Southridge's Jeff Parker loses only to eventual state champ Austin Enoch
SALEM - It wasn't all pinfalls and technical falls for Metro League champion Southridge at the Class 6A state wrestling tournament, but the Skyhawks and the rest of the Metro's best gave it their all.
For Southridge, top finishers included seniors Jeff Parker and David Ewing who led the way, with Parker eventually finishing third at 140 pounds and Ewing fifth at 130.
Parker was particularly happy with his performance, which included a 6-1 record at state, his only loss at the hands of eventual state champion Austin Enoch of Redmond in the quarterfinals. Parker opened with a 9-2 win over McMinnville's David Hall, then took out McNary's Andi Hari 7-5 before falling to Enoch 10-0 in the quarters.
Undaunted, Parker came back to beat Sunset's Matt Frutiger 10-2, Redmond's Josh Klein 5-0 and Tigard's Brent Mangum by pin to get to the third-place match. There, Parker saw Grants Pass' Colin Hanlin pull ahead 4-2 in the second round before he rallied with an escape and takedown late in the second round and another escape and takedown in the third to win 8-4.
'I was pretty confident coming in but I didn't know I was going to finish that high,' Parker said. 'I was just glad that was the way it turned out. I felt like I was wrestling good. It was fun.'
Ewing earned his spot on the podium by winning twice to reach the semifinals, and after a 6-2 loss to eventual state champion Shaun Nance of Grants Pass and a loss to fourth-place finisher Sean Baker of Hood River, notching a 6-4 overtime victory over Adam Vinton of Clackamas.
'I was hoping for a little more but this is my second year at state and it's a pretty good outcome for me,' Ewing said. 'This is my last year of wrestling so I came here thinking I was going to give it everything I've got, leave it all on the mat.'
Other state placewinners for Southridge were Michael McRae, sixth at 171, and Adam Lee, eighth at 125.
Among the rest of the Metro League's 42 state qualifiers, Beaverton's Ray Wille and Austin Thompson both finished sixth, Wille at 135 pounds and Thompson at 140.
After the tournament, Wille said he hadn't reached his goals but was glad for the opportunity.
'There's nothing I can do about it now. It's over and done with. I've just got to take it with a grain of salt and keep going,' he said. 'I would have liked to have finished higher, but I did what I did and I have to accept that. I can be proud of sixth.'