Scappoose battles to second in Cowapa tournament
The Scappoose wrestling team has proven itself one of the Cowapa League's best all year long.
And the Indians proved it again at the Cowapa League championship, finishing second in the tournament at Tillamook High School on Feb. 3.
Scappoose racked up 259.5 points in the tournament, trailing only first-place finisher Tillamook's winning total of 477. The rest of the team scoring included Banks 223.0, Seaside 73.0 and Astoria 34.0.
"I felt the team competed hard," said Indians coach Nick Byrd. "We picked up some big wins and had some great matches with tough competition."
Along the way, Scappoose saw two wrestlers — sophomore Colton Frates and senior Zeddy Jamerson — win tournament championships while another five finished second and five more placed third at Tillamook.
Frates did his part at 113 pounds, opening with a bye, pinning Tillamook's Daniel Garcia in the first round of their semifinal, and taking a forfeit victory over Tillamook's David Herrera to claim his title.
Jamerson came through at 182, opening with a bye, posting a 12-1 major decision over Tillamook's Zeke Coon in his semi, then pinning Tillamook's Tieson O Hagen in the third round of the championship match.
Despite their efforts, Tillamook was just too much. The Cheesemakers won nine of 14 weight classes, took second five times and third another seven times to run away from the field.
That said, the Indians are approaching the challenges of the season's biggest matches head-on to see what they can accomplish.
"Our guys are embracing tough matches and it has been great to see a lot of growth so far this season," Byrd said. "We lost a few matches that we are looking to win at the Regional Tournament this week."
Runner-up finishers for the Indians at the Cowapa League tournament included:
• Sophomore A.J. DeGrande at 106 (in the championship, he was pinned in the first round by Tillamook's Keegan Hagerty)
• Junior Blake Johnston at 120 (in the championship, he was pinned in the third round by Tillamook's Quintin Metcalfe)
• Junior Austin Spiller at 132 (in the championship, he was pinned in the first round by Tillamook's Sean McColly)
• Senior Jack Eggers at 170 (in the championship, he lost a 12-4 major decision to Tillamook's Eli McRae)
• Freshman Cutter Sandstrom at 285 (in the championship, he was pinned in the second round by Banks' Maxwell Merritt)
Third-place finishers for Scappoose were: junior Braydon Merrow-Hansen at 132; senior Steven Hensley at 138; senior Isaac Cook at 152; and freshman Brett Kreiger at 182.
Next up, the Indians — who finished second in the Cowapa regular season at 3-1 — will wrestle in the Special District 1 championship tournament, set for 4 p.m. Friday and 10 a.m. Saturday at Molalla High School.
"Our region is extremely tough," Byrd said. "We have the two best and deepest teams in the state to get through. With that being said, our guys are up for the challenge and know they have to wrestle their best in order to advance to the state tournament."
Byrd said he believes that Eggers, Jamerson and Cook all have good chances at qualifying for the Class 4A state tournament if they perform well this weekend.