Grapplers take fourth at Newberg Dual Tournament

Neasham, Smith, Rhoden and Cruise all go undefeated

by: TIM STUMM/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - The Cowboys head to North Bend this weekend.

Crook County had four wrestlers go undefeated Saturday at the Newberg Dual Tournament but their efforts proved to be incapable of carrying the entire team.
   Hurt by a lack of experience in the upper weight classes, the Cowboys finished fourth out of eight teams at their first tournament of the season.
   Intermountain Conference rival Pendleton placed first in the event.
   "The kids wrestled tough all day," said coach Mike Shinkle. "We're young, but I am really proud at how much work and effort they put into it."
   Crook County opened the tournament on a high note, defeating Thurston 56-12 in their first meet of the day. They then dropped their next two, losing to Newberg 42-25 and West Linn 38-28.
   Shane Rhoden (119 pounds), Ryan Smith (125), Ben Neasham (125) and Jesse Cruise (140) all posted 3-0 records for the Cowboys.
   Freshman Tyrell Albert went 1-2 in the heavyweight division, earning the praise of coach Shinkle.
   "He showed exactly what a cowboy wrestler is all about," he said. "He showed a lot of heart and never gave up. He wrestles very tough."
   Pendleton defeated Newberg 37-25 in the final, while West Linn took third.
   Shinkle was impressed with what he saw from the Buckaroos, the only other IMC team present.
   "They are going to be tough to beat," he said.
   The Cowboys boast only eight seniors this season and Shinkle believes experience played a role in their performance Saturday.
   "We're just young and don't stack up right now with some of these teams in a dual meet," he said. "But I couldn't be more proud of these kids. They did exactly what I wanted from them. They all gave a great effort."
   Crook County will compete in the Coast Classic this weekend in North Bend.
   The junior varsity team went 29-10 over the weekend in Newberg. Places were not awarded for junior varsity.