Bulldogs take first tourney title


by: BILLY GATES/THE PIONEER - Culver's Josh Hendrix (top) puts Clackamas' Cole Johnson in a hold during the heavyweight championship bout of the Adrian Irwin Memorial wrestling tournament Saturday at Ridgeview High School. Hendrix beat Johnson by decision, 5-2. Culver won the tournament with 297.5 points, more than 40 more than the runner-up, Redmond High School. Culver topples Class 6A, 5A teams in Redmond

It had been awhile since the Culver High School wrestling had won a regular season tournament. That is, until they pounded the rest of the field en route to winning the Adrian Irwin Memorial tournament on Saturday.

The Bulldogs racked up 297.5 points, 46.5 points more than runner-up Class 5A Redmond, and it was the first nondual regular season tournament the Bulldogs have won in more than a year.

“This is a good place for us to be this year,” Alley said. “We didn’t win a tournament last year, excluding districts, so it’s nice to get one this year.”

by: BILLY GATES/THE PIONEER - Culver's Saxton Schaffner works on Clackamas' Johnny Nguyen during the 127-pound final at the Adrian Irwin Memorial wrestling tournament Saturday at Ridgeview High School.The Bulldogs won the 2A division of the Oregon Wrestling Classic last year, but that’s a dual tournament and not an individual bracket-style tournament.

On its way to the team title, Culver had six wrestlers in the finals, including two at 138 pounds. Bolt Anglen and Tucker Davis earned spots in the final, but rather than have them wrestle, the coaching staff flipped a coin to see who would win by forfeit. Anglen was the official winner listed on the results sheet, and Alley said there was just no sense in having them wrestle each other when the team had all the points.

“When two kids get on the mat, one of them has to lose,” Alley said. “I don’t think either of those kids deserve that.”

Clay McClure and Josh Hendrix each picked up wins in their respective weight classes. McClure captureds the title at 153 pounds with three pins and a major decision. In the final, he pinned Mountain View’s Tracy Pitcher 28 seconds into the second round. McClure picked up his major decision in the semifinals, dispatching Bend’s Noah Haines 11-3.

Hendrix won the heavyweight class with a 5-2 decision against Clackamas’ Cole Johnson. The duo was tied 1-1 in the third round after Johnson escaped from the bottom position he started the round in, but Hendrix scored two takedowns in the final 45 seconds of the bout to seal the title. He also won the heavyweight class at the Culver Invitational, and he’s a guy Alley is expecting to put up big points for the team as the year goes on.

“He’s showing good patience, and he’s scoring when he needs to,” Alley said. “He’s not making fatal mistakes, and he has looked good all year.”

by: BILLY GATES/THE PIONEER - Culver's Mitch Adams tries to handfight with Redmond's Zach LaCasse in the third-place bout at 196 pounds during the Adrian Irwin Memorial wrestling tournament Saturday.There were 12 total place-winners for the Bulldogs, including Saxton Schaffner and Kyle Bender earning runners-up at 127 and 146 pounds.

Schaffner, a freshman, was pinned by Clackamas’ Johnny Nguyen in the final, but he was still pretty impressive. He pinned Summit’s Grant Lepihart in the semifinals and earned two wins by decisions against Crane’s Andy Lamborn and Madras’ Sam Flores, both by 6-4 counts.

Schaffner missed his entire seventh grade year of wrestling due to a knee injury he suffered in football, and Alley is more than pleased about how Schaffner has bounced back from it to contribute early on.

“He has made a ton of improvement, but he’s always been tough,” Alley said. “With him, it’s just a matter of getting match time. He’s making a few errors and needs to get a little stronger, but he’s been good for us.”

Bender won all three of his matches by fall before he met Mountain View’s Kaleb Winebarger in the 146-pound final. Winebarger pinned Bender in the first round.

Mitch Adams placed third at 196 pounds for Culver, picking up a 3-0 win against Redmond’s Zach LaCasse in the third-place bout. Marco Retano placed third at 114 pounds. Kyle Easterly finished fourth at 161 pounds and Levi Vincent finished fifth at the same weight.

Juan Diaz and Billy Smith each picked up sixth-place finishes. Diaz placed at 153 pounds, while Smith placed at 107.

Culver will head north Saturday for a dual with the Orting Cardinals, a Class 2A school in Orting, Wash. Class 2A schools in Washington are similar in size to Class 3A schools in Oregon.