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February 20, 2008     The New Era Paper
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February 20, 2008

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-February 20, 2008 SPORTS Page 13 From page 11 would have tied or won the match as time ran out. "It was a five-team race at that point, but i knew when that was taken away from Brock, that kind of dashed our hopes of winning a state championship," Thorpe said. Still, he said, it was a good weekend in many ways. "What happened, is we won it last year, graduated seven or eight guys, came back and scared the heck out of everybody at the tournament, wondering if we were going to repeat," he said. "Seventeen of our 18 entries won matches. "I've always said the state tournament doesn't play out on paper the way you expect it to," Thorpe said. "You have certain people win matches they shouldn't, and certain people lose matches they shouldn't. We trophied with less champions than any team I've ever had." Newport said he got "a late start" in his championship match and didn't gain control until he scored the reversal. "I knew I was gonna come back," he said, despite the rough start. "I was confident in myself." He said after he got the reversal, he could tell Castner was done. ,'He just fell apart as soon as I started scoring on him," Newport said. In the semifinals, he beat top- ranked Chayse Garrison of Hidden Valley 3-1 Friday in a match in which, Thorpe said, Newport just didn't quit. "He.refused to stop wrestling," Thorpe said. "He just kept wrestling. When he came off the mat in the semis, I said to him, 'You haven't done anything yet.' When he came off the mat in the finals, he said 'Now I've done something.' I said, 'Yes, you have.'" Newport has wrestled for the Sweet Home Mat Club since he was a youngster and he knew what.was coming when he got to high school, Thorpe said. "The thing about Kris is he worked very hard for this," he said. "He hasn't just improved as wrestler over the last year, he has improved as a person. He works hard and he's been a good teammate. He earned this title." And, Thorpe added, "He has had great workout partners. Every day in the wrestling room he's had great workout partners." Now, he said, the challenge for Levi Weikel Overpowers Matt Cormish Newport will be staying at the level he reached Saturday. "Getting good is easy compared to staying good," Thorpe said. "The expecation is on him now. That will be a mark of character." Tagle, who Was ranked first in the state poll going into the tournament, though he was not seeded, said he thought he wrestled "well" except when he was pinned in the championship semifinals by top-seeded Brandon Bowers of South Umpqua. "I think it was a big match and I kind of froze up" he said. "I don't think he was better than me. I was just outwrestled. "It was good to place so I can get h better seeding position fornext year. It was a lot better than last year (when he went two and out). I'm definitely not satisfied." Thorpe said Tagle is disappointed but the bright side is that he will be seeded next year, which will be an advantage. He said Mitch Grove's fifth- place medal, after losses to Tagle (in the consolation semis) and second-seeded Dylan McCallum of LaGrande, was a good finish. "We like to finish on an odd number," Thorpe said. "Mitch came back and readjusted his goals mid- tournament and wrestled hard, like he always does." Grove said he thought he did "fairly well" in the tournament. "I could always do better," he Photos by Scott Swanson to win the consolation finals and place third in the 140-pound divisionl said. "You can always improve on yourself." He said that getting to wrestle varsity matches, particularly near the end of the season when he and Tagle moved up or down, gave him experience that helped at state. "I wrestled the guy who got fourth at 6A," he said. "I wrestled three of the guys (he faced over the weekend) before." He said he'd like to stay at 103 pounds but may have to move up next year, though for the sake of the team and family, he said he'd like to wrestle at a different weight than his identical twin, Matt. Johnson, who finished second last year at 112 pounds, lost 1-0 to Adam Hayner of Molalla in the semifinals, then