Buffs, 'Dogs wrestle steady at classic

Culver takes fourth, Madras seventh at Oregon Classic

by: Photo By Christina M. Crockett - Madras wrestler Chris Monroe (top) takes control of his opponent during Friday's contest against McLoughlin at the Oregon Wrestling Classic in Redmond. For the tournament, Monroe posted a 4-0 record en route to aiding the White Buffalos to a seventh-place finish in the Class 3A competition.

One of the biggest wrestling events in the Northwest, the annual Oregon Wrestling Classic presents some of the toughest wrestling competition around. Welcoming wrestles of all ages, from mat club kids and high schoolers, to college athletes, both men and women, the classic has become one of the biggest events to come to Central Oregon.
   Amidst over 2,700 wrestlers of various ages, the Culver and Madras teams were at the Oregon Classic, competing with the toughest wrestlers around. A two-day event, the classic was held at the Deschutes County Expo Center in Redmond last weekend.
   Placing third in the Class 2A high school division last year at the classic, the Culver Bulldogs took fourth this year, slipping to defending state champion Dayton in the semi-finals.
   While Madras was unable to attend the classic last year due to severe winter weather conditions, the White Buffalos took seventh this year in the Class 3A high school division.
   "One of the things I told (the Buffs) ahead of time is that I wanted them to place and they did," said Madras head coach Paul Brown. "That was fantastic. When you win three dual meets and lose only one, that's a pretty good performance by the kids."
   Receiving a bye in the first round on Friday, Madras slipped to McLoughlin 45-27, placing them in the quarterfinals. Upon defeating Central 60-13 later on Friday, Madrsa went into Saturday's competition and won against Baker 48-27. The Buffs then took down Rainier 54-16 for seventh place. Estacada, a Tri-Valley League team, won the Class 3A classic titile for the second consecutive year.
   Culver High School didn't have a problem in the first round of the Class 2A-1A first round competition, downing Elgin-Imbler 45-36. The Bulldogs went on to defeat Pine Eagle 54-21 in the quarterfinals before they faced their toughest competition on Saturday.
   The Bulldogs wrestled into an early lead against Central Linn in Saturday's semifinals, but got pinned as Central Linn went on to win 45-23. Central Linn won the Class 2A title at the classic.
    Later that day, Culver faced Dayton for third-place, but slipped to the defending champions 41-36 to claim fourth place.
   "They (Dayton) just came out with a couple more points than we did," said Culver head coach J.D. Alley. "All the matches were very entertaining. They were all decision matches. They were good, close matches. I think that it was good for us to see some of those guys (for Central Linn and Dayton), because it allows us to prepare for them when we see them at state."
   Culver had had two wrestlers with perfect records on the weekend. Freshman Miguel Baltazar (112/119) went 4-0, while Adam Kinley (130/135) finished with a 3-0 record.
    In what Coach Alley said was the highlight, Baltazar scored nine unanswered points to clinch the win against Dayton's defending champion Jesse Marines, who was ahead in the start of the match.
    While Baltazar defeated Marinas at the Culver Wrestling Invitational earlier this year, Alley noted Baltazar "beat him in a more dominant fashion."
   Tyler Warren (135) finished with a 2-0 record, while Jeremy Thompson (119), Dustin Jacobson (125) and Brian Stills (160) each went 1-0.
   James Moyses (119/125) and Billy Kenyon (125/130) each finished with 2-1 records, whiel Micheal Williams (103) and Kyle Fisher (275) went 3-1. Coach Alley praised Kenyon's earlier performance against Elgin-Imbler's Justin Sanders, as well as Fisher's efforts on the mat.
   "I saw things in him (Fisher) that we always knew were possible. I'm very excited about his potential," noted Alley.
   Also competing for Culver were Levi Roberts (140), and Daniel Brabham (145/150), who each finished 2-2, while Gerald Speas (135) went 1-1. Luis Serna (189) and Will Brunke (215) each finished with 1-3 records.
   Madras have five wrestlers finish with 4-0 records in the classic, including Carmen Burgos (112), Cory Carrillo (125), Cameron Rosenfield (130), Chris Monroe (140) and Jacob Struck (160).
   "There were some great performances all the way around. The confidence level is much higher now. The kids know they can performan at a high level and that's going to hlep us coming into league," said Coach Brown.
   Other placers for Madras included Larry Snellings (130), who went 1-0, Orrin Beals (135), who finished 2-1, as well as Anand Phillips (103) and Juan Rodriguez (215), who each went 3-1 at the classic. A freshman, Rodriguez earned some important victories for the Buffs.
   "He did an outstanding job. He had some tough situations and came up with some good wins for us," noted Coach Brown.
   Aaron Marshall (171), who was also praised by Brown, gave a solid performance, finishing with a 2-2 record, as did heavyweight wrestler Blaine Begay.
   "He (Marshall) kept from getting pinned to secure the win against Rainier for us to get seventh," added Brown.
   Finishing with 1-3 records for Madras were Tyler Fuller (119), Jeremy DuPont, (145), Austin Roberts (152) and J.D. Bell (189).
   The Madras freshmen and sophomore team will host the Central Oregon Novice wrestling event today, Jan. 12, at Madras, before the varsity team will compete in the Central Oregon Ochs Invite on Saturday at Madras. Today's event gets under way at 5 p.m., while Saturday's event starts at 11 a.m.
   The White Buffalos open Tri-Valley League action against Sherwood in Madras next Thursday. Wrestling starts at 6 p.m.
   The Culver Bulldogs will head to Crater this weekend, to compete in the Crater Classic, an event that will lure in between 12 to 16 teams -- mostly some of the best 4A teams in the state, according to Coach Alley.
   Crater High School won the second straingt 4A title at the Oregon Classic last weekend.
   Culver will be the only Class 2A wrestling team competing at the event this weekend.