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Wrestlers fifth at Reser's Tournament of Champions

The Cowboys rebound from sub-par performances against Redmond and The Dalles/Wahtonka with strong showing at tourney

by: LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Howie Mole controls Darrio Mobley of Crater during their 215-pound quarterfinal match.  Mole pinned Mobley in the third round.


   The Crook County High School wrestling team rebounded in a big way from a pair of sub-par performances last week, and wrestled their way to fifth place at the Reser's Tournament of Champions at Liberty High School in Hillsboro over the weekend.
   The Tournament of Champions, which is a bracketed tournament and features the top wrestling teams at all levels in the state, was won by 6A powerhouse Newberg with 193 points. Conference rival Hermiston was second with 142.5 points while Canby (139), Roseburg (130) and Crook County (127) rounded out the top five.
   "We did a real good job, and I'm real proud of our JV also," said Head Coach Mike Shinkle. "We only put 11 kids in the JV side of the tournament and ended up fourth and varsity-wise we ended up fifth. That is one of the toughest tournaments in the state and one of the toughest on the west coast. It's a meat grinder and the kids really showed up and did a good job."
   Howie Mole, (215) was named wrestler of the week by Shinkle and was the highest placing Cowboy, finishing in second place bylosing a close match to Canby's Jeff Helbling for the championship. Brett Gast, (119), Micah Perry, (160), and Tyrel Albert, (285) each finished the tournament in third place while Dustin Chapman, (152) finished fifth.
   "I've been coaching a long time and you kind of have some lulls in the season," said Shinkle. "The key is to get them to peak at the right point, come the district and state tournament. I'm really proud of how they rebounded from the Redmond loss last week."
   The JV team finishing in fourth place is especially good as they defeated the Hermiston JV team, which finished in fifth place. Each team is allowed to enter two wrestlers at each weight in the district tournament so all of those JV wrestlers have an opportunity to score points for the Cowboys at district and even qualify for the state tournament.
   "You know JV and varsity combine together for just one team and one goal at district and that's an encouraging thing," Shinkle said. "Your JV kids, your strong seconds, they're the ones that win you a district title so that's real important.
   Crook County wrestles at Culver, who finished eighth at the Tournament of Champions tonight with JV wrestling beginning at 6 p.m. and the varsity at 7 p.m. Then they wrestle Madras in their final league dual of the season at home on Thursday, Jan. 31.
   "Culver is an excellent team and well coached," said Shinkle. "Then we finish up our dual meet season with Madras at home on Thursday night. That is our senior night so we will honor those seniors and their parents that have stuck it out for four years with us. Then we have a little bit of a gap before district. We'll back off a little and then we'll hit them hard again. It's kind of a gamble to get them to peak right, but we did a good job of that last year and had a great state tournament and I hope to have another one this year."
   Reser's Tournament of Champions
   Friday and Saturday, Jan. 25, 26
   Crook County Results
   103 - Riley Omlid, 3-2, 112 - Brent Forseth, 0-2. 119 - Brett Gast, 5-1. 125 -Riley Wood, 2-2. 130 - Brad Brock, 0-2. 135 - Zac Hite, 0-2. 140 - Taylor Coyle, 0-2. 145 - Cameron Anderson, 1-2. 152 - Dustin Chapman, 3-2. 160 - Micah Perry, 4-1. 171 - R.J. Kriege, 1-2. 189 - none. 215 - Howie Mole, 3-1. 285 - Tyrel Albert, 4-1.
   Team Scores, top 10 only:
   1. Newberg 193.0, 2. Hermiston 142.5, 3. Canby 139.0, 4. Roseburg 130.0, 5. Crook County 127.0, 6. Burns 94.5, 7.Sprague 91.5, 8.Culver 88.5, 9. West Salem 84.0, 10.Hillsboro 79.0.