It happened rather unceremoniously, but there was a changing of the guard last Monday and Tuesday for one of the state’s biggest high...
NORTH BEND — Crater advanced five wrestlers into today's championship quarterfinals and has another seven still in contention in the consolation bracket of the Army Strong Coast Classic.
Buoyed by that opening-day effort, the Comets enter today's final rounds in third place overall with 59 points, trailing only Crook County (67) and Roseburg (66).
The Indians moved an impressive 10 wrestlers into the quarterfinals, with another two wrestlers alive in the consolation bracket.
Eagle Point (seventh at 48 points) and Phoenix (tied for ninth at 43 points) are among the top 10 teams at the 32-team tournament. Other local entries include Illinois Valley (13th, 38 points), Grants Pass (18th, 34), North Medford (21st, 31), Hidden Valley (25th, 21) and North Valley (29th, 15).
The Black Tornado and Eagles each joined Crater in sending five wrestlers to the quarterfinals, with Phoenix, Grants Pass and Illinois Valley each with four still in championship contention.
Overall, North Medford and Phoenix each moved seven wrestlers into Day 2 action, while Eagle Point and Illinois Valley advanced eight apiece.
Crater's Kody Gray scored a 15-0 technical fall over Eagle Point's Hunter Hoeptner to advance to the quarters at 160 pounds, with Chance Fahndrich (182), Taylor Peterson (195), Lane Augustson (220) and Brian Barlow (285) also moving on.
Five of the eight heavyweights in the championship bracket have ties to the local wrestling scene, with Barlow joined by Eagle Point's Manny Valdovinos, Phoenix's Steven Sharbono, North Medford's Jacob Kasper and Roseburg's Marq Randall.
North Medford's Austin Mitchell (106), Tyler Crist (126), Reid Shipley (170) and Kaden Johnson (182) also advanced in the championship bracket, along with Eagle Point's Eddie Perez (120), Aaron Lorenz (126), Travis Woods (152) and Trevor Olsen (195).
Two-time defending state champion Eleazar De Luca (152) heads a list of other championship contenders from Phoenix that includes Riley Dodd (138) and Kyle Bradfield (145).
Grants Pass still has Casey Coulter (106), Zachary Nance (113), Luke Collins (145) and Ryan Shean (182) in the championship bracket, with North Valley's David Cornish (113) also in the mix with Illinois Valley's Brandon Parker (126), Gabe Miller (138), T.J. Hughey (152) and James Thompson (182).
TEAM SCORES — Crook County 67, Roseburg 66, Crater 59, Redmond 57, David Douglas 54, Dallas 49.5, Eagle Point 48, Canby 44.5, Churchill 43, Phoenix 43, Clackamas 42.5, Evergreen 39, Illinois Valley 38, Newberg 37, Thurston 37, Coquille 35, West Albany 34, Grants Pass 34, Cleveland 33, Gresham 33, North Medford 31, Hood River Valley 27, West Salem 25.5, Brookings-Harbor 24, Hidden Valley 21, North Bend 19, South Eugene 17, Marshfield 16, North Valley 15, Woodburn 9, Willamette 8, Gold Beach 7.
CRATER 7, NORTH MEDFORD 2 — Daniel Gomez scored four goals and had three assists for undefeated Crater in Southern Oregon League action at The RRRink.
Gomez, a senior, tallied a pair of goals in the opening period as the teams were tied 2-2.
Wyatt Spence gave North Medford its only lead with the game's first goal off an Eric Skogseth assist. Dylan Wu scored for the Black Tornado to knot the score 2-all with 3:54 left in the opening period.
Ali Havice scored what proved to be the winning goal with 10:07 remaining in the second period off an assist from Gomez. Then Gomez, who has 11 goals on the season, gave the Comets a two-goal lead with a score about 11/2 minutes later.
Dustin Gomez and Thomas Gamble also had goals for the Comets (3-0).
Crater goalie Alec Looman stopped 17 shots while Calvinn Casaday had 14 saves for the Black Tornado.
North Medford 2 0 0 — 2
Crater 2 2 3 — 7