Year In Review: Individual Braves, Vikings shine on mat
Banks' Trevor Thiessen finished exactly the way he wanted to at the OSAA State Wrestling Championships last season — as state champion.
The 160-pound senior, who'll be playing football at George Fox University next fall, defeated Gregory Wing of North Marion in dramatic fashion in the final.
The Braves' senior, who was undefeated during the regular season, cruised to the final before digging himself from a seemingly insurmountable hole to capture his first state title.
Trailing 5-0 with 25 seconds remaining in his match, Thiessen rallied to tie it at six before getting a near-fall as time was expiring to win the match 9-6 and set off a wild celebration in the Banks corner.
"It was incredible. I was out of my mind," said Banks head coach Dan Herb. "I've never seen a finish like that, especially in such a high level meet."
Thiessen echoed the sentiments of his coach.
"It's awesome!" he said. "I've been working towards this for a long time."
It would be easy to say he never lost faith, but even Thiessen acknowledged things looked bleak for moment there.
"At the beginning of the third round I was like, 'Well, it's been a good season,'" he said. "I didn't know if I'd be able to get it, but I knew he was pretty tired, so I went for it."
He got it — and his coach wasn't surprised.
"Trevor had maybe the toughest bracket in the 4A, but I knew he was prepared and I thought he should win it," said Herb. "The one thing about Trevor is that you always know what you're going to get from him ... his absolute best effort."
Forest Grove's Lucas Higginbotham may not have won his weight class, but his third-place finish at 132-pounds was impressive.
The Vikings sent five wrestlers to the state championships at the Memorial Coliseum, including Higginbotham (who was district champ); Leonard Blix, who finished second at districts; Rolando Orozco and Quentin Oppenlander, who both finished third; and Ivan Torres, who placed fourth.
Higginbotham lost in the semifinals to Roseburg's Bennett Mesa, who went on to win the final, then responded with an 11-7 decision over Clackamas' Noah Wachsmuth in the third-place match.