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Timberwolves take tourney title

Wrestling -- Tualatin outbattles seven other teams to win its first home tournament championship
by: DAN BROOD, TIMBERWOLF ON TOP — Tualatin freshman Dillon Carabajal (left) has control of Centennial’s Zach Murphy in a 125-pound match Saturday. Carbajal pinned Murphy in a time of 1:59.

TUALATIN - For the first time, the Tualatin High School wrestling team didn't have to give away the championship trophy.

The Timberwolves, filled with intensity, battled and fought with all they had to make sure that would be the case. They wanted to make sure the trophy stayed home.

It did.

The Wolves, for the first time, claimed the championship at their own tourney as they outscored seven other teams to claim first place at the Tualatin Tournament, held Saturday at Tualatin High School.

'We finally did it,' Tualatin coach Matt Hamilton said. 'The kids were excited about it. It's a sign of progress. It was the next step - and a step for the future.'

Tualatin took first place at the tournament with 288½ points. Aloha was second with a score of 258½.

'The home tournament is more special,' Tualatin senior Jake Wakefield said. 'The team is looking real solid. We're going to keep building and keep battling.'

While performing well at the home tournament was important to the Wolves, getting on the mats and getting better was also a key motivating factor.

'I'm just here to wrestle, that's all,' Tualatin junior Chris Porter said. 'It doesn't matter where, I just want to get out there and wrestle.'

Porter and Wakefield both had strong tournaments for the victorious Timberwolves. Wakefield, wrestling in the 285-pound weight class, was one of five Tualatin grapplers to win individual tournament championships.

Wakefield won all four of his matches by first-round pins. In the finals, he pinned Anthony Sullivan of Liberty in just 42 seconds. His quickest win came in the quarterfinal round, where he defeated Kevin Gentry of Rex Putnam in 33 seconds.

'Sometimes, you just know when you're stronger,' Wakefield said after that victory.

Wakefield, a standout lineman on the Tualatin football team, wrestled as a freshman, but didn't wrestle during either his sophomore or junior years at the school. He's back on the mats as a senior, mainly, he says, to get ready for college football.

'I love the conditioning you get in wrestling,' Wakefield said. 'I don't have any special goals this year, just to stay in shape.'

Tualatin freshman Nathan Andrews won a tourney title at 103 pounds. He scored a default victory over Shea Maples of Sandy in the finals.

At 112 pounds, Timberwolf sophomore Walter Blice won a championship. He posted a 15-0 technical fall win over Brad Topliff of Sandy in the championship round.

The Wolves also got a championship at 125 pounds, where freshman Dillon Carbajal pinned Aloha's Taylor Ickes in 1:48 in the title match.

Tualatin's other championship came at 145 pounds when junior Travis Gamache scored a 4-2 decision win over James Schultz of Centennial in the finals.

'We was in great control all day,' Hamilton said of Gamache. 'He outworked people.'

Porter placed second in the 171-pound weight class.

He had to wrestle at the tourney while wearing a protective mask, due to the stitches he received above his right eye the week before in a tournament at Newberg. He was scheduled to have to wrestle while wearing the mask for three more weeks.

'It bothers me a lot,' Porter said of the mask.

But that's not deterring him at all.

'I'm going for state,' said Porter, who plans on getting down to 145 pounds this season.

Brent Houston, at 215 pounds, also had a second-place finish at the tourney for Tualatin.

Robert Kennedy at 171 pounds, Charlie Maze at 189 and Jason GrosJacques at 215 each had third-place finishes. Blake Areano and Rachel Pollay were each fifth at 103. Jake Trost was fifth at 130 and Matt Gregson was fifth at 275.

'The kids were really aggressive,' Hamilton said. 'We've told them that they've got to be combative. They're also starting to believe that they can beat guys in the third round.'