Panthers defeat rival for the sixth time in seven meetings in SOC South Medford's wrestling program didn't really have an upper-hand on its cross-town rival in the decade or so after Medford High split in 1986, but the Panthers find themselves sitting pretty these days.
Aided by an incomplete lineup sent out by North Medford, South Medford earned its sixth win over the Black Tornado in the past seven meetings with a 45-28 triumph Thursday night at South High.
Hopefully we can keep that on a roll, said South Medford coach Sergio Gonzalez, in his first season back on the Panther sideline in 12 years.
Ken Thompson did a really good job getting these kids fired up to wrestle against North Medford, Gonzalez quickly added of his predecessor. South's been coming along, and a lot was due to Ken Thompson's input, and his coaching staff who I inherited.
A lot has been due to sheer talent as well, which wasn't on display nearly as much as Gonzalez would have liked due to five forfeits by North Medford.
It's unfortunate that we weren't able to see what our kids could do on a one-on-one basis, said the former Olympian, who was an assistant at South for five years after the split and then headed the program for two years. That was disappointing, but we've got to do what we've got to do.
— The same could be said over at North, where head coach Bill Jones said no one was more disappointed in the forfeits than him.
I knew our numbers were sparse going into the week, said the second-year coach, who had 10 of his wrestlers planted firmly in the stands for the rivalry match. I was hoping that we wouldn't be that sparse.
We've got some kids out right now with some injuries, he added. We're still waiting on some of the football guys to turn out and some of the kids need to do their rehydration with the new weight system.
The Black Tornado actually won six of the nine varsity matches contested in the Southern Oregon Conference tilt.
As far as competition goes, we competed on the mat, said Jones. When all is said and done, if we had a full lineup, I think the story would've been different, but you can't count the eggs until they're in the basket.
After forfeiting four weights to open Thursday's festivities, North posted three straight wins thanks to major decisions by Joey Marroletti and Colton Major at 130 and 140 pounds, respectively, and a pin by freshman Andrew Mead at 135.
South countered quickly, however, as Alex Cortez earned his coach's praise with a pin at 145 and Andrew Giddings followed with a pin of his own at 152.
I thought Alex Cortez did a really good job coming out wrestling hard for us, said Gonzalez. He just did a really outstanding job for us tonight.
Jordan Rigby turned momentum back toward North Medford with a 15-10 decision, and Tornado senior Ryan Folsom tacked on a technical fall in the third round of his match at 171.
South's Scott Carlson earned a 4-1 decision over Chase Sowers and Taylor Ellis received a forfeit at 215 to cap the Panther scoring, with North Medford's Tim Endecott notching a 16-8 major decision at heavyweight over Brian Henrichs, who was moved up from 215 to battle the state-placer.
I thought Ryan Folsom and Tim Endecott did a good job coming out after only three days of practice, said Jones. Coming from the gridiron in football to the wrestling mat, it's a whole different level of conditioning and mind-set, and I thought they did a good job out there tonight.
TEAM SCORE ' South Medford 45, North Medford 28
' Colton Reed, SM, won by forfeit; *112
' Zach Snyder, SM, won by forfeit; 119
' Juan Aguilar, SM, won by forfeit; 125
' Ken Hyland, SM, won by forfeit; 130
' Joey Marroletti, NM, major dec. over Shawn DeBoer, 13-4.
' Andrew Mead, NM, pinned Tyson Ceideberg, 2:25; 140
' Colton Major, NM, pinned Ace Snyder, 1:50; 145
' Alex Cortez, SM, pinned Luke Vargas, 3:17; 152
' Andrew Giddings, SM, pinned Lee Seeley, 3:01.
' Jordan Rigby, NM, dec. Phillip Duron, 15-10; 171
' Ryan Folsom, NM, tech. fall over Trent Walkup, third round; 189
' Scott Carlson, SM, dec. Chase Sowers, 4-1; 215
' Taylor Ellis, SM, won by forfeit; 275
' Tim Endecott, NM, major dec. Brian Henrichs, 16-8.
' South Medford won.
* starting weight