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Another Classic win for Culver

Bulldogs roll to big wins against fellow 2A/1A foes

by: Photo By Gary Lindberg - Culver senior Patrick Foster twisted Reed Steele of Lakeview for a technical fall in the 140-pound bout of the Oregon Classic 2A/1A title match. Culver went on to win the championship match 61-6.

The 2A/1A dream matchup in the Oregon Classic turned out to be a nightmare for Culver's foe.
   Lakeview, ranked No. 2 according to Oregon Wrestling Forum, managed to win just one match against the top-ranked Bulldogs in Saturday night's 2A/1A championship. Culver won the final 61-6 with three pins, two technical falls and seven forfeits from the Honkers at the Deschutes Expo Center in Redmond.
   That was the fifth dominating victory for the Bulldogs, now a three-time Oregon Classic champion. Culver is also the defending 2A/1A state champion.
   "I was proud of how all the kids went out and battled," Culver coach J.D. Alley said. "We didn't have as much practice time last week as we'd like (as Culver was helping transport wrestling mats to the Expo Center). It was a great weekend for us."
   The Bulldogs won all but five matches in Saturday's championship rounds. Culver beat Nestucca 73-6 in the quarterfinals and Glendale 62-13 in the semifinals.
   Commanding early leads thanks to Jared Schehen and Patrick Foster, a common theme Saturday. Classic rules had every match starting at 130 pounds.
   That meant Bulldog state champions Jake Nelson (119) and Miguel Baltazar (125) had to wait if the Culver coaches choose to use them. Neither went to the mat in every match. Nelson had two pins, a technical fall and accepted a forfeit. Baltazar had two pins.
   Schehen was just as effective, displaying why he is ranked No. 1 at 130 in 2A/1A. Schehen had two pins, a technical fall and accepted two forfeits.
   "I love starting out first even though I'd never done it before," said Schehen who was the fourth-place state medalist at 135 last year. "When you're the first guy out there, you want to get the match started out right. It got my blood flowing."
   The championship match is the prime time example. Schehen jumped ahead 8-3 in the first period thanks to three takedowns and a two-point near fall. Schehen went on to pin Josh Alves with 1 minute, 20 seconds left in the second period.
   "Jared was a great lead-off wrestler for us this weekend," Alley said. "He's much improved this season, getting better like you're supposed to during the season."
   Then Foster essentially put the match away. He faced Reed Steele, ranked No. 2 at 130 but who was wrestling up two weights. Foster is ranked seventh at 140.
   The senior Foster had more energy, bending Steele into a five-point move in the opening 40 seconds.
   "Patrick has been battling from behind this season," the Culver coach said. "We've talked to him about eliminating a few mistakes and not being behind right away. He did that against a guy who was fourth in state last year."
   Foster kept scoring points in the first period. He led 12-0 when the first period ended and added a three-point near fall early in the second period for a 15-0 technical fall.
   "Wrestling second means I can watch what moves the other team like to do," Foster said. "I'm at 140 right now, but I'll be down to 135 for district."
   Ah, that district tourney on Feb. 8-9 in Bonanza. That's when the real Culver-Lakeview showdown is coming. The Honkers kept out three of their five wrestlers ranked either first or second.
   All three of the Swartzlender brothers were held out after being on the mat against Scio in the semifinal victory. Lakeview won 34-33 based on criteria (the eighth of fewest cautions). All of the Swartzlender brothers scored pins against Scio: A.J. (ranked No. 2 at 125), George Swartzlender (No. 2 at 160) and Cy (ranked No. 1 at 112).
   "Their coach told me they had a couple of injuries, so that's why they didn't wrestle their full lineup," Alley said. "We would have liked to have gone against everybody they have. Sometimes a team decides to live to fight another day."
   Lakeview's other top-ranked wrestler Justin Ferry (No. 1 at 135) had his team's lone win against Culver with a pin. Ferry was coming off a 7-6 victory against Kyle Ring (No. 3 at 140).
   Culver dominated the other contested matches. Austin Barany (No. 3 at 145) scored a first-period pin. The freshman had two pins and a technical fall in the Classic. Spud Smith followed with his third first-period pin at 152 to demonstrate why he's ranked No. 1 at that weight.
   Fellow top-ranked Bulldogs Austin Alley (at 189) and Matt Zachary (215) also showed their skills. Alley had four pins while Zachary had a pin, won a 10-4 decision and accepted two forfeits.
   Scio went on to finish third, edging Glendale 36-34.
   Up next: Culver's ambitious schedule continues before district. The Bulldogs will travel to Sweet Home for a 6 p.m. Thursday dual meet against the Huskies, ranked No. 3 among 4A schools.
   Then Culver returns to the big-school Crater Classic. The eight-team meet includes the host Comets, fourth at the Classic after being ranked No. 1 in the OWF poll. Other entries include 6A schools North Salem, Grants Pass (No. 9), West Linn and Westview.