It happened rather unceremoniously, but there was a changing of the guard last Monday and Tuesday for one of the state’s biggest high...
GRANTS PASS — Morgan Walters, Kody Gray and Luke Mackey each posted a pair of falls Friday to lead a contingent of six Crater wrestlers into the semifinals of the two-day Grants Pass Winter Kickoff.
Crater sits in third place with 115.5 points after the opening day. Ponderosa High from Shingle Springs, Calif., leads the 35-school field with 159.5.
Seniors Walters and Gray advanced in the 126- and 170-pound brackets, respectively, while the freshman Mackey is at 106.
Other Comets moving into the semifinals were sophomore Nate Walters (138), sophomore Dillon Ulrey (145) and freshman Tommy Winningham (152).
Grants Pass and Illinois Valley placed three wrestlers each into the semifinals.
For the Cavemen, Casey Coulter (113), Kjell Thorsen (152) and Manuel Davila (285) advanced, and Illinois Valley has Brandon Parker (132), Gabe Miller (138) and John Britt (170).
Eagle Point, Ashland, Hidden Valley and North Valley have two wrestlers apiece in the semis.
For the Eagles, Alek Callahan (132) and Thane Balmer (160) moved on while Ashland placed Mason Montgomery (195) and Cody Eisenberg (220) into the semis.
North Valley's Luke Valle (106) and Taylor Hager (145) and Hidden Valley's Chance Anderson (152) and Brad Hyatt (195) also advanced.
The lone Phoenix wrestler still competing for a title is junior Izzy Rubio (170).
TEAM SCORES — Ponderosa, Calif., 159.5, Henley 128.5, Crater 115.5, Tillamook 103.5, Klamath Union 93.5, Grants Pass 87.5, Coquille 78, Eagle Point 73, Illinois Valley 68, Phoenix 61.5., Corvallis 57, North Valley 54.5, Ashland 45, Hidden Valley 45, Anderson, Calif., 42, South Medford 41, Modoc, Calif., 37.5, Mazama 36, Gold Beach 35, Douglas 34, Oakland 32, South Umpqua 32, Brookings-Harbor 28, North Valley 28, South Eugene 24.5, North Bend 23.5, Lakeview 23, Corning, Calif., 22.5, Glendale 21, Del Norte, Calif., 16, Etna, Calif., 9.5, Sheldon 8, Reedsport 7, Tulelake, Calif., 4, McKinleyville, Calif., 0.
NEWPORT INVITATIONAL — At Newport, Kylee Burks and Lauren Speaks each registered individual victories to help the Phoenix girls to third place in the eight-school meet.
Burks won the 50-yard freestyle with a time of 27.56 seconds. The Pirate junior added a fourth in the 100 backstroke and swam a leg on the second-place (200 medley) and third-place (400 free) relays.
Speaks was victorious in the 100 breaststroke (1:14.19) to go with a second in the 500 free (6:01.14). Speaks, a freshman, was also member on two second-place relay teams — the 200 medley and 200 free.
Phoenix junior Olivia Sanchez was second in the 100 butterfly (1:06.20) and 200 free (2:12.94). She was also on the 200 and 400 free relays.
Freshman Ethan Shepherd was the top performer for Phoenix's fourth-place boys team. Shepherd placed third in the 100 breast (1:17.10) and fourth in the 100 free (:57.29).
Taft won the girls team event with 242 points, while Phoenix had 201. In boys, Rainier was first with 237 points. The Pirates scored 162.