Given a second chance, the Bulldog wrestlers would likely take a mulligan on the first day of the OSAA 5A State Wrestling Championships.
Woodburn sent six wrestlers to state, including one division champion, but every one was sent to the consolation bracket after their first match, and only two – senior Rodolfo Hernandez and sophomore Marco Vasquez-Santos – managed to advance to the second day of competition.
Though none of the Bulldogs ended up placing at the tournament, the team still scored 11.5 points and finished 27th overall in the standings at the end of the two-day event at Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland.
I will be the first to admit that we are disappointed to have not placed several wrestlers at the state tournament, but that doesn't take away from my respect for them as student-athletes, said head coach Dusty Price.
Along with Hernandez (138 pounds) and Vasquez-Santos (126), Woodburn was represented by Michel Vazquez (106), Carlos Velasco (120), Temoatzin Lopez (120) and Stephan Snegireff (152).
Velasco, a junior, came in as Woodburns top-seeded wrestler after winning the 120-pound bracket at the Mid-Willamette Conference tournament the previous week. As the No. 4 seed, Velasco opened the tournament against Wilson junior Shepol Meman, who scored a 2-0 victory to send the Bulldog wrestler to the consolation bracket.
He pinned Sherwood junior Hayden Koprowski toward the end of the second period to advance to the second round of the consolations, where he lost 1-0 to Lebanon sophomore Alec Lathrop, ending his tournament with a record of 1-2.
Velascos 120-pound teammate Temoatzin Lopez had a similar journey on the other side of the bracket, where he was beaten 8-4 in his first match against No. 3-seeded Dakota Peterson, a junior from Sandy High School.
Lopez bounced back with a 2-0 win over Springfield junior Kevin Snyder, but was himself shutout 7-0 against Hermiston sophomore Andy Wagner.
Woodburns veteran senior, Rodolfo Hernandez, finished the tournament with two wins and two losses, but was upset in the first round in a 14-5 loss to Kaleb Winebarger, a junior from Mountain View High School.
Winebarger went on to place second in the tournament, while Hernandez was sent down to the consolation bracket where he won his next two contests.
His first win came in a technical fall recorded in the second period against Ryker Malchow, a sophomore from Sandy. Later in the evening, Hernandez won a 7-2 match in overtime to another Sandy wrestler – sophomore Blane Hayes – to advance to the second half of the tournament Saturday.
In his first match on day two, however, Hernandez faced No. 3 seed A.J. Garcia, a senior from Hermiston who was knocked down to the consolation bracket by Winebarger. Garcia scored an 8-4 victory and eliminated Hernandez.
Fellow senior Stephan Snegireff also capped his high school wrestling career over the weekend. Although Snegireff, who entered state after placing third in Mid-Willamette tournament, was never pinned, he lost twice by decision and was eliminated after two matches.
His first loss came in a 10-3 decision to No. 4-seeded Andrew DeHart, a senior from Hood River Valley. Snegireff was then beaten 5-3 after getting taken down by Mountain View senior Kevin Wright in overtime of the first round of the consolation bracket.
The teams smallest wrestler at state, Vazquez, had a similar fate as Snegireff after being eliminated in two matches in his first trip to the state tournament.
Vazquez drew No. 3-seeded freshman Ethan Wendell of Liberty in the first round of the tournament and was pinned in 1:15 to drop down to the consolation bracket. He was then beaten 6-4 by Redmond sophomore Austin Doescher.
Woodburns final wrestler – Vasquez-Santos – tied with Hernandez for the best record of any Bulldog grappler.
The sophomore was pinned by Gabriel Blough, a sophomore from Churchill, in the second period of the first round, but bounced back with a pair of wins to finish the first day of competition.
Vasquez-Santos scored an 11-8 victory over Brandon Gastelum-Plata, a junior from Cleveland High School, and won via forfeit over St. Helens sophomore Michael Bowen.
The tournament ended for Vasquez-Santos Saturday morning when he was pinned by senior Eddie Perez-Rivera of Eagle Point in 55 seconds.
While Price would have liked to see at least one of his wrestlers advance to the podium, he is excited about the direction of the schools wrestling program after taking six athletes to state – two more than last years team.
We have worked to change the culture of Woodburn wrestling, said Price, who wants to see his athletes develop character, integrity and teamwork through their work both on and off the mat.
Winning and losing, though an indicator of program success, doesnt capture the entire picture, he said. These wrestlers work hard and are very tough. I am incredibly fortunate to have the chance to work with these particular young men.
OSAA Class 5A State Wrestling Championships
Feb. 28-March 1 Veterans Memorial Coliseum (Portland)
1. Hermiston, 174; 2. Dallas, 145.5; 3. Lebanon, 134; 4. Eagle Point, 111.5; 5. Sandy, 9.; 6. Churchill, 86; 7. Mountain View, 72.5; 8 Jefferson, 71; 9. Sherwood, 70; 10. West Albany, 64; 11. Pendleton, 61; 12. Hood River Valley, 58; 13. Redmond, 57.5; 14. Ashland, 51; 15. Parkrose, 49; 16. Wilson, 48.5; 17. Silverton, 45; 18. Cleveland, 43; 19. Liberty, 38; 20. Crescent Valley, 35; 21. Roosevelt, 24; 21. St. Helens, 24; 23. South Albany, 22.5; 24. Wilsonville, 20; 25. Bend, 16; 26. Putnam, 12; 27. Woodburn, 11.5; 28. The Dalles, 10; 29. Summit, 8; 30. Springfield, 6; 31. Corvallis, 3; 32. Benson, 2; 33. Franklin, 0; 33. Milwaukie, 0