Local grapplers kick off year in Bend
In a tournament that didn't award a team or individual championships, Madras and Culver wrestlers kicked off the season Saturday at the Central Oregon Officials Open, presented by the Central Oregon Wrestling Officials Association, at Mountain View High School in Bend.
With a round-robin format, wrestlers were able to get on the mat three or four times and "knock the rust off a little bit," as Culver head coach J.D. Alley put it.
"It was good to get some real, live matches under our belts," he said. "It helped us get ready for our tournament this weekend, which we're pretty excited for."
The Culver Invitational start Friday at Culver High School, and both high schools in Jefferson County will be there competing.
For the White Buffalos, head coach Ron Oliver was happy with the way his guys wrestled to open the season and said they just need more time on the mat - both practice and live.
"We just looked like we had some time off," Oliver said. "We have to get our moves more fluid and getting them to look smoother."
As expected, senior Miguel Vasquez went undefeated at 132 pounds to start his quest for an elusive state championship.
He's finised second in Class 4A at the weight the past two seasons.
Oliver said he was very impressed with the performance of Bryce Vincent at 113 pounds. He went 3-1 in his group and won convincingly, too.
"He's one of those guys that might shine for us this year," Oliver said of Vincent. "He's a smaller guy, but he looked really tough in that weight class."
Brandon Hawes and Michael Baumen are another duo that Oliver was pleased with. Hawes won a couple matches, but they didn't come without a little comedy.
While Hawes was working on an opponent after a takedown trying to score a pin, he kept looking up at Oliver while the coach was yelling instructions and taking his eyes off his opponent.
Oliver told Hawes repeatedly not to look over, but whenever Oliver said that, Hawes looked over, anyway.
It didn't seem to matter too much, however. Hawes won the bout.
"Brandon has been wrestling a lot better and has kind of been a surprise," Oliver said.
Baumen earned a couple wins at 195 pounds, but should be down to the 182-pound class by the middle of the season, Oliver said.
"We were still able to do some things pretty well," Oliver said.
Madras will host Summit in a dual meet Thursday at 6 p.m.