Saturday’s Elks Invitational was more of a cool down than a tune up for the HRV wrestlers following Friday night’s grudge match against Crook County.
Barely breaking a sweat, the Eagles methodically dismantled Summit (80-0), Aloha (58-9) and Parkrose (52-17) to claim nine individual championships and first place at the annual event, sponsored by Elks Lodge No. 1507.
Jose Ramirez (112), Josh Van Ek (119), Terry Sanders (135), Rocky Level (140), John Harvey (145), Trent Shelton (152), Jason DeHart (160), Jacobe Krizman (171) and Tommy Owyen (275) all emerged with top honors in their respective weight classes.
However, despite the team’s success, HRV coach Mark Brown has more important things on his mind. Instead of basking in the victory, he is eyeing the Feb. 14-15 Intermountain Conference district tournament in Pendleton.
“I don’t like to have this kind of tournament right before district,” Brown said in reference to the less-than-elite field that made the trip to Hood River on Saturday.
“The competition level is a lot less, and that can lull the kids into a false sense of security. My concern is that they will get overconfident and let their guard down, which is something the other IMC teams won’t do,” he said.
But HRV didn’t have much time to rest on their laurels with the No. 1-ranked 3A team in the state, Estacada, paying them a visit Tuesday night (results not available at press time).
“Estacada is ranked No. 1 for a reason,” Brown told his team at Monday’s practice. “Don’t think that they are any less of a team because they’re in 3A.”
The Eagles were looking to uphold a three-year undefeated streak on their home mat, and Brown wanted nothing more than to keep it alive.
“I sure hope it’s on the wrestlers’ minds because I sure don’t take the streak lightly,” he said.