us twice in duals. "I have to tell you that the leadership we're getting out of a few guys -Colton Schilling, Ty Harvey and Tyler Cowger are re- ally starting to come around." Schilling, who has been wres- tling for five weeks after coming off the injured list, avenged a loss two weeks ago to Henley's Ronnie Bresser, beating Bresser 2-0 in the 120-pound final. "He's starting to hit his stride," Thorpe said. Cowger pinned his first three opponents, competing a string of 20 straight wins by fall, before set- tling for a decision in his fourth match, against Keith Nichols of Canby, ranked second in the state in the 6A division, whom Cowger beat 4-2. "It's hard for me to wrap my head around 20 pins in a row, espe- cially at 145 pounds," Thorpe said. Paulus pinned his way to the final match at 195 pounds before losing 8-5 to Jacob Turek of Hills- borough, second-ranked at 6A, who knocked him out of the Re- ser's Toumament last year Thorpe said. "Wade wrestled his heart out," the coach said. "He showed a lot of toughness in that match." The Huskies' place-winners pinned every Crook County oppo- nent they faced, Thorpe said. The Cowboys are the No. 1-ranked 4A team in the state. Thorpe also credited junior varsity placewinners Tyler Schil- See Reser's, page 17 Photos courtesy of Patricia Schilling Wade Paulus clamps down on Crook County's Rhett Smith en route to a pin in the semifinals of the 195-pound division at Reser's. Zach Gill gets set to pin Pendleton's PJ Schubert in the third-place match of the 285-pound division at Reser's Tournament of Champions. Big win for cheer squad Sweet Home's cheer squad took first place in its divi- sion and the was named Grand Champion for the IA through 4A divisions at the Emerald Classic in Spring- field Saturday, Jan. 28. The Huskies competed in the large team 4A division against Henley, Cottage Grove, South Umpqua and Brookings Harbor. Brook- ings Harbor, the team that edged out Sweet Home for the state championship last year, was second and South Umpqua was third. "That is a pretty big deal," said Coach Amber Rosa. "The girls looked great. They are looking better and better every week and the judges were very impressed by them." Photo courtesy of Heather Thorpe