Tigard senior Mark Hall shines in his last home dual match

by: DAN BROOD - LOCKED UP -- Tigard High School senior Mark Hall (top) seems to be in charge in his 152-pound match against South Salem's Chad Fortier. Hall won the match by technical fall. TIGARD — For Mark Hall, it was his final league dual match at Tigard High School.

For many of the young Tiger wrestlers, it was their first ever league dual match victory. And everyone got to celebrate.

The Tigers, with Hall helping lead the way, powered past South Salem for a 49-27 victory in a Special District 3 dual match held last Thursday at Tigard High School.

“It was an awesome night for the younger guys,” said Hall, who is one of just two seniors on the Tigard squad. “For them to get to experience this is great.”

With the victory, Tigard improved to 1-7 in Special District 3 dual matches.

“That was exciting,” Tigard coach Geoff Jarman said. “We wrestled South Salem before (at a tournament) and beat them 38-36, so we gapped it out. The younger kids are finally starting to get it, that the match isn’t over until the final whistle blows.”

For Hall, one of the Tiger veterans who has been a member of the varsity lineup since he was a freshman, the Tigard Senior Night turned out to be a special night.

Wrestling in front of large group of family members — a bit of a surprise organized by his father — Hall battled his way to 20-5 technical fall victory over South Salem’s Chad Fortier in his final home league match.

“It’s really sort of bittersweet,” Hall said. “It’s been a great year, and it’s nice to end it up well. And I didn’t know my whole family was going to be here.”

And, while Hall has wrestled his final match at home, he’s hoping to keep his senior season going as long as possible.

“I’ve worked my butt off all year,” he said. “I’m looking for a good ending. And a good ending would be to finish up on top.”

Hall, wearing special tights on Tigard’s Pink Out Breast Cancer Awareness Night to honor his mother, grandmother and godmother, got off to a fast start in his 152-pound match with Fortier.

Hall took a quick 2-0 lead on a takedown coming just 4 seconds into the match. He had three more takedowns in the first round, which ended with the Tigard senior holding an 8-3 lead.

Hall then added on two more takedowns and a two-point nearfall in the second round to up the margin to 15-4 going into the third round.

Then, in the final round, Hall scored on an escape and then a takedown to make the score 18-4 with 1:47 remaining in the match. After an escape by Fortier, Hall notched his eighth takedown of the match to wrap up his 20-5 technical fall victory.

“I wanted to focus on what I do best,” Hall said. “I wanted to wrestle my match.”

Brittain Schneider, Tigard’s only other senior in the lineup, also picked up an impressive victory, as he pinned South Salem’s Chance Matz in a time of 4:54 in the 170-pound match.

Schneider had to come from behind to get his victory. He held a 2-0 lead at the end of the first round, but Matz rallied with a reversal, a two-point nearfall and a three-point near fall in the second round to take a 7-2 advantage.

Schneider got a takedown 28 seconds into the third round and he pinned Matz 26 seconds after that to get the win.

“Both seniors got the job done,” Jarman said.

South Salem, getting a pin at 106 pounds, took an early 6-0 lead in the match. Tigard sophomore Omar Duran-Vega scored a 4-1 decision win over Tanner Stones at 113 pounds to trim the Saxon lead to 6-3.

South Salem answered with back-to-back pins at 120 and 126 to open up an 18-3 advantage in the team score.

Sophomore Colin O’Connor got the Tigers back on track by pinning Harrison Juliano in 1:30 in the 132-pound match. The Saxons countered that with a pinfall victory at 138 pounds.

Tigard junior Trever Ellinson got a forfeit victory at 145 and Hall’s win at 152 trimmed the South Salem lead to 24-20.

The Saxons got a 12-8 win at 160 to up their lead to 27-20, but they wouldn’t be able to score again. Schneider’s pin at 170 cut the lead to 27-26. Tigard sophomore Bryan Baker then scored an 18-3 technical fall win over Vincent Villareal at 182 pounds to give Tigard a 31-27 lead.

The Tigers then got forfeit wins by junior Alex Anohkin at 195 pounds, sophomore Austin Goodhouse at 220 and junior Victor Ceja at 285 to wrap up the 49-27 victory.

On Saturday, Tigard finished in sixth place in a 10-team tournament it hosted at the high school. The Tigers scored 163 points in the tourney, putting them seven points behind fifth-place Forest Grove.

Ceja won the tourney championship at 285 pounds to lead the way for the Tigers. Ceja went 3-0 at the tournament, pinning West Linn’s Noah Bagley in the championship match.

Hall placed second at 145 pounds. Hall won his first three matches at the tourney before falling to West Linn standout Tim Harman in the championship bout.

Also for the Tigers at the tournament, Schneider placed fourth at 160, Baker was fourth at 182 and Justin Jackson was fourth at 285. Phil Engle had a fifth-place finish at 160. Brad Williams was sixth at 106 and Duran-Vega was sixth at 113.

Tigard will wrestle at McNary tonight at 7 p.m.

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