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Young Bowmen grapplers keep battling

Wrestling: Sherwood is edged by Liberty in the Northwest Oregon Conference match
by: DAN BROOD, ALL LOCKED UP — Sherwood’s Brennan Romo (left) has Liberty’s Joe Samuela under control in the 135-pound match at last week’s NWOC dual match. Romo scored an 8-6 decision victory.

HILLSBORO - They're young.

They're inexperienced. And they were even missing two of their top competitors due to injury.

But they kept on battling.

The Sherwood High School wrestling team, battling tough against the odds, was edged 40-28 by Liberty in a Northwest Oregon Conference dual match held Jan. 9 at Liberty High School.

'We're a real young team,' Sherwood sophomore 125-pounder Tony Alvarez said after the match. 'But we're working hard and we're getting a lot better.'

The loss gives the Bowmen, who wrestled without injured standouts Kaleb Gilgan and Jeffery Maddox, a 2-3 record in NWOC dual matches. Liberty moved to 1-3 in league matches with the victory.

'We wrestled hard and battled tough,' Sherwood coach William Taylor said. 'We're young. We have 13 sophomores and freshmen, but they're getting better every time they go out there.'

Sherwood got off to a fast start in last week's match at Liberty. The Bowmen took a 6-0 lead in the team score after Ian Hockett pinned Liberty's David Douglass in the 103-pound match in a time of 36 seconds.

The Bowmen upped the margin to 12-0 when freshman Conner Clarke pinned Coqui Jaime in 5:56 in the 112-pound bout. Clarke took just a 5-4 lead into the third round of that match. He scored on an escape and a pair of takedowns before pinning Jaime with just four seconds remaining in the match.

Liberty picked up a decision win at 119 to cut the lead to 12-3. But Sherwood answered back, thanks to a dramatic overtime win by Alvarez at 125.

Alvarez and Liberty's Alexis Lopez were locked in a scoreless tie through the first two rounds of their match.

Alvarez took a 1-0 lead on an escape coming with 1:27 left in the third round. But Lopez came back to grab a 2-1 advantage on a takedown with 55 seconds remaining. But Alvarez notched another escape, coming with 35 seconds left in the round, to tie the match up at 2-2. Neither wrestler was able to get a takedown in the final 35 seconds, sending the match to a one-minute overtime session.

In overtime, Lopez got a quick headlock on Alvarez and looked about ready to get a match-winning takedown. But Alvarez got out of the headlock and spun around to record his own takedown 19 seconds into overtime, giving him a 4-2 decision win.

'That was fun. It was the best match I've had,' said Alvarez, who is a second-year wrestler. 'I thought he had me, but I've been working hard and running extra. That paid off.'

'Tony had a good match,' Taylor said. 'He's trying to make it to state this year.'

Liberty got a pin at 130 to cut the Bowmen lead to 15-9. But Sherwood's Brennan Romo scored an 8-6 decision win over Joe Samuela at 135 pounds, getting the decisive takedown with 41 seconds left in the match, to up the margin to 18-9.

The Sherwood lead was 22-13 after Michael Rogers scored a 12-0 major decision win over Liberty's Ryan Gilis in the 145-pound bout.

However, the Falcons would pick up victories in the next five matches to claim a 40-22 lead.

But Scott Southwell would end the night on a positive note for the Bowmen as he pinned Zach Kelley in 3:08 in the 285-pound match.

The Bowmen return to league action tonight (Thursday) when they host St. Helens in a match starting at 7 p.m.

On Saturday, Sherwood will be hosting a tournament beginning at 9 a.m.