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Spartans win seven district titles

Hillsboro, Glencoe and Century wrestlers combine to win 10 individual championships at the district meet


The Special District 1 wrestling tournament still has Hillsboro coach Adam Reese scratching his head as he asks one very important question: did his team do well or not?by: TRIBUNE PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD - Hillsboro sophomore Ben Kociemba celebrates after winning a 195-pound district championship on Saturday at the Special District 1 wrestling tournament at Westview High School.

“We can’t really decide if that was our best tournament ever or our worst tournament ever,” Reese joked. “We set a Hilhi record of seven district champions. Half the weight classes, our kids won. That’s never been done before.

“Those kids really stepped up and wrestled well and we had another kid in the finals that took second. Sending 11 people to state is good as well. Those 11 kids really, really wrestled well.”

The disappointing part, according to Reese, was a letdown among his JV team and other younger wrestlers.

“It was kind of a double-edged sword in this tournament. It’s kind of weird,” Reese said. “Normally all our JV kids really step up at this tournament and they really didn’t have a great tournament. I still don’t know how I feel about it. It’s tough to decide how we did.

“You really can’t knock seven district champions and sending 11 to state.”

Perhaps Reese would feel differently if Aloha had not wrestled so well over the weekend. Despite Hillsboro’s “A-Team” wrestling lights out, the subpar performance by the second tier wrestlers left the Spartans just behind Aloha for the district title.

Aloha finished with 326 points to take first place, while Hillsboro scored 324½ to take second place.

“Give Aloha credit,” Reese said. “I like to pretend that Aloha is kind of a Hillsboro school. They have the blue collar work ethic and that’s why wrestling is so successful in the Hillsboro schools.

“Aloha is right there as well. They had a great tournament. Their kids all stepped up and wrestled really well.”

For Hilhi, seven wrestlers claimed district championships on Saturday — Dauki Willburn (113 pounds), Joey Rodriguez (120), Andy Downer (132), Alex Harnsberger (138), Alex Hada (145), John Morin (182) and Ben Kociemba (195).

Matt Peterson took second place in the 106-pound division, while Isaac Cawthorne took third place at 152 pounds and T. J. Cavender finished third at 182. Riggo Saenz took fourth place at 106 pounds.

Reese believes that all of his wrestlers have a chance of placing at the state meet, which begins on Friday at the Memorial Coliseum in Portland.

If they do, that would put Hillsboro in a very good position to win the overall state championship.

“I firmly believe that all of those guys should be state placers,” Reese said. “If all 11 are state placers, that gives us a great chance to be right in the thick of things for winning the state title. That’s a lot of points and that’s what we’re shooting for.

“I firmly believe that this is one of the most dense and talented groups that we’ve sent to state. You need a little bit of luck, but we like to say that you make your own luck.”by: TRIBUNE PHOTO: CHASE ALLGOOD - Hillsboro senior John Morin wrestles Century's Bret Wilson during the 182-pound championship match at the Special District 1 wrestling tournament, held last weekend at Westview High School in Beaverton.

Added Reese: “You need to stay healthy and things need to go just right. If we stay in the thick of things, we’re in a position to get a state championship, or, if not, some hardware. That’s our main goal — to get some hardware at state.”

***

Glencoe finished the district tournament in third place with 248½ points. Despite qualifying nine wrestlers for the state meet, Glencoe coach Jason Harless was disappointed in the way the team finished the season.

“It was a frustrating, frustrating tournament from a coaching standpoint,” Harless said. “Some kids really performed well for us, some didn’t. We had a few matches where we battled back. But, in the end, we had a couple of rounds there where we just weren’t at our best. It wasn’t our best tournament.

“It wasn’t the end result that we had hoped for. We had a fairly successful year this season and it was tough to end the year the way we did.”

Among Glencoe’s multiple state qualifiers was one district champion — Michael Schrader, who took first place in the 170-pound division.

Elsewhere, Max McGee took third place at 113 pounds, Austin Leeson finished third at 126, Kyle Flaig was third at 132 and Walker Rabon claimed third place in the 285-pound division. Christian Chan took fourth place at 113 pounds, Casey Ray finished fourth at 138, Sean Callahan was fourth at 152 and Corey Neys finished fourth at 195.

Harless said that he anticipates being much happier after the state tournament, with several of his wrestlers having solid chances at placing.

“I feel pretty good. Several of the guys are returning state qualifiers — they have the experience of being at that state tournament,” Harless said. “For a lot of kids it’s their first time in the state tournament and it’s quite overwhelming. Having that out of the way, we have several kids who are going to walk into the tournament who think that they should be placers.

“I have several kids who are going to walk into there with the expectation that they’re going to make it to the finals.”

***

Century finished in fourth place at the district tournament with 242 points.

Amari Sengsavanh won the 126-pound division and Aaron Beadle won at 220 pounds to give Century a pair of district champions

Carlos Mendez took second place at 160 pounds, Bret Wilson finished second at 182, Brennan Baccay was third at 120, Ryley Bilderbeck claimed third at 145, David Lofdahl was third at 195 and Savon Sengsavanh took fourth place at 160 pounds.




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