Wrestling: Scappoose wins regionals, sends 12 to state
Braxton Sue (106) and Devin Ray (220) each win the top seeds in their respective weight brackets at the state championships
All season long, they'd talked about the importance of peaking. The Oregon Classic was an early focal point, but in the grand scheme of things, all the weight – so to speak – rested at the regional tournament.
If the results speak for themselves, the Scappoose High School wrestling program hit the nail on the head.
The Indians placed first at regionals, beating out Tillamook to claim the top spot and qualify 12 wrestlers for the state competition on Feb. 28 – March. 1 at the Memorial Colosseum in Portland.
A week prior, it was Scappoose who looked up at Tillamook, finishing second at the Cowapa League Championships in Astoria. Between the two competitions, though, the Tribe saw the return of veteran 182 pounder Isaiah Goodrich, who sat out to ensure he'd be healthy when things really started to matter.
And boy, did Goodrich deliver.
After winning by fall in his first match in 31 seconds, Goodrich pinned his next opponent in just 15 seconds, advancing to the semifinals having wrestled for less than a minute. Gladstone's Logan Good was the next victim, losing by 22-5 tech fall. Second-seeded Nicholas Ledbury, who went 28-6 this season, didn't stand a chance in the final, and Goodrich prevailed by 10-3 decision.
Goodrich will represent Scappoose as a third-seed at the state championships, and will likely have to wrestle through Chase Anderson of Klamath Union before gunning for junior Gunnar Robirts, the top seed at 182 pounds from heavily favored Crook County.
The Cowboys have been a constant theme this year, and so far, it appears to be a foregone conclusion in many a wrestling mind that Crook County is untouchable on their race to their second consecutive state wrestling championship. Scappoose has a large contingent at the competition, but the Indians pale in comparison. Crook County has 23 wrestlers at the competition, many of which are either seeded in the top four, or are the top seed of their respective weight class.
Goodrich isn't the only wrestler who has stood out (Goodrich finished 39-1 this season) to be over shadowed by a Crook County wrestler, but the Indians do have several names that worked their way to the top of the bracket.
Sophomore Braxton Sue headlines the 106-pound competition, taking the top seed after winning the bracket at regionals. Sue won by 16-1 technical fall in his first match, and by fall of Cameron Reeves of Tillamook in the semifinals. The title bout, however, wouldn't be such a breeze. Colton Walker of Astoria had pinned his last two opponents in less than two minutes combined, and didn't give up an inch to Sue. As the match wore on, it was clear why Sue came in to the bout having gone 38-2 this season, as he rallied to win a 6-5 decision and a top-seed at the finals.
The other top seed for the Indians belongs to junior Devin Ray at 220 pounds. Like Goodrich, there wasn't much of a threat at regionals, as Ray's most highly contested match was his first, a second-round pin of Jesse Blazer of Astoria. The semifinal match ended in a 16-7 major decision over Banks' Twister McComas, and the title bout at 220 pounds was over before the first round had finished with a win by fall over Astoria's Josh Raichl. Ray will be on the opposite side of the bracket from Crook County's Trevor Rasmussen at the state tournament.
Senior 145-pounder Hunter Hoyt rounded off the list of seeded wrestlers from Scappoose after winning his regional bracket with style. Hoyt was one of a handful of wrestlers without a bye in his entire schedule, and he made it count, winning by fall in each of his four matches. The first pair came in the first period, a pin of Tillamook's Eva Deutsch with seconds remaining and an early pin of Jarod Schweighardt of North Marion. Hoyt picked up a win by fall over Molalla's Tom Snergirev in the second round, setting up a championship bout, where Hoyt pinned Astoria's Joshua Long to win the 145-pound bracket going away. He'll wrestle as a four-seed at the state championships, wrestling on the same side of the bracket as top-seeded Colibran Meeker of Crook County.
Though the list of seeded wrestlers from Scappoose ended at four, the Indians' roster is chalk-full of talent spread over 11 different weight classes.
Colton Bush finished fourth at 113 pounds, winning by fall in his first match of the day before losing by the same count to Casey Roberts of North Marion. Bush pinned his opponent in the next match to stay alive in the hunt for third place, but fell to Conner Lader of North Marion, forcing Bush to win his next match to have a shot at the state tournament. The decisive match went Bush's way, with the freshman winning by fall early in the third round.
Senior Taylor Walden, who finishes the season at 38-3, took third place overall at 126 pounds. The first two bouts were similar to the rest of his year: a 7-2 decision over Ulises Vargas of North Marion and by fall over Tillamook's Hector Rojo. Then, he was faced with Estacada's Donald Wenlund, who hadn't seen much by way of a challenger through his first pair of matches. The eventual 126 champion won a nail biter over Waldon, taking the 3-0 decision and forcing Walden to fight for third. After a 43-second pin to set up the third place match, Waldon prevailed in a rematch with Vargas by pinning his opponent early in the third round to solidify his berth at the state tournament.
The 132-pound bracket was stacked with Scappoose bids, as freshman Zach Gadbois and junior Alex Foumal both qualified for the state championships with a third and fourth place finish respectively. Both won their initial matches, Foumal by 5-2 decision and Gadbois by fall, but lost in the semifinals. Both were victorious in their first consolation match, setting up an all-Scappoose battle for third-place. Foumal and Gadbois, who see enough of one another in practice, spent more time circling one another than taking shots, and Gadbois emerged with a 3-1 decision.
Like Hoyt, sophomore Cody Erhardt didn't have an opening in his bracket at 138, and like Hoyt, Erhardt breezed through his first several matches. The first was a win by fall over Molalla's Jerett Gago, and another first round pin to move into the semifinals. Estacada's Zach Jones, who took second at the tournament, was too much, pinning Erhardt and sending him to the consolation side where he won by fall three seconds into the second round and won a 2-0 decision over Tillamook's Anthony Imel to claim third.
Junior Ben Gadbois also came away with a third-place finish and a championship berth, finishing 3-1 at regionals with three pins, including a win over Molalla senior Brennan Gago in just 44 seconds in the third-pace match.
It was a tough finish for 160-pound junior Johnathan Tardif. After tearing up the 172 bracket at the Cowapa League Championships, things were far more difficult at the lower weight class, where a match up with Travis Thompson of Banks (29-2) was inevitable. He won his first two matches, by fall in 1:09 and by 14-2 major decision, but Tardif wasn't able to match up with Thompson. It was Thompson's match from the beginning, with Tardif barely escaping a pin in the first 30 seconds of the match and only managing to score once in an 8-2 loss. Regardless, he'll still take a trip to the state championships, where Broadbent will be a second-seed.
Sophomore Tyson Broadbent, just a few weeks removed from his return from injury, had a strong showing at 195 pounds to fill a valuable hole for the Indians with a second-place finish behind Tillamook's Rafael Gomez. He won his first two matches by fall, and didn't lose to Gomez by much in the title bout, falling 7-2 in overtime.
The OSAA wrestling championships are scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum on Friday, Feb. 28. The doors are open to the public at 8 a.m., and Sue will kick things off with the first match of the day in the 106-pound division. Competition begins once again on Saturday at around 8:30 a.m., with the championship semifinals kicking off at 9:45 a.m. Doors will reopen to the public at 5:30 p.m. after a short break, and the finals of each weight class will begin at 6:30 p.m. with the individual awards being given with the conclusion of each weight class. Team awards will be given to the top four teams at around 10 p.m.
Brackets for each weight class and a detailed schedule can be found on www.OSAA.org.