fell victim to a referee's non- call against second-seeded Gabe Goodrich of Scappoose, who also ended up in the consolation bracket of what Thorpe said he believed was the toughest weight division in this year's tournament. Johnson was trailing Goodrich 7-5 and was underneath coming into the final seconds of the bout, when he turned what spectators and nearby coaches thought was a reversal, but the referee awarded no points, giving the match to Goodrich and relegating Johnson to the fifth-sixth final. "Danny Johnson should have been going for third or fourth," Thorpe said. "That was another call that wasn't even in question. But there was nothing that could have Matt Grove tries for an escape against Brian Bowers of South Umpqua in the seventh-eighth-place 112-pound finals. been done. After that situation, he didn't have the luxury of feeling bad about it." Johnson destroyed fourth-seeded Tony Thao of LaPine with a 16-1 technical fall for fifth place. "In my match against Goodrich, I thought I had him beat but the ref had a different idea," Johnson said later, then extended a compliment to Newport: "It was nice to see the freshman make the finals." Matt Grove, who was wrestling his first state tournament, also in the tough 112-pound bracket, had "an absolutely incredible" run to finish eighth, Thorpe said. In his consolation quarterfinal bout, Grove, who wrestled on the junior varsity behind Johnson for much of the season, faced Rhino Prince of Illinois Valley and dragged him to the mat with two seconds left to win 8-6. "My goal was to get seventh and I missed by one place," Grove said, but he added that his win against Prince proved an important point: "It shows you have to work for all six minutes of the match." Crocker, who finished third last year, also fell victim to a questionable call on Friday against sixth-seeded Sam Winter of Illinois Valley. The two were in overtime in their 135- pound semifinals match when the referee awarded Winter a two-point: takedown, which "it was not," Thorpe: said. "In my semi finals match, Ii wrestled really good, really smart, but I didn't get the calls," Crocker: said. "I have a tendency for that .to, happen." Crocker won through until he; met top-seeded Adam Sprague off Pleasant Hill in the third-place final, who simply outmuscled him in a 17- 7 win. Sprague had dropped frona 158 pounds, Crocker said, and hiss strength made the difference. "He was disappointed, upseit about it but he didn't make excuses,'" Thorpe said of the semifinal loss' "I was very disappointed, very/ heartbroken for him. He wrestled am incredible match. He's got stuff to shoot for next year." Weikel, a junior making hi s second appearance at state afte r competing as a freshman, wrestled unseeded out of a pigtail at 140 poundts and turned heads with a dominating performance that was marred by a About all Trent'Hardwick of LaGrande can do is fend off Brock Crocker as Crocker scores points during his 9-2 consolation win. single loss when he was pinned by eventual second-place finisher John Hedge of Marist in the quarterfinals. Other than that, Weikel pinned all his opponents en route to the consolation championship. "Levi Weikel was quite possibly the most tailed-about kid in the tournament that wasn't a state champion," Thorpe said. "No matter what the score, he's a dangerous, dangerous wrestler if he gets you on your back." Weikel's pins earned 10 bonus points for the Huskies, which was "huge," Thorpe said. Weikel said he was happy to come back to get third. "Realistically, I was hoping to place," he said. "I just wanted to get as far as I could get." Pitts, wrestling with a rib injury for the last few weeks, kept all his matches close, a fact that he took comfort in, "This was not what I expected," he said of his sixth-place finish. "I had real close matches." Thorpe said Pitts wanted to finish higher but the injury was a problem. "He wrestled as hard as he could," he said. "He lost a couple of close matches. He wrestled with intensity and heart. It's OK to get beat." The other place-winner from last year who wrestled in this year's tournament, junior Jack Perry, did not medal this year while wrestling with an injured shoulder. "Jack wrestled with as much heart as he possibly could," Thorpe said. He noted that Perry and 13 others of the 18 Huskies who qualified for state are expected back next year. "This was a season I thought we were going to be down some," he said. "We went 23-3 (in dual meets), won the district championship and were third in state. I underestimated what this group of athletes was capable of doing." He expressed appreciation for his "great coaching staff" - Tim Boatright, Steve Hummer, Eric Tagle, Steve Schilling and Joe Rosa, as well as the support staff and parents who have made the program run smoothly. "We have great coaches in our program this year;" Thorpe said. "They have high, high expectations for the kids, all of them." Newport's success on Saturday night was a result of years of coaching he got from the Mat Club coaches as well, he said -Schilling, Greg Newport and Rosa. "They all taught him," Thorpe said. Next up for the Huskies is the freestyle and Greco-Roman season. "We're going to take little break, stay away from the mat for a week and a half, and think about what we need to do," Thorpe said. "We'll set some new goals. We don't want to wait till November to do it." OSAA 4A Wrestling Championships Sweet Home Results 103 Taylor Tagle, soph not seeded, pinned Francisco Hernandez (LaGrande) :34; def. Ryder Waddington (Scappoose) 8-1; lost by a pin to top- seeded Brandon Bowers (South Umpqua) 5:36; in consolation bracket, def. (teammate) Mitch Grove 6-2; lost to Wade Humphrey (Cascade 5-3 in consolation final to finish fourth. 103 - Mltch Grove, soph not seeded, pinned Charles Guthde (Henley) 3:30; lost to second-seeded Dylan McCollum (LaGrande) 12-2; in consolation bracket, pinned Blake Woosley (Philomath) 2:09; def. third-seeded Chris Culver (Illinois Valley) 6-5; lost to (teammate) Taylor Tagle 6-2; def. Wade Hall (Tillamook) 5- 0 to finish fifth. 112 - Danny Johnson, sr top-seeded, pinned Josh Baker (Phoenix) 1:04; def. Jordan Smith (Scappoose) 5-4; lost 1-0 to Adam Hayner (Molalla); in consolation bracket, lost to second-seeded Gabe Goodrich (Scappoose) 7-5; def. fourth- seeded Tony Thao of LaPine with a 16-1 technical fall for fifth place. 112 - Matt Grove, soph not seeded, lost to third-seeded Zach Clark (Cascade) 18-5; in the consolation. bracket, def. Nick Ough (Elmira) 11-8; def. Rhino Prince (illinois Valley) 8- 6 in OT; lost to second-seeded Gabe Goodrich (Scappoose) 6-2; lost to fifth- seeded Brian Bowers (South Umpqua) 4-0 for eighth place. 119 - Krls Newport, fr not seeded, pinned TJ Arthur (Banks) 5:11 ; def. top- seeded Chase Fields (Ontario) 9-4; def. fifth-seeded Chase Garrison (Hidden Valley) 3-1; def. third-seeded Trinity Castner (Douglas) 7-4 in final to win state championship. 119 - Casey Johnson, sr not seeded, lost to dake Marshall (Molalla) 4~2, in consolation bracket, def. Patrick Ryan (Taft) 5-1; lost to Daniel Nunez (Ontario) 6-2; did not medal. 125 - Jack Perry, jr fifth-seeded, pinned Kyle Deming (North Bend) 2:44; lost to David Dodge (Cascade) 16-5; in consolation bracket, lost to Andrew Worthington (Estacada) 11-2; did not medal. 130- Kyle Hummer, ft not seeded, lost by technical fall to Tony Norman (North Valley); lost to Vince Morales (Ontario) 9-2; did not medal. 130 - Marshall Arndt, soph not seeded, def. Jackson Hicks (Estacada) 7-5; lost to third-seeded Ryan Black (Phoenix) 13-0; in consolation bracket lost to Bruce Balcita (South Umpqua) 7- 5; did not medal. 135 - Brock Crocker, soph second- seeded, pinned Dustin Paradis (Brookings-Harbor) 4:56; def. Logan Grady (Banks) 9-2; def. Matt Collier (Cascade) 7-4; lost to Sam Winter (Illinois Valley) 11-9 in OT; in consolation bracket, def. Trent Hardwick (LaGrande) 9-2; lost to top-ranked Adam Sprague (Pleasant Hill) 17-7 to finish fourth. 140 - Levi Welkel, jr not seeded, pinned Josh Warden (Phoenix) 3:24; pinned Frank Lopez (Ontario) 5:15; lost by fall to second-seeded John Hedge (Marist) 3:23; in consolation bracket, pinned J. Porter (Stayton) 4:12; pinned Willie Bennett (Brookings Harbor) 4:08; See Wrestle, page 16 Fill out the form to ,the right Mall form & your beck I nno The New Era PO Box 39 Sweet Home, OR 97386 m Name: | Address: | | Phone: | | I | | / Year: Inside $35/Year: Outside City: State: Zip: Or Call us wi#h your Visa I Mastercard at (541) 367-2135 ;and subscribe over the phone. | I