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Cowboys finish strong second at Coast Classic
Crook County JV?squad also takes second at varsity tournament in Culver
Darrell Diefenbach goes flying during the 2011 National Finals Rodeo. The bullfighter, who is in his 12th year at the National Finals Rodeo will be at the 2013 Crooked River Roundup.
December 10, 2012
Most schools go an entire season without earning a trophy at a major wrestling tournament.
Not Crook County. In the first weekend of the wrestling season the Cowboys came away with not one, but two varsity trophies.
“It was a great weekend for Crook County wrestling,” said head coach Jake Huffman. “We had a lot of kids wrestle a lot of matches and get some opportunities in some intense situations.”
The Cowboy varsity squad traveled to North Bend where they finished second in the 33-team Army Strong Coast Classic. In the past, the Crook County JV squad has wrestled in a JV?tournament at the Coast Classic.
However, this year Huffman decided to up the ante and have the JV squad wrestle in a second varsity tournament the same weekend. The strategy worked as the JV team took second at the 24-team Culver Invitational Tournament. Nineteen of the 28 Cowboys to wrestle in the two tournaments went on to place.
“We thought it was a lot more beneficial for our up-and-coming kids to wrestle against varsity competition,” Huffman said. “Our young kids had a chance to wrestle against a lot of state placers from last year and a lot of seniors and they responded well.”
Despite wrestling against primarily Class 5A and 6A schools, the Cowboys advanced 12 of their 14 wrestlers into the quarterfinal round of the Army Strong Coast Classic. The Cowboys amassed 78 points Friday to take the lead midway through the competition. The only team close to the Cowboys after the first day of competition was the Roseburg Indians with 75.5 points.
Midway through Saturday’s competition, the Cowboys still clung to a narrow lead over the defending 6A champion Indians. When eight Cowboys advanced to the semifinal round, compared to seven Indians, it looked like Crook?County might be able to pull off a huge upset. However, in the end, Roseburg, which has won five of the last six state championships, was just too strong. The Indians advanced four wrestlers to the finals compared to just two for the Cowboys and went on to win the tournament with 215.5 points.
“We were leading the tournament after a day and a half but we couldn’t hold on,” Huffman said. “We had 10 placers at one of the top tournaments in the state, which is unheard of, but we had too many kids take fifths and sixths and not enough take firsts and seconds.”
Crook County finished with 197 points followed by Churchill with 163. Rounding out the top 10 were David Douglas (161), Dallas (144), Crater (141.5), Redmond (127), Hillsboro (120.5), Cleveland (90), and Evergreen, Wash. (87).
Trayton Libolt was the Cowboys lone champion in the tournament. The 113- pounder won three of his five matches by fall including the championship round where he pinned Churchill’s Jorrin Ishihara 3:21 into the match.
“Libolt was dominant the whole tournament,” Huffman said.
The only other Cowboy to reach the finals was Colbran Meeker, who finished second at 138 pounds. After winning his first two matches by fall, Meeker knocked off Roseburg’s Cameron Mesa 3-1 in the semifinals before falling 6-3 to Gabe Miller of Illinois Valley in the finals.
Placing third for the Cowboys were Hayden Bates (132), and Gunner Crawford (195). Wrestling in his first varsity tournament, Bates lost his second match of the tournament, then battled back through the consolation rounds to finish with a 7-1 record including three falls. Meanwhile, Crawford, a transfer from Bend, won his first three matches by fall before falling 17-1 to Ihoghama Odighizuwa of David Douglas in the semifinals. Crawford then defeated Gunner Sigado (Redmond) and Kyle Anderegg (Clackamas) in the consolation bracket to finish with a 5-1 record.
Also placing in the tournament were Grayson Munn (4th at 126 pounds), Brent Bannon (fifth 106 pounds), Dylan Blasius (fifth 182 pounds), Curtis Crouch (fifth 220 pounds), Alex Urrea (sixth 160 pounds), and Jason Williams (sixth 285 pounds).
The Cowboys finished the tournament with a 45-25 record including 20 falls.
“We had a plan going into the tournament from each position — top, bottom, and neutral,” Huffman said. “And for the most part kids stuck to the plan.”
Although the JV squad had no one advance to the championship round of the Culver Invitational, they were nearly as impressive.
“The amount of try in these kids is amazing,” said Crook County assistant coach Rob Bonner. “It’s amazing with a varsity competition that these young kids were able to do so well. We had a little letdown in the semifinal round, but the kids battled back and won their placing rounds.”
Glide, who finished third at last year’s Class 3A state championships, finished with 273 points to run away with the tournament. The Cowboys finished with 199.5 points. The host Culver Bulldogs, who have won the past seven Class 2A state championships, took third with 165 points. Rounding out the top five were Lowell (144) and Madras (142). Other Central Oregon teams in the tournament included Ridgeview (10th), La Pine (11th), Sisters (20th), and Gilchrist (21st).
Nine Cowboys placed in the tournament, including five wrestlers who finished in third place.
Trey Shores battled back through the consolation bracket to take third at 106 pounds with a 5-1 record. Then in the upper weight classifications Aaron Swindle (182), Gunnar Robirts (195), Zach Smith (220), and Trevor Rasmussen (285) all finished third with identical 4-1 marks.
Placing fourth at 160 pounds with a 4-1 record was Clark Woodward. Terrin Libolt (106), Austin Severance (113), Taylor Shockney (126) all finished fifth in the tournament.
“We definitely have some things to work on,” Bonner said. “We had some younger kids come up against seniors and they fought hard, but we need to improve our technique.”
“For this early in the season it’s a good start,” he said. “But we still have a lot of things to work on in the practice room. We’ve got to continue to improve and that comes from good practice and good competition in the wrestling room.”
The Cowboys are back in action on Thursday when they go on the road to take on the Bend Lava Bears in a 5:30 p.m. match. Then Friday and Saturday the team will compete in the Adrian Irwin Invitational which will be held at Ridgeview High School in Redmond.