If the HRV wrestling team is lacking anything at all this season, confidence certainly isn’t it.
Fresh off a Friday grudge match with Intermountain Conference rival Pendleton (see story below), the Eagles were looking to unwind against a few softies at Saturday’s Jan Anderson Memorial Tournament.
Compared to the Pendletons and Hermistons they have grown accustomed to, HRV barely had to break a sweat in rolling past the tournament field, which featured lesser opponents such as Gladstone, Mac Hi, Forest Grove and Beaverton.
The Eagles won 10 of the 14 weight classes, and took home two seconds, two thirds and one fifth on their way to a dominating 258-point outburst.
“This is more of a confidence-builder tournament for us,” said junior 140-pounder Rocky Level, who won his championship match by an 11-2 major decision over Mac Hi’s Jesse Velazquez.
“We prefer to wrestle against the top guys in the state so we’re better prepared, but it also helps to work on some new moves against some less-experienced teams.”
Joining Level on the championship podium were teammates Zach Bohince (103), Josh Van Ek (119), Leo Gonzalez (125), Trent Shelton (152), Jason DeHart (160), Jacobe Krizman (171), Nate Dethman (189), Nigel Bond (215) and Tommy Owyen (275).
Each champion was awarded a plaque engraved with his respective weight class.
Two others, John Harvey (145) and Jorge Lujano (275), finished second, while Jayde Cannon (103) and Efrain Garcia (112) took home third-place ribbons.
Junior Mike Allen won two matches on the afternoon and garnered fifth-place honors at 145 pounds. Allen, Lujano and Cannon each wrestled “unattached,” and their scores did not count toward the HRV team score.
Forest Grove was the nearest challenger on the day, finishing with 175.5 points. Mac Hi took third with 135.5, Gladstone fourth with 122, and Beaverton fifth with 112.5 points. South Salem (109.5) and Roosevelt (35) rounded out the team results.
The Dalles was also scheduled to attend, but chose not to after they participated in Friday’s double dual meet with HRV and Pendleton. A few weight classes featured fewer than eight wrestlers, which meant some wrestlers had to compete only twice to reach the finals.
But that didn’t diminish the champions’ accomplishments. Each weight-class champ had to work for his plaque — some more than others.
Bohince went to double overtime against Beaverton’s Conner McNay before emerging victorious. Van Ek eked out a narrow 4-2 decision over Forest Grove’s Ben Musselwhite, while Gonzalez came from behind late in the third round to defeat South Salem’s Andy Gundlach 10-5.
Shelton won an 8-2 decision over Jimmy Wells of Beaverton, Dethman ground out a hard-fought 1-0 decision over Mac Hi’s Clifton Pease, Bond won an 8-2 decision over Mac Hi’s Luis Palacios, and Owyen won 5-0 over his teammate, Lujano.
Only two of Saturday’s finals were decisive. DeHart won a 17-6 major decision over Nathan Butler of Gladstone and Krizman won by fall over Joel Marble of Forest Grove.
Next up for the Eagles is the Oregon Classic, taking place Thursday through Saturday in Redmond. Their next IMC dual meet is set for Jan. 24 at Redmond.