December 14, 2005
After soundly defeating Lincoln and Sunset high schools in Saturday’s Lincoln Invitational dual meet wresting tournament, the Eagles moved on to a three-way round robin final against St. Helens and Parkrose.
St. Helens defeated Parkrose in the first round and Parkrose defeated Hood River in the second round, leaving St. Helens and Hood River to duke it out in the final round of the tournament. If the Eagles won, they would take the tournament; if they lost they would get third.
In the end, three points was all that separated the Eagles from a first place finish. If just one match had gone the other way, the Eagles would have come away with a number one on their trophy instead of a three. But the 42-39 point loss was a positive finish to the day and the Eagles walked away third out of the 10 teams in attendance.
“The tournament was great,” said Coach Rich Polkinghorn. “The kids got after it. They competed well and wrestled to win. We also got some surprise wins from some guys that stepped it up on the mat. It was fun to see what our dual meet team will look like.”
Hood River’s lightweights dominated the tournament, with the first four guys on the lineup going undefeated. Gague Morris, Jose Ramirez, Sean Baker and Leo Gonzales each went 4-0, racking up valuable team points for the Eagles. Ramirez and Gonzales pinned all four of their opponents. Also undefeated was heavyweight Alex Titus, who went 3-0 with two pins.
The boys have a few days this week to focus on weak areas that were accentuated at Lincoln before heading to the Clackamas Tournament on Friday and Saturday. Other than districts and state for those that qualify, Clackamas is the biggest tournament the team will attend this season.
“We need to work on positioning,” Polkinghorn said. “We have to break the other guys down and we have to improve our overall position on the mat and on our feet. We still have a lot to work on. But the team is on the verge of being really good.”
The boys’ first home matches will be during Christmas break, on Dec. 21 against Mountain View and Summit high schools. Wrestling starts at 1 p.m